Santa Catalina Island is a beautiful 20-mile-long barrier island just off the coast of Southern California. Although it is popularly known as Santa Catalina, the island is actually referred to locally as Catalina. Aside from being a popular tourist destination, Santa Catalina offers some unique and interesting experiences. You can take a hike, go for a moonlit stroll, play golf, kayak, or even enjoy a massage. Whatever you do, you’ll be close to the ocean and enjoy the flavorful salt air.
If you’re looking for a fun way to explore the island’s pristine waters, the glass-bottom boat tours are a must. Here, you can see sea creatures and even a garibaldi, the state fish of California. While it’s not permitted to bring a car to the island, you can hire a taxi through Catalina Transportation Services. Cycling is another popular form of transportation. Bicycles are the most popular mode of transportation, and there are no road restrictions.
The island’s natural beauty and history are unmatched anywhere in the world. Famous Hollywood stars and actresses made their homes on Catalina, and it served as the backdrop for hundreds of films and television shows. Marilyn Monroe even lived on the island in the 1940s, with her military husband. You can learn about Catalina Island history from the Catalina Island Conservancy’s educational and interpretive programs. If you’re looking for a way to spend some time in nature, visit the Green Pleasure Pier in Avalon.
For an inexpensive way to enjoy the island, go on a weekday or take a trip during the off-season. While you’re there, make sure to take advantage of the beach’s unspoiled natural beauty. If you’d rather stay in a hotel, the “Season of Escape” package from Santa Catalina Island Co. will cost you $106 and include a round-trip ferry, overnight lodging at Hotel Atwater, and a $25 dining credit at the Avalon Grille. Although the package includes only the basic accommodation on the island, it’s a great deal and is right in the heart of the town.
A visit to Santa Catalina Island is a fun way to experience the beautiful scenery. You can also go hiking or mountain biking on the island. There are plenty of beautiful trails, including those in the San Pedro Channel, where you can catch the famous sunsets. If you love to sip a cocktail, head to Luau Larry’s. The Wiki Wacked cocktail is an island tradition. The cocktail is made with Cruzan aged light rum, Parrott brandy, pineapple juice, and grenadine. You’ll want to bring home a souvenir of your visit.
Early settlers on the island included Native Americans. The Tongva called the island Pimu’nga, and the Spanish Empire claimed it for their empire. The island eventually fell into the hands of Mexico and the United States. Smugglers, Union soldiers, and missionaries have all made their way through the island. The first European to settle on Santa Catalina Island was a Michigan real estate developer named George Shatto, who constructed the first hotel on the island.