I’m dreaming about California today and the sunny weather that I left behind yesterday to return to snow and freezing weather. Leaving earlier than planned was maybe not such a good idea.
Our vacation in Los Angeles was short but we enjoyed sunny skies, miles of sandy beaches and great restaurants. On the last day there, we traveled by boat to Catalina Island which is 22 miles across the ocean from Los Angeles. After a short one hour trip, our boat dropped us off at Avalon, the only city on the island. There is also a small town at the other end of the island called Two Harbours.
Catalina Island is 21 miles long by 8 miles wide at the widest point. It is one of 8 islands in the Channel Islands archipelago and has a population of about 3500. The island has been used for several movies, documentaries, TV programs and commercials.
It is a perfect location for a vacation or a romantic getaway. There are some interesting hotels, including the Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel which was built in 1926 by the author Zane Grey as his home and the Inn on Mt Ada which was the home of chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr.
There are some great restaurants on the island including the Catalina Country Club & Golf Course. The clubhouse originally housed the lockers for the Chicago Cubs, who were brought to the island by its owner, William Wrigley Jr. for spring training on a baseball field that was similar to Wrigley Field in Chicago.
Catalina Island has 76 square miles to explore. You can take a tour by bus, van or jeep that will show you around the city, the ocean or the interior where you can see rare animals like buffalo and also unusual plants. You can rent a golf cart, a bicycle, a kayak, peddle boat or segway. You can go miniature golfing, snorkeling, diving, fishing, camping, hiking, parasailing or even zip-lining. If you prefer a quieter vacation, you can walk, shop or relax on the beach.
We took the scenic tour which gave us a good view of the city and the surrounding area. It was a bit scary driving up and down all those winding roads into the hillside and overlooking the ocean. Our tour guide was extremely interesting and he kept us busy looking at all of the unique and amazing sights. He told us about the casino where there was no gambling, the post office that didn’t deliver mail, the bird park that didn’t have any birds and about the dead dog trees that had no bark (ha-ha!).
Catalina Island would be a great place to live. The climate is moderate all year round, the scenery is beautiful, there is little crime and not much pollution. Cars are limited to only 800 and residents must go on a waiting list that can take 10-15 years. This causes many people to drive golf carts which is probably a good thing because gas costs over $7 gallon!
It was a wonderful day and a perfect end to a great trip. I’m looking forward to another visit next year which may include a cruise!