A small rocky island located just 22 miles off the coast of California, Santa Catalina or simply Catalina Island, has grown to become one of the most popular vacations spots in California and for good reason. Island Trader Vacations invites you to come with us and take a closer look at the history of this island and it most accommodating and popular features today.
The history of Catalina Island dates back long before the arrival of European settlers to the area. First settled by Native American’s, these settlers are believed to have lived on the island for thousands of years. By the 1500’s, much of the coastline of America was receiving visitors from France, and especially Spain and Portugal including Catalina Island. First visited by a Portuguese sailor named Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo who was sailing for Spain, the island was first named San Salvador however, another Spanish explorer who arrive years later changed the name to Santa Catalina in honor of Saint Catherine. For years following this first visit, the island remained fairly unsettled and so like many islands along the coast, pirates and other visitors are said to have spent time here either visiting or hiding.
During the early 20th century, investors made their way to Catalina Island and in 1929, its first casino opened. Though the island was closed to visitors during WWII, it once again reopened to the public in the 1970’s and began growing offering resort properties, natural areas and exciting opportunities ranging from outdoor activities to shopping and fine dining as well. Whether spending time relaxing and doing some shopping in Avalon or exploring the natural world, there is plenty to see and do on Catalina Island.
Sports available to visitors and residents of the island include a variety of land and water activities such as hiking and zip lining to parasailing, fishing, scuba diving, kayaking or even taking a ride in a semi submersible. One of the newest adventures on the island is the Cape Canyon Expedition which is an extreme off-road adventure in the islands ‘”outback”. Visitors can ride in a unique 12 passenger H1 which runs on biofuel making it not only exciting but ecofriendly as well.
In terms of accommodations, visitors have plenty to choose from ranging from quaint B&B’s to camping or plush hotels featuring all the finest amenities. By far one of the most noted accommodations on the island today is the Avalon Hotel. Considered Catalina’s premier boutique Inn, the Avalon offers stunning views in addition to beautiful rooms and luxurious services and amenities as well.
Those looking for great food on Catalina Island don’t have to look far. One of the most noted and popular on the island today is the Lobster Trap. Located in Avalon the Lobster Trap serves fresh food, great drinks and is cost friendly. For fine dining, the Bluewater Grill is another seafood restaurant you won’t want to miss.
Anytime of the year is great for visiting this beautiful west coast island destination. Find out what you have been missing and head to the California Coast for a fun, exciting or romantic retreat.