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A Guide to Catalina Island

August 30, 2010 10:47 PM

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(credit: Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)

(credit: Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)

Catalina Island is a charming oasis 22 miles off the coast of Los Angeles, accessible by sea or air. Lovingly tended and eco-conscious, car use is highly restricted. The island’s attractions are accessed via guided tours. Bicycles and golf carts can be rented in Avalon, the commercial heart of the island. Golf courses, water sports, spas and restaurants can turn a visit into a vacation, or a day trip can provide an overview. The more secluded town of Two Harbors is perfect for camping.

Guided Tours

Catalina Adventure Tours

1 Cabrillo Mole
Avalon, CA 90704
877-510-2888
More Info

Santa Catalina Island Company Discovery Tours

150 Metropole Ave
Avalon, CA 90704
800-428-2566
More Info

Three essential tours make the most out of visiting Catalina Island.

Glass Bottom Boat

You’ll see undersea worlds of fish and forest, with different vistas in view depending on time of year and time of day.

Interior Tour

Through canyons and across coastline, you’ll see pristine countryside where buffalos roam through native plant life and eagles soar overhead. See a Native American Indian site at the Airport-in-the-Sky.

Casino Tour

Not a gambling establishment at all, Catalina’s most famous landmark is this circular Art Deco masterpiece that attracted Golden Age of Hollywood stars to its dances and concerts. A movie theater and museum are accessible by walk-in but only through guided tour can you view the ballroom and other historic sections.

Guided adventures also available for snorkeling, scuba and kayaking at http://www.catalina.com/scuba.html, or call (310) 510-1520.

Other Attractions

Wrigley Memorial & Botanical Gardens

1400 Avalon Canyon Road
Avalon, CA 90704
(310) 510-2897
www.catalina.com/memorial

Chewing-gum magnate William Wrigley, Jr. not only lived on Catalina Island for many years, he was responsible for much of its development. These rustic gardens and the stone monument provide spectacular views.

Other activities to consider…

* Helicopter rides
* Parasailing
* Biking
* Camping
* Ghost tours
* Golf and miniature golf
* Hiking
* Jeep and Hummer tours
* Zipline rides

Check out the Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau’s website at www.catalinachamber.com or call (310) 510-1520.

Born and raised in L.A., Andrea Renskoff’s knowledge spans trendy hubs to the diamonds in the rough to escapes from the ordinary. She currently writes about food, travel, families, health, wellness and lifestyle.
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