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Old 05-09-2011, 04:20 PM   #31
Sherry E
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Originally Posted by PHXscuba View Post
I would also not recommend staying in the campground in Avalon unless it is a real cost-cutter or the only option. DH stayed in Hermit Gulch (presuming that's the one you're thinking of) last summer. He said it was nice for a campground (they stayed in the tent-cabins) but a loooong walk (uphill) from town. They used cabs to take their gear up and back. He said the walk got old real fast.

PHXscuba
PHXscuba - I can totally envision that if I did that, I would be grumbling to myself the whole time about how the walk was "getting old real fast."

The people I know who have gone to Catalina for the sake of camping definitely enjoyed it, and have gone back repeatedly to do it over the years...BUT I think the key is that they made the trip solely about the camping experience. It wasn't an 'Avalon trip,' per se. It wasn't a 'let's rent a golf cart, take some tours and browse through the shops' kind of trip. It was a camping trip on Catalina Island, and the main city part of Avalon didn't really factor into it because they pretty much stayed put at the campsite.
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:30 PM   #32
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Great info on the campground. We won't do it this time. It was the Hermit Gulch one.
I oprdered the guide to be mailed and never thought to check out the online version, guess I will be doing that tonight.

I was looking at the cheaper motels. Too bad it's a long weekend, it's cutting into my choices. Just about booked the Zane Grey motel until I read it had no tv - not sure how that'll go over so I'll wait til I get home to mention it.

I have the San Diego Entertainment book so I will look tonight to see what's available. It has a Long Beach Aquarium buy 1 get 1 so we're doing that after Catalina just so we don't have to drive up from SD.

Sherry we're going to try to do your top 3 list, DS already mentioned he wants to try snorkeling. Actually just about every tour he's said he wants to do. Surprising there's so many options. The electric bike might be fun too.
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Old 05-09-2011, 05:01 PM   #33
Sherry E
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Great info on the campground. We won't do it this time. It was the Hermit Gulch one.
I oprdered the guide to be mailed and never thought to check out the online version, guess I will be doing that tonight.

I was looking at the cheaper motels. Too bad it's a long weekend, it's cutting into my choices. Just about booked the Zane Grey motel until I read it had no tv - not sure how that'll go over so I'll wait til I get home to mention it.

I have the San Diego Entertainment book so I will look tonight to see what's available. It has a Long Beach Aquarium buy 1 get 1 so we're doing that after Catalina just so we don't have to drive up from SD.

Sherry we're going to try to do your top 3 list, DS already mentioned he wants to try snorkeling. Actually just about every tour he's said he wants to do. Surprising there's so many options. The electric bike might be fun too.
The Zane Grey has no TV??? Funny, because I almost stayed there on one Catalina trip in the past. It's one of the handful of hotels on the Island that has a pool. You know why I didn't end up staying there? It is up in the hills! You can actually pass by it if you turn up or down that street in a golf cart. It's not just up A hill - it's up in the hills. I'm not even sure I could find my way to the Zane Grey without a map! You'd have to take one of the Island taxis to and from the ZG, if that's what you picked. That's probably why it remains one of the cheaper options - because of those darn hills!

But I can't believe it doesn't have a TV!

The Hotel Atwater - while being a 'budget' option - is on flat ground, on a side street off of the main street.

The Hermosa Hotel/Catalina Cottages - the other budget option - is on a side street, up a little bit of an incline. Try that one!

The Hotel Catalina is part-way up a hill, but it's walkable.

The Catalina Beach House, I think, is on a side street, up a bit of a hill.

The Seaport Village Inn is technically up a hill or two, but it's really not bad when you see how close it is to town. I walked back and forth all the time when I stayed there.





I just looked at my 2010 guide and here are the options that have only one $ next to them in the guide from last year:

Catalina Island Seacrest Inn (one of my friends stayed here)

Castaway Cottage

Catalina Beach House Hotel

Hermosa Hotel and Cottages (friends and I stayed here)



The $$ options are:


The Old Turner Inn

Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel

Atwater Hotel (it used to be only one $ - guess it moved up in the world!)

