I recently returned from a three day visit to Santa Catalina Island, about sixty minutes south west of Long Beach, CA. The island is largely undeveloped 80% of the land is occupied by the non-profit Catalina Island Conservancy which manages and preserves this gem of natural beauty. Avalon, the island's main town, is nestled in hills overlooking the north-facing harbor where homes, hotels, and restaurants are tightly interwoven amongst steep curvy streets. The town has a quiet, sleepy feel, and the downtown can be circumnavigated on foot in less than 20 minutes!
|Avalon Harbor, with Casino in background|
Catalina Island is a mixture of modernity and quirky tradition. Cars are restricted on the island resulting in a ten year waiting list to bring one out. Subsequently, golf carts are the preferred transportation method on the island. (Yes, they are available for rent!) Several locals proudly pointed out how Avalon is a town of contradictions.
Avalon has a 3rd St with no 1st or 2nd. There is a bird park with no birds. The town's Casino has no gambling. The island has a post office, but no mail delivery. The private yacht club is open to the public.
|Pier and Harbor|
|Avalon town and harbor|
|Casa Mariquita Hotel|
Overall, I enjoyed my trip to Catalina. To get a better feel for the island, click here to see the locations of the above pictures! I will follow up this post with more specifics on the island's attractions and activities. If you live in Southern CA and need to get away from it all, Catalina is an hour away by ferry!