Santa Catalina Island Favorite Tips by mht_in_la
Santa Catalina Island Favorites: 24 reviews and 24 photos
Favorite thing: The Wrigley family has been raising champion Arabian horses on Catalina Island for decades. To see these horses just go down Avalon Canyon Road (the only road going deep into the canyon to the Botanical Garden). A couple of miles before you reach the Botanical Garden at the end of the road you'll see Catalina Staple, as shown in photo. To see the real good ones, join the "Inland Safari" tours to visit El Rancho Escondido and see the horse show put out by the trainers from the Wrigley family.
Favorite thing: Surprisingly the water in Avalon beach is relatively clean. However there's not much water activities here. The beach is full of people, and the water is full of mooring boats. But it's a great place to people-watch.
Favorite thing: Avalon has a small beach that stretches a few hundred yards between Green Pleasure Pier and the ferry terminal. Given the high concentration of hotels in the area, the beach is so crowded that people would wake up before sunrise to claim their spot on the beach with a towel or a beach chair, then go back to hotel and sleep till the sun is up.
Parasailing near a cruise ship
Favorite thing: It's about $60 for the 10-minute ride. Not sure if it's worth it since I've never tried it. Just want to share the photo with you.
Fondest memory: The fondest, or the funnest moment is when ferries or cruise ships approach Avalon Harbor, the parasailing operator tries to bring their parachute right next to the ship to lure the arriving tourists.
Isthmus Cove at Two Harbors
Favorite thing: Catalina Island is about 20 miles long, shaped like a fish. The narrowest part, the neck of the fish, is where you'll find Two Harbors. It's called Two Harbors because there are two harbors, back to back, only a few hundred yards apart, one facing the mainland (Isthmus Cove), the other facing the Pacific (Catalina Harbor).
Two Harbors is rustic compared with Avalon. There's only 1 general store, 1 restaurant (Harbor Reef), and 1 hotel (Banning House Lodge) with little night life. People visit Two Harbors as a leisure day trip from Avalon, or as a stepping stone into campgrounds deep in the west end. The photo shows Isthmus Cove at Two Harbors, which looks like a reduced version of Avalon Harbor.
Favorite thing: Garibaldi is the symbol of Catalina Island. These orange cuties are easy to spot. There are lots of them around the island.
Fondest memory: If you arrive by ferry, start looking for them when you approach the terminal. You can see them giving you a warm welcome in the clear harbor water even before you get off the ferry.
Harbor View from the Inn of Mt. Ada
Favorite thing: Avalon is a small city surrounded by hills. Once you leave the city, no matter in which direction, you start to climb. And you should, because the view is just spectacular. This can be done by foot, by bicycle, by golf cart, or by one of the Avalon Scenic Bus Tours. The photo shows Avalon Harbor at sunset, as viewed from the Inn of Mt. Ada. The rotunda at the far side is the Casino, and the long pier in the center of the Harbor is Green Pleasure Pier.
Scene from Crescent Street
Favorite thing: This waterfront street is the busiest and most touristy in Avalon. In the summer, loads of tourists from ferries and cruise ships stroll down Crescent Street shopping and dining. At night, the bars and pubs open late and the crowd gets a little grouchy.
Fondest memory: The photo shows a typical building on Crescent Street. It's designed to make every use of the waterfront real estate --
1st floor: souvenir shops
2nd floor: restaurants with harbor view
3rd floor: hotels with balcony
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