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Catalina Island , a gem still well hidden

Over the years I’ve started to enjoy exploring places that are not over run by tourists. Even when I visit a popular destination, I manage to find hidden places where there’s no rush , no lines and you can soak up the atmosphere.

Such is the case of Catalina Island, of the little known American islands . It is located off the coast of Southern California and is a popular day trip destination for both locals and tourists.

It can be reached from either Los Angeles or Orange County, so do a little research and figure out which flights are cheaper. Flights to Orange County from New York start at $570 RT per person in mid-August, while to Los Angeles, you’ll pay from $520 RT per person for the same period. Depending on which city you choose to fly into, you then need to catch a ferry from Long Beach, San Pedro, or Dana Point into Catalina Island.

Most tourists come here for snorkeling and scuba diving. The underwater life can be viewed from a submarine or glass-bottom boats, as well. Another option is to play golf while you are here. If you want to be active but don’t fancy spending time in the water of playing golf, then choose one of the many hiking trails and explore the island (but you need a permit).

You can also spend some time in Avalon to explore the sights. The Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Garden are open year round and you can see plants native to the island. The Catalina Island Museum is located within the Casino and displays the history of Catalina from the early Gabrielinos through Catalina’s heyday, as a playground for the rich and famous.

You can book one of the hotels on Catalina Island but the prices aren’t very low so your best alternative would be to stay in one of the near-by cities.

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