Catalina Island, California
Back in 1542 Native Americans were discovered living on the island, they referred to the island as Pimu and they referred to themselves as Pimungans (or Pimuvit). In 1542 Capt Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sailed his Spanish galleon to the shores of what he named and began a massive exploration of the island. Then in 1602 the 24th on November
In 1542 the Pimungans greeted the Spanish galleon that bore the explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo to their shores. Thus began the start of the Spanish discovery of the island. In 1602, on November 24th, St. Catherine’s Day eve, Spanish explorer, Sebastian Viscaino, sighted the island and gave it her name as we call her today Santa Catalina in honor of Saint Catherine.
In the 1900s Catalina was owned by William Wrigley Jr of the popular chewing gum brand Wrigleys. He then began renovation of the island turning it into a resort destination naming the area Avalon. He also brought The Chicago Cubs baseball team there for spring training (which he also owned) at the time. 1921 thru 1951.
Hollywood also became interested in the island and used it as a highly desired shooting location. Funny story back in the 20s 14 Bison were brought to the island and left there on completion of the movie. Today at last count a herd of about 150 bison roam the island’s interior. In the 1970’s Late in Wrigley’s he dedicated 88% of the island to Catalina Island Conservancy. Today that 88% is still wild, untamed territory
Sea Serpents in Catalina? Looks to be the case…..
Sea Serpents are comply know as Oar Fish they can grow to 50ft long. They live deep in the water and are rarely seen on the surface. This little guy is only 18ft long he was found by a snorkeler off the coast in the waters that separate Long Beach to Catalina on October 16, 2013.
Catalina Island is a popular vacation spot year ’round. Getting there couldn’t be easier. Its a short 15 minute flight from the mainland or a one hour boat ride from many spots on the coast. There are endless options in Avalon to enjoy and Two Harbors on the back side of the island is a boater paradise and a more relaxed feel, with campsites and access to nature..
The Two Harbors -On the Back Side of the Island-
Catalina’s weather is amazing “perfect climate.” year round.. 75 degree average in the summer. and on average 65 degrees in the winter. They have 12 inches of rain per year with roughly 300 days of sunshine. If you would like to visit both locations while you are there you can take the island bus that makes two trips daily, take one of the many water transports or a simple taxi ride through the jungle.
How to get to Catalina
As you can see on the map above there are many ferry options from the mainland. My youngest son and I took the Catalina Express out of Long Island. Here are a few images of what to expect along the way.
How to Fly to Catalina
Take a Helicopter to Catalina Island
This is a great option for those of us that may get a little sea sick on boat rides. Not only is it quicker the views you will get from the mainland and approaching Catalina are absolutely breath taking. For the luckiest of us we may even get to enjoy some sea life, dolphins, seals snd an occasional whale or two
Island Express has service from Long Beach and San Pedro departing from thier own heliports. and Demand Charter Service I can be contracted from John Wayne Airport in Orange County and Bob Hope Airport in Burbank.
Where to stay in Catalina
Here are some established safe bets Fir Hotel Bookings
Things to do On Catalina Island
Well it depends on how adventures of a person you are. If you enjoy sitting on a park bench feeding the seagulls then skip the next few recommendations.
As a thrill seeker you must experience the Zip Line Eco Tour, or try diving under the supervision of the island boat tour. Shopping, soaking in the spectacular views or a trip to the spa may not cause risk to your well being, its all there for you with no judgmental attitude. Perhaps you love golf, hiking, biking, or museums. If thrill seeking is not in the cards and you love the water, then many fishing opportunities await you. along with scuba diving options,, jet ski rentals, parasailing, or even paddle boarding.
Zip Line Tours
Another Actiivitiey You May want To Get Advanced Tickets. Here
Flying Fish Tour. Speed Boat
Stay dry with a Hummer or Jeep tour, Camping at one of the island’s numerous campgrounds
Hummer and Jeep Tours
Everything is within walking distance or a short cab ride The list of things to do is plentiful so easy to book
Did you bring the Family
Adiious Theme Parks Say Hello to Catalina, Amazing and out of the ordinary. When it comes to family entertainment, Catalina Island has the right blend of authentic activities and beautiful scenery to satisfy kids, kids-at-heart and anyone in between.
For a relaxed pace, check out Avalon’s popular and eclectic shopping, relax on one of our beaches or plan a trip to the spa! Many of the Catalina Island tours offer a view of the island from the comfort of a jeep, boat or Hummer!
A beautiful ode to the island’s famous founding father.It’s about a 30-minute moderate hike from the beach (you can also get up to it by renting a bike, or via golf cart—more on that in a bit), and once you’re there you’ll be immersed in a 37-acre botanical garden focused on plants endemic to California and the Channel Islands, and a tower overlook built from quarried rocks culled from the island itself.
A classic burger-and-drinks shack—with the best fries you’ll ever have.Just one trip to Luau Larry’s explains why all of them look so ecstatic: It’s because they’ve all gotten their Wiki Wacked by ordering a heavily-alcoholic drink of the same name.
Hope this info helps we had a great time there and will return again soon!
Happy Travels! Chris