Island of Romance
Santa Catalina, known to most as Catalina Island, is just 20 miles off the coast of Southern California. Travel time to Avalon, the island’s only city, can be done in as little as 15 minutes by air, or one hour by boat. Visitors of this one-square mile city often feel as if they are in a foreign land, not just in Southern California’s backyard.
Much of Avalon’s unique history comes from the people who lived and vacationed here. From William Wrigley Jr., the chewing gum magnate, to some of Hollywood’s biggest stars and literary giants, many found that Catalina Island had a unique combination of solace and entertainment.
The most famous site in Catalina is the landmark Casino Building. The art deco building, completed in 1929, houses the Casino Ballroom, the Avalon Theatre and the Catalina Island Museum. The upstairs circular ballroom has the largest dance floor of its kind in existence today and is used regularly for concerts and dances.
On the opposite side of the bay from the Casino, overlooking the city, is the former Wrigley home. This grand, elegant home now operates as the Inn on Mt. Ada, a four-star country inn. He chose the setting for his new home on Mt. Ada (named after his wife, Ada) because it received first sunlight in the morning and the last rays at sunset. The inn, built in Georgian Colonial style, is 350 feet above the town and counts on six rooms, allowing guests the relaxation and privacy they are looking for. As Wrigley himself banned cars from Catalina many years ago, as part of your stay, you will have your own electric car to drive around Avalon.
Avalon is brimming with activities 365 days a year. Enjoy horseback riding or a round of golf. Take a tour of the city in an open-air tram or climb aboard a glass bottom or a semi-submersible to experience the islands’ underwater world of colorful fish and marine life.
Those interested in nature explore the unspoiled wilderness of the interior, which is home to hundreds of unique native plant and animal species, many found nowhere else in the world. Nowhere else in Southern California can you see free roaming American bison, American Bald Eagles, the Catalina Island Fox and Beechey Ground Squirrel, both of which exist only on Catalina Island.
A short trip a way, a time long gone by, a great time to be had, Catalina is a perfect ESCAPADITA.