"Santa Catalina Island" Top 5 Page for this destination Santa Catalina Island by Goner
Santa Catalina Island Travel Guide: 208 reviews and 462 photos
Catalina is the only inhabited island off the coast the greater Los Angeles area, it's only 21 miles long - not a big island, but large enough for a romantic weekend (or otherwise). There is a nice beach for sunbathing, several good restaurants, and comfortable hotels and bed and breakfasts that make for a pleasant stay.
There's much more to do there besides laying on the beach; you can take a submarine ride, rent a golf cart and explore the island or take tours which take you around the town or to the backside of the island, scuba dive, snorkle or take a boat ride around the island day or night.
It's really a great place to get away from the city and enjoy what Catalina's has to offer.
There have been people living on Santa Catalina Island for at least 7,000 years. Archaeologists have been excavating at Little Harbor which sits on the seaward side of the island and have found evidence of early groups of people who had adapted to marine life. These early people were the Takic branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family.
When the Europeans found this island it was called Pimu by the Pimungans that who lived there. They were excellent seaman and paddled their plank canoes to the mainland to trade as the island was very poor in resources. But, by the mid-1820's the native population was nearly decimated by new diseases they had no immunity to. By the mid-1820's the survivers left for the mainland and along with the Native American groups under the influence of Mission San Gabriel became known as Gabrielinos. There are some left today who are researching and trying to preserve their culture.
For many years the Island was under the influence of the Spanish who found its shores in 1542. Cabrillo claimed the island for the King of Spain, but when New Spain revolted, the island became part of Mexico. The island became a haven for smugglers, they would put their cargo ashore and smuggle it across to the mainland to escape the customs that had been levied by the new Mexican government.
When the California gold played out, prospectors came to the island and found silver. Many of these miners stayed and became squatters. They were evicted by James Lick who asserted his ownership in 1867. For the next 20 years the only inhabitants were sheep and cattle along with herders.
It wasn't long before the hot California summers sent the first vacationers to Catalina. They pitched their tents in the little coves and enjoyed the beaches and cool ocean breeze..
- Pros:A Great Weekend Get-a-Way
- Cons:Can be very crowded during the summer months
- In a nutshell:A Great Weekend Get-A-Way in the Spring or Fall
While you're wandering around the Metropole Marketplace try the ice cream at the Metropole Ice Cream Company. The ice... more travel advice
To learn the history and the places to visit on the island, you should visit the museum in the Casino. It was founded in... more travel advice
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