I was seven years old the first time I visited Catalina Island. For years, the one memory that stuck with me was the seals. Oh, the lovely swimming, flipping, beached sea lions. It wasn’t until I visited Catalina Island again, twenty years later, that I realized how much more this unique spot has to offer tourists.
Located 22 miles off the coast of Southern California, Santa Catalina Island (often referred to as Catalina Island or simply Catalina), is a great destination for a day trip (you can also stay overnight on the island). If you will be in Southern California in the near future, I highly recommend checking it out.
Getting to Catalina Island from the mainland is easy. You can catch the Catalina Express from Long Beach, San Pedro, or Dana Point, and it drops you off on the island at Avalon or Two Harbors. The ride to Catalina only takes about an hour, and you get to travel in style (comfortable seats, cocktails, etc.). For more information, see: www.catalinaexpress.com.
Catalina island offers a variety of activities for all ages. Outdoor activities include golf, snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, hiking, biking or simply lounging on the beach. Adventurous visitors will enjoy options like zip-lining, helicopter rides and parasailing.
Catalina’s main city is Avalon, which definitely caters to tourists. Here, you can indulge in shopping, art galleries, casual meals at beachside restaurants, or even a spa visit. Avalon has plenty of entertainment options, including the historic Avalon Theater and the Three Palms Avalon Arcade. Avalon also hosts various festivals and concerts throughout the year.
For the most up-to-date activity offerings on Catalina Island, or to make accommodations or restaurant reservations, visit http://www.catalinachamber.com/.
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