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Carrizo Plain National Monument

Carrizo Plain is a rare, untouched marshland, enjoying its relative obscurity. Those who have discovered Carrizo swear by frequent visits. The grassy fields are arguably the most tranquil spot in the state, and a hike through the plains offer crisp, clean, unpolluted air.

The huge, nationally protected salt marshes house rare species, many of which are endangered. Here, they have room to thrive, undisturbed by development and urban sprawl that has threatened much of California wildlife.

Nearby campgrounds provide easy access to this California natural wonder. If you happen to be in the state and want a little solace, Carrizo is a good place to start.