A Visit to Catalina Island

It begins with a boat ride…

Located off the coast of Southern California, Catalina Island is a vacation destination and adventure start to finish. From the beautiful vistas to the quaint town of Avalon, Catalina is worthy of its hundred plus years as a travelers’ oasis. To get to the island you have two options, boat or helicopter. Most of the islands visitors go by way of ocean travel which takes a little over an hour.

There are two major towns on the island but Avalon is by far the most popular and iconic. Much of the island is undeveloped and now home to herds of bison, wild foxes, and deer. You can even catch sight of a bald eagle if you head out on one of the nature tours of the island.

JazzTrax Festival. Hearing live music where Hollywood stars of the Golden Age partied is a thrill. Or you can catch a movie downstairs in the art deco theatre. Taking a Casino Tour to learn the building’s history is a great way to get a look at everything as well.

Another adventure on Catalina Island is the underwater activities. Swimming, scuba diving, and snorkeling are a big draw.  One option to see the abundant sea life is to get in and get wet, but certain months of the year that is less enticing than others. If you want to get up close and personal while staying dry give the Glass Bottom Boat Tour a try. You can go out and give catching your dinner a try too. The island is known for its great fishing.

Even if you don’t reel anything in you won’t be short on seafood to enjoy. There are restaurants all over Avalon serving fresh fish and other delicacies. With so many options to chose from a Taste of Catalina Food Tour is a way to get started. Visit some Island hot spots on this guided tour which blends Island history, and I spy into a drinking game of Bingo.

The Catalina Island Museum is not to be missed. Learn the history of the island from the first people to live there, through the Spanish explorers, to the purchase of the land by the Wrigley Family. Sports fans will appreciate the ties to the Chicago Cubs who came out for spring training from 1921-1951. Not to mention the art at the museum. Their Chihuly Glass exhibit is stunning.

There are plenty of hotels and Bed and Breakfasts to chose from for your stay. A couple days is perfect to see the island. Our ride back was at sunset and it could not have been a lovelier end to the trip. Overall we loved the island so much that we are planning another trip back to visit again and take part in even more of the activities offered there. My snorkel gear will be packed next time for sure!

Find out more about Catalina Island – Catalinachamber.com

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