Catalina Island | Visit Catalina Island
Catalina Island is an island located off the Southern California coast. The size of Catalina Island is approximately 22 miles long and 8 miles wide. William Wrigley, Junior was instrumental in the development of Catalina Island, he originally bought the island in 1919 and it was improved with the Casino, a hotel, and the Casino building which is still there, however it is utilized as a movie theater. There is an airport at the top of the island, and many planes will fly in just for lunch and have a very popular Buffalo burger. And Buffalo do roam the island!
Catalina Island is located 32 miles from Newport Beach, and the interesting thing is, there are many days when you don't see it at all due to the fog.
The photo below was taken from the Newport Crest condos in Newport Beach overlooking the Sunset Ridge Park (info coming soon on this park).
There is also another island which can be seen when it is very clear called San Clemente Island. San Clemente Island is about 60 miles from the Coast, and at times you can see it, but it has to be very clear! San Clemente Island is uninhabited and is owned by the US Navy. Below you can see San Clemente Island on the left side of the photo is the distance - Catalina Island is on the right and much closer.
Avalon is the main city on Catalina Island, and there are many ways to get there. Usually in Newport, commuters to the island will take the Catalina Flyer, however this is out of service until March 1, 2015. There are several different options to get to Catalina Island, and I have taken the boat out of Long Beach previously. Also, you can take a helicopter also, which is quicker. I have been on the Catalina Flyer several times out of Newport Beach, and it takes about an hour to get there (but as stated above it is out of service until 3.1.2015). And of course, private yachts do travel to Catalina Island, and there are moorings available. It is best to be inside at Avalon, as the water is calmer if you are staying on the yacht.
There are homes in Avalon and many do have harbor views such as the ones below.
There is so much to do once you arrive in Avalon. Enjoy walking around and shopping and dining. There are many wonderful restaurants to visit also. There is a glass bottom boat, parasailing, Scuba is very popular there as the water is so clear.
Catalina Island is truly a destination location where you feel like you are "somewhere else". It is incredibly charming. There are no cars, however you can rent a golf cart to take a tour of the island.
One of my most incredible part of the journey is the sea life that you will see. I have seen gray whales and dolphins. The gray whales can be up to 50 feet in length, and they are incredible. There is also sport fishing and there are tournaments for Marlin.
And of course, it is not uncommon to see dolphins as well.
Catalina Island is a place to visit for the day if you like, but I recommend staying longer. There are many locations to stay, and enjoy the ambiance.
I hope you have the opportunity to visit Catalina Island!
Sharon Paxson REALTOR®