Catalina Island is just
off the California coast. Avalon is the center of the tourist
conveniences with plenty of stunning hotels, restaurants, shops
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.
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.
Bed and Breakfast Inns, Avalon California
Grey Pueblo, Avalon
This Bed and Breakfast has incredible views high above
beautiful Catalina Island's Avalon Casino and Harbor
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.