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A World Away on Catalina Island

The famed (but non-native) Catalina Island bison
The famed (but non-native) Catalina Island bison

I’m always surprised at the number of Southern California residents who have never been to Catalina Island. My family spent quite a few summers on the island, and it’s the perfect opportunity to get away from it all without traveling far.

Just 22 miles off the coast of Long Beach and accessible by boat, helicopter or plane, this picturesque destination transports you to a quaint, idyllic holiday. Avalon has many moderately priced hotels and bed-and-breakfasts and a variety of mostly casual eateries to chose from. Golf carts are the main means of transportation, but bikes can easily be rented too.

The island offers activities including snorkeling, fishing, kayaking, hiking and golfing. The new Catalina Zip Line Eco Tour is drawing raves, and I highly recommend the Inland Motor Tour that takes visitors up into the rugged interior of the island. There you’ll see the so-called “Airport in the Sky” and perhaps stumble upon some wild buffalo along the road. The glass-bottom boat tours are also worth checking out, and the historic Catalina Casino is the most recognizable landmark in the city of Avalon.

A trip to Catalina Island is a not-to-be-missed opportunity – this beautiful resort island feels like another world, but it's just a short 90-minute boat ride across the Pacific channel.

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The famed (but non-native) Catalina Island bison
The famed (but non-native) Catalina Island bison

I’m always surprised at the number of Southern California residents who have never been to Catalina Island. My family spent quite a few summers on the island, and it’s the perfect opportunity to get away from it all without traveling far.

Just 22 miles off the coast of Long Beach and accessible by boat, helicopter or plane, this picturesque destination transports you to a quaint, idyllic holiday. Avalon has many moderately priced hotels and bed-and-breakfasts and a variety of mostly casual eateries to chose from. Golf carts are the main means of transportation, but bikes can easily be rented too.

The island offers activities including snorkeling, fishing, kayaking, hiking and golfing. The new Catalina Zip Line Eco Tour is drawing raves, and I highly recommend the Inland Motor Tour that takes visitors up into the rugged interior of the island. There you’ll see the so-called “Airport in the Sky” and perhaps stumble upon some wild buffalo along the road. The glass-bottom boat tours are also worth checking out, and the historic Catalina Casino is the most recognizable landmark in the city of Avalon.

A trip to Catalina Island is a not-to-be-missed opportunity – this beautiful resort island feels like another world, but it's just a short 90-minute boat ride across the Pacific channel.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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