Catalina Island

Catalina Island, California
Catalina Island, California

Catalina Island is a small island 22 miles into the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of Los Angeles. On this small island, you can scuba dive, snorkel and enjoy a tropical climate similar to what you would find in more exotic destinations such as Hawaii. There is diversity in the plant life on Catalina Island, since there are 396 species that are native to Catalina Island.

Game fishing for deep-sea marine life like tuna, barracuda, marlin, mackerel and broadbill swordfish is a popular activity. With all this fresh fish around, you will be impressed with the excellent seafood that is plentiful and not outrageously priced. You can explore the different restaurants on foot, and take a walking tour all over the island, since it is so small.

Avalon Catalina Island
Avalon Catalina Island

Other activities like parasailing, rafting, and jet skiing can also get you out onto the water. The tourism center has information on the activities in the area and the times that they are scheduled, so you should visit there when you arrive at Catalina Island. You can get to Catalina Island on a high-speed ferry that departs from Long Beach. Both the Catalina Express and the Catalina Explorer can take you there quickly.

Even this is a small island; there is no lack of Catalina Island lodging. The Inn at Mt Ada is where the millionaire who purchased Catalina in its early days lived. This mansion has the finery you would expect in a house fit for a mayor. This is now one of the best views, more than any other of the Catalina Island hotels. The rooms in this Victorian mansion have ocean views and fireplaces, as well as being decorated in a traditional yet elegant fashion. There are no phones in the rooms to preserve the old fashioned atmosphere, but you can request one for your room if you need one. Lounge in the formal library or have a break in the sunroom, where hot tea and fruit and cookies are always available.

Avalon Catalina
Avalon Catalina

The less expensive but equally expensive options for Catalina Island lodging, Casa Marquita is a Spanish-style Inn set on a scenic hillside. The Casa Marquita is only a block from the beach, so there is one of the most conveniently located options for Catalina Island accommodations. Avalon is filled with little shops and café's to explore. You can spend a weekend in one of the elegant Catalina Island hotels and really get a feel for the relaxed seaside living. Finding a nice bed and breakfast or a luxurious mansion to stay in add to the magic of visiting this little island, and the Catalina Island lodging is there to help you enjoy the island in comfort.

There is a range of Catalina Island accommodations at the Casa Marquita, from the classically decorated guest rooms with its own balcony to the deluxe penthouse with a full kitchen. For the finest service and most elegant atmosphere that is not too stuffy, this is one of the most refreshingly unpretentious Catalina Island hotels.

When you finally leave, consider doing so in style, and take a helicopter ride back to California. The price is steeper than the ferry, so you'll need to be sure you have the spare cash on hand. You might catch a school of dolphins as the jump and swim, and you will realize how sad you are that your vacation has come to an end.

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