Santa Catalina. California. A great bucket list destination.

Be a tourist in our own country or back yard. Today more than ever with worldwide travel  restrictions, and the impossibility of international travel (for god knows how long). Looking into your own backyard is the way to go. Your  backyard has wonders that must be visited.  I lived in California for a while and I  am guilty of this, always thought I would have the chance to visit the places close by. Then I moved away and never got that chance.

I am so happy to have had the opportunity to visit One of California’s Channel Islands, Santa Catalina island, with my brother and sister in law. Located Southwest of Los Angeles, known for its wildlife, dive sites and Mt. Orizaba, its highest peak. There are two resort towns, the city of  Two Harbors in the North and the city of Avalon, in the south.

Catalina once revered as the getaway of the Hollywood  set, is still a great place to visit. I realize that now it may not be as exiting as when I went,  closures and restrictions ( of course) but keep it on your list. At one time labeled Hollywood isle, entertaining the likes of Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Robert Wagner and Nathalie Wood, who mysteriously lost her life on a dark night in Catalina.

Santa Catalina Island is the location of many movie set ie: Jackie Cooper’s “treasure island”.

One hour and 15 minutes (current adult fare from Long beach $74.50 RT) by ferry out of long beach or a short Helicopter ride .The Island was deeded by The Wrigley’s Family (yes the chewing gum people) and The Offield families to The Catalina Conservancy which was established in  1972. The Conservancy was created when both families deeded 42,135 acres (170.51 km2) of the island over to the organization— that was 88% of the Island. 

IMG_6436.jpg

IMG_1947.jpg
On the ferry out of Long beach Cal.

IMG_6439

The Island is also home to some 300 to 500 Bison’s left over when they filmed “The vanishing American” in 1924

Pulling away from the port of Long beach beach , you will see the docked vessel “Queen Mary”, it is no longer sailing and has been a hotel/restaurant for decades, I  remember having dinner there in 1974 in the Winston Churchill room.

DSC01685
The queen Mary  is now a hotel and restaurants, Tours are also given

 

DSC01689
we arrived on a very foggy day, the island was barely visible. Until the sun peaked through and lit up the city of Avalon.
IMG_6466
Catalina Island casino  is the most visible landmark in Avalon Bay  when approaching the island from the mainland. The large building contains a movie theater, ballroom, and formerly an island art and history museum.
DSC01734
Avalon casino

 

IMG_6560

Now lets get to the house and get ready to go to town.

DSC01721.jpg

I was once again very fortunate to See Catalina like a local.

the main form of transport used by  the locals is a golf carts, so we went and got ours :).

 

The deer are friendly, just don’t feed them. Alllright!! we fed them, but in our defense it was organic.

There are so many things to do and it appeals to all kinds of people.

Descanso beachIMG_6577

DSC01879

On the way to the town center there is a beautiful walkway along the coast, from Descanso beach  to the Casino.

DSC01772.JPGIMG_6709

IMG_6590.jpg

 

img_6552_hd.original.jpg

This is the place for you , if you love the outdoors, Hiking, diving,  swimming,  falconry ( yes falconry) Zip lining, climbing,  there is so much to do.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Maybe Karaoke at El Galleon is your thing, or hanging out at the beach, get to Descanso Beach , drinks, music, its a cool hangout. Pebbly beach, very interesting. I was really fascinated by the sound of the rock banging against each other when the waves roll out.

Some of the eateries we enjoyed.

Coney Island West – Best place in town for a great burger or some fish and chips and you can’t beat the prices.. Self service .Pick up your food and eat on the terrace.

Avalon Grille  $$$ highly recommend, great food and friendly service. .

Blue  Water Avalon Good seafood restaurant on the water , try their Clam chowder its delicious.

Pancake cottage – best place to have breakfast, the owner almost 90 years old still serving, her speed and agility is impressive. Be prepared to wait its a pretty popular place.

NDMK fish House- Comfort food ,casual, vegetarian options.

of course last but not least the Avalon Museum.

DSC01930 - Copy

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Be a tourist in your own backyard, there are wonders to be discovered.  Have any of you been there?.  What has been your experience?.

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.