Witness the Allure of California’s Santa Catalina Island

Santa Catalina Island lies just off the coast of Southern California.  The island is sparsely populated except for the scenic city of Avalon which is also located on the coast of the beautiful bay of the same name.  Those who come to Santa Catalina for a taste of tropical paradise just off the coast of California, will be most pleased.  This is why tourists make it a point to travel by air or by sea just to see the island.

For being in the great Pacific, it is expected for Santa Catalina to offer visitors with a great ocean view. In fact, they get more because they can also swim in its warm waters.  The best place do this is at Descanso Beach, which is about eight miles from Avalon. The beachfront has bars and restaurants, allowing visitors and tourists to dine and have drinks while watching the waves beckoning them to take a dip. Descanso Beach is surrounded with palm trees and other tropical flora. 

There are beaches in Avalon itself and near this are several Santa Catalina Island bed and breakfast inns. Just off these beaches are some of the western coast's most beautiful spots for snorkeling and scuba diving.  Equipment for these water activities can be rented from the shops nearby. These shops may also provide scuba diving instructors and guides. There are boats and kayaks for rent, usually in the same shops that rent out snorkeling gear. 

Santa Catalina Island offers golfers another haunt which may not yet be as busy as the ones they find on the mainland.  There are two popular golf courses in the island; Catalina Island Golf Course and Golf Gardens. The former was originally built in the late 1800s but has since been transformed into a modern golf course and a site for tournaments. This has an 18-hole course.  Golf Gardens, on the other hand, also has an 18-hole course but this one is great for families due to its atmosphere, and a combination of a tropical garden and a beach nearby.

The entertainment scene in the island is concentrated in Avalon.  Visitors can enjoy the clubs and the live performances which are held regularly in venues like Catalina Country Club and Descanso Beach Club.  Visitors who really want to get the feel of being in an island paradise need not spend too much to leave the country - the round trip ferry averages $60.  Santa Catalina Island, just off the mainland, is a tropical destination on California’s doorstep.

Some of the best accommodations include: 

The Aurora Hotel & Spa

Catalina Island Inn

Avalon Hotel on Catalina Island