El Terrado Terrace Hotel

Glenmore Plaza Hotel

Hotel Catalina (I stayed here)

Hotel MacRae (a friend stayed here)

Hotel St. Lauren

La Paloma Las Flores

Seaport Village Inn (I stayed here)
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Old 05-14-2011, 04:51 PM   #34
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So, Wendy, where did you end up booking a room? Last I heard was that Zane Grey was a possibility until you discovered there was no TV!

I am still waiting for my hard copy/magazine version of the Visitors Guide to arrive - and, by the way, I should mention that they used to send those Guides out much, much faster in the mail than they do now - but in the meantime, I looked at what I could get through of the online version of the Guide...until my stupid computer locked up (as usual).

I got as far as the listings of hotels and how many dollar signs/'$' there were next to them. Everything looks about the same in terms of $, $$ or $$$, except for that I noticed this year's version of the Guide listed Seaport Village Inn in the single $ category - meaning it's now one of the least expensive places to stay, whereas last year's guide had it in the double/$$ category, meaning it was in the middle range cost-wise.

I stayed at the Seaport Village Inn in 2001, and unless it has gone way downhill in terms of service and cleanliness of rooms in the last 10 years, it was perfectly fine. I liked it quite a bit. It is located up two hills, both rather short, but it's still very close to the main street and town. And I am one who does not like climbing endless hills to get to my rooms in Avalon, but I didn't find these hills to be too terrible because there were short walks. I don't know what they are charging these days that puts Seaport in the single $ category, but if it's manageable, I would recommend staying there. Otherwise, try the Hermosa. That has probably improved since I last stayed there.



I just booked my Catalina Express free birthday boat ride today - they don't take your birthday promo code (which you get in the e-mail that Catalina Express sends to you once you register for the birthday thing on their website) until the end of the phone call. They do take a credit card number to keep on file, just for holding your reservation, but they don't charge anything to it.

I booked at 6:15 a.m. boat out of Long Beach to Avalon in July (yes, I am willing to get up that early to get over there!), but they want me to arrive at the terminal one hour early at 5:15 a.m. Then, after I get my departure and return tickets from them, they want me to go and stand in line for the boat about 30-45 minutes before departure.

Anyway, this will put me in Avalon at approximately 7:15 a.m. (sometimes you get there 5 minutes ahead of schedule; sometimes you get there 5 minutes late - it depends on how windy it is out on the water!). The golf cart rental place (shown in PrincessInOz's photos earlier) does not open until 8 a.m. or 9 a.m., so I will have time to kill before I get one, which is what I want. I can snap lots of photos around town before everyone 'wakes up' for the day.

When you get to the Island that early, sometimes the only people awake are the fishermen! The tourists are likely still in bed, as are the Island residents. So the only ones besides the fishermen walking the streets at 7:15 a.m. are other boat passengers such as myself, or Island residents who are out taking their morning runs/walks/bike rides. It is a nice, peaceful time to take photos.

Actually, I am hoping that if I can secure a good outdoor seat on the boat over to Avalon, I will be able to get some nice sunrise photos since the timing will be about right.

Once the golf cart place opens, I will be among the first to nab a cart and hit the trails! I will take lots of photos up in the hills and at the Wrigley Memorial/Botanical Garden. When my three hours are up, I suppose I will explore some shops, see what's changed on the Island since I was last there and take a stroll to the Casino, snapping more photos as I go along! I would like to have the option to do another tour if money allows - maybe either the Semi-Sub or something that will allow me to get some good pictures.

Unfortunately, the latest return time from Avalon back to Long Beach is only 7:30 p.m., which means I have to line up at 7 p.m. That is not good for me! I used to take boats back that left the Island at 9:30 or even 10:45 p.m.! Even though it will be a Thursday when I am there, it will still be the middle of summer so they should add more boat arrivals and departures! I am hoping they add something later than 7:30 p.m. I want to try to get some nice sunset photos and that will be hard to concentrate on if I am high-tailing it to the boat dock to wait in line.

