1st Travelers Choice Avalon, California 1st Travelers Choice
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Avalon on Catalina Island California Coast

Catalina Island is just off the California coast. Avalon is the center of the tourist conveniences with plenty of stunning hotels, restaurants, shops and harbor.

A yesteryear mecca to Hollywood, this island is where the Chicago Cubs baseball team used to come for spring training and big bands led by Woody Herman and Tommy Dorsey played swing. Once where the privileged few fled by yacht from nearby Los Angeles, Catalina Island is now a small ecotopia for the masses. It is a paradise not only of scenery, but also of spirit.

Avalon on Catalina Island California Coast

Author Zane Grey his novels at his hilltop home here (now a hotel see right). In 1924, a film crew came to Catalina Island to do a movie version of one of Grey's books, The Vanishing American. They brought 14 head of American bison for the filming. When the movie wrapped, the crew left the buffalo behind. Today, a herd of about 150 buffalo roam freely in Catalina Island's interior.

Surrounding Avalon is a wealth of unspoiled wilderness, including 76 square miles of untrammeled forest, clean beaches and rugged coastline where seals and otters find play. In this park, a premium is placed upon clean air and quiet. Cars are banned. Air access is restricted by the island rulers, who also control all commercial and residential development. Camping is confined to a few sites. Even bike riders need permits to pedal into the interior of the island. The protection is more stringent than at any national park. That's because nearly all of Catalina Island is privately owned, preserved by an unusual conservation organization empowered with the funding and authority to maintain Catalina's serenity for present and future generations.

Featured Bed and Breakfast Inns, Avalon California

Zane Grey Pueblo, Avalon
This Bed and Breakfast has incredible views high above beautiful Catalina Island's Avalon Casino and Harbor
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Most visitors come by hover ferry (55 minutes) from beside the Queen Mary berth in Long Beach. There are also boats from San Pedro, Newport Beach, Oceanside and San Diego. New ferries make the journey in an hour. Companies also offer commercial helicopter service from Long Beach, San Pedro, Burbank and Los Angeles.

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