The Banning Brothers first established Santa Catalina Island Company in 1894. They began the process of developing the island into a destination for tourists and developed the roads and hotels that still stand today. In addition to the museum, the Banning Brothers also developed the island’s natural history and built the first natural bridges between the island and mainland California. The museum is open year-round. For more information, visit the Santa Catalina Island website.
On Santa Catalina Island, visitors must adhere to strict rules and regulations regarding the use of motor vehicles. There is a fourteen-year waiting list to bring a private car to the island. Residents typically use golf carts or mini-cars to move around the island. Bicycles are also common modes of transportation. The only major road into the back country is Stage Road, which is closed to all but the locals.
Once closed to tourists, Catalina Island is now a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. You can rent a bike or go hiking on the island. The Avalon bike trail is the perfect place to explore Catalina Island. You can even go whale watching! You’ll want to bring your own lunch and water to enjoy the views. While you’re there, you can also sample wines at local wineries. The winery is about 5 miles from the airport.
As a result of its proximity to Southern California, Santa Catalina Island can be reached from Dana Point, Newport Beach, and Long Beach. From Huntington Beach, you can even see the island from the air. To reach the island, you’ll need a boat. If you don’t have a private boat, you can rent one from a charter service. For most visitors, Santa Catalina Island is an enjoyable getaway.
The climate on Santa Catalina Island is Mediterranean, with mild winters. The National Weather Service maintains cooperative weather records at the island’s airport. Average January temperatures are 58.4 degF (14.7 degC) and maximum July temperatures are 78.1 degF (25.6 degC. However, nighttime temperatures can drop below freezing. The rain is usually most frequent in December and March. While winter is cool, spring is beautiful and the island is a great place to go hiking.