Just off the coast of southern California lies a picturesque island oasis, a mere boat ride away - Catalina Island. This iconic destination -longtime home to the Chicago Cubs training grounds - was largely developed in the 1920's by William Wrigley, Jr., and soon became the premier getaway for many Hollywood heyday stars and starlets, such as Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable and Duke Ellington. To this day, Catalina's dramatic beauty and small beach town feel attract visitors from across the globe. Known as the "Island of Romance" for decades, Catalina offers an accessible Shangri-la for couples wanting to get away from it all and revel in each other's company. As well, the breathtaking and diverse getaway has enormous appeal for families, girlfriends looking to get away, and the traveler desiring a luxurious vacation. Boasting everything from a golf course, to Buffalo Safaris, to paddleboarding, there is never a shortage of entertainment to suit any taste. In the summer of 2010, Catalina underwent a renaissance, unveiling the new Pavilion Hotel, Avalon Grille, remodeled Descanso Beach Club, plus an exhilarating Zip Line Eco Tour and the high-tech GPS Walking Tour. In addition, Catalina's most-recognized landmark, the 1929 Casino (which actually means "gathering place" in Italian), underwent exterior restoration. This regal building is perched overlooking the Catalina harbor, and features a spectacular ballroom plus stunning 1,200-person art deco theatre, which have both served for generations as the venues of choice for great entertainers, Broadway shows and first-run movies. Originally constructed to screen silent films, the theatre's astounding acoustics are attributed to Wrigley's incredible foresight that movies with sound were just around the corner. One of only a handful remaining in the world, a grandiose, original pipe organ is still showcased, used to this day when occasion permits. A modern tribute to the Island's recent elevated island experience is the new beachside Pavilion Hotel, at which a multitude of amenities are offered, such as semi-private lanais; Blu-Ray players, movies and iPads for guest check-out; daily deluxe continental breakfast and afternoon wine and cheese reception; flat-screen HDTVs; and free wireless internet, to name just a few. Innovative creation of the "Unlimited Package" offers guests staggering savings on lodging and a multitude of tours and activities also. Looking towards spring of 2011, the exciting new Sea Trek Undersea Adventure will launch, allowing visitors to take a remarkable walk along the sea floor, exploring the abundant kelp forests and marine life without needing any prior diving instruction. With an idyllic mesh of the old and the new, Catalina embraces its noteworthy history while celebrating its many recent and continued enhancements, which will further the island's appeal for years to come. Keep checking www.visitcatalinaisland.com for more information.
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS LITTLE ISLAND FULL OF HISTORY AND QUAINTNESS. MY DAUGHTERS AND I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO VISIT HERE LAST AUGUST WHILE VACATIONING IN HUNTINGTON BEACH. WE ZIP LINED, SCUBA DIVED, AND RENTED A GOLF CART AND TRAVELED THE ISLAND TO SIGHT SEE.