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When You Go

      Catalina Island     

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Getting There: Depending on your departure city, most airlines including American, Delta, Continental, United, Northwest and Southwest service the Los Angeles International Airport. The 1-800 phone numbers and Web links for these airlines are available at this magazine’s Airlines page. Alternative airport choices are Burbank, Ontario, or San Diego Airports. There is no car access to Catalina, so a rental car is not required. Periodic shuttle vans run from LAX airport to the Long Beach Ferry Terminal (approximately 20 miles). During rush hour, this trip can take approximately one hour.

Multiple ferries make the trip between Long Beach and Santa Catalina. It is advised to make prior reservations, especially for weekends or holidays. The ferry trip lasts approximately one hour. Less frequent ferry connections to Santa Catalina are also available at San Pedro, Dana Point, Marina Del Rey, and Newport Beach. Helicopter flights from LAX are also available. Web links to the transportation services are provided below.

Staying There: All lodging is located within the Avalon town limits, including hotels, inns, and B&Bs. A campground is located 1-1/2 miles up Avalon Canyon Road from Avalon. We stayed at Hotel Villa Portofino and we're pleased with the accommodations and the location on Crescent Avenue, nearest to the Casino. Links to the lodging alternatives are provided below. For those who plan to spend time boating or diving around the island, Boating and Diving Catalina by Bruce Wicklund is a very useful guide book. The Catalina Island Visitor Guide is very useful and includes a full list of all island events for the year. It can be obtained at the Visitor's Bureau in the center of town, phone 1-310-510-1520.

Fast Facts: Catalina is 21 miles long, 8 miles wide, encompassing 76 square miles. It lies approximately 26 miles off the California coast. The temperature averages 75 F in the summer and 65 F in winter. The water temperature averages 60 F to 70 F. Use of wet suits is recommended for divers and snorkelers. The mountainous island's highest peak is Mt. Orizaba at 2,069 feet above sea level. Catalina is part of Los Angeles County.

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Santa Catalina, one of the Channel Islands

Useful WWW sites:
Catalina.com: A very complete set of information on the lodging, restaurants, activities, businesses, events
Catalina Click Map: Avalon street map, lodging, transportation, activities, restaurants, events
Catalinainfo.com: Info on the island, collected by one of the boat transport providers.
Descanso Beach Oceansports: kayaking rentals and tours

Return to Santa Catalina article.

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