I asked the Catalina Express person on the phone if the birthday promo has been popular so far (it's only been in effect for a couple of weeks), and if a lot of people are taking advantage of it. She said yes, lots of people have been using it...so that fact alone might mean that they add some more boat times on my day!
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Old 05-14-2011, 08:22 PM   #35
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I booked at the Atwater. Good or bad that.s what I did. We.ll know for next time. Booked zipline for the fourth, also booked the lounge seats on the 4 o.clock ferry. Figured I.d splurge since it was free for me. Staying four nights so we should be able to do everything we want to do.
Getting excited already. Still have to figure out where to stay for four more nights in the Anaheim area and rent a car. May camp for these days. Well my version of camping is sleeping in a tent.
On my phone so please excuse any typos.
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Old 05-14-2011, 08:51 PM   #36
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I booked at the Atwater. Good or bad that.s what I did. We.ll know for next time. Booked zipline for the fourth, also booked the lounge seats on the 4 o.clock ferry. Figured I.d splurge since it was free for me. Staying four nights so we should be able to do everything we want to do.
Getting excited already. Still have to figure out where to stay for four more nights in the Anaheim area and rent a car. May camp for these days. Well my version of camping is sleeping in a tent.
On my phone so please excuse any typos.
I'm sure the Atwater will be fine. First of all, it's on flat ground, not a hillside! Also, I know it's been upgraded and refurbished a bit since when I was last in Avalon, so that's a good thing! No, it's not an upscale hotel, but in the case of Catalina I think just having a place to sleep and shower is the most important thing. I don't think you need 'upscale' in Catalina unless you are on a romantic weekend or something. On the other hand, at Disneyland, I prefer staying onsite at a Disney hotel because it adds to the overall "Disney magic" for me. On Catalina, it's not the same thing - you don't get "Catalina magic" by staying in a nicer hotel. You just get a nicer hotel! The real beauty of Catalina is outdoors.

So the Atwater will be more than fine, I think.

I'm confused about the booking of the Lounge (the Commodore or Captain's lounge) on the Catalina Express. As far as I was told (just today, by the Catalina Express agent when I called to book my reservation), the Lounge seats are not included in the Free birthday round-trip pass.

According to the agent I spoke to, the Free birthday admission - and you have to give the birthday promo code at the time of booking and then bring the print-out with the code on it to show the ticket people at the Express terminal when you check-in - just covers the standard round-trip seats/pass on the Express, not the Lounge. Were you told differently? Did you book online or did you book on the phone? And did you have to give your birthday promo code? I was told that the birthday promo code was not working for some of the online reservations so most people had to end up calling anyway, but the Express people have to have it when they make your reservation.

I just wondered about that because I didn't want you to accidentally think you were getting something free and then suddenly be charged for it when you show up at the Express terminal!

I don't know if the Lounge has an outdoor seating section or not. Since you said you guys love fish, I figured that scouting for dolphins and stray flying fish would be fun. Hopefully you will be able to get outside.

In any case, sounds like a super fun time - how many days/nights did you decide on for Avalon? Three nights or four nights?

And yay for getting the zip line booked for the 4th!! I hope your son has a great time with that. It's going to be a busy holiday weekend in Avalon, so it was good to get that reserved now, before it fills up!
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And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12
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Old 05-16-2011, 02:30 PM   #37
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I had a big reply typed out on my phone yesterday & I lost it before I posted. Computer crashed at home. My phone doesn't do well as a subsitute.

Anyway, Sherry you're right about the Expresss & the lounge, it is a $15 upgrade for the lounge. Since we'll have been on the go since 7AM I figured I'd upgrade for the trip across. You get free snacks and drinks - whatever that'll be I'm not sure. I did call to book not sure why I didn't do it online.

We are booked for 5 nights at the Atwater. We started as 4 nights and somehow it turned into 5. As long as it's clean & comfy I won't complain. (Really hoping it's not the 3rd floor tho)
We will likely have to change rooms on the night of the 4th not a big deal as they have a place to put your luggage.

I still have to figure out if a shuttle or cab will be cheaper, book a rental car and motel or campground while in Anaheim. If a smallish tent, blanket and air mattresses will fit into my suitcase we'll be tenting.

Sherry - I'm certainly not an early morning person. I think with your very early trip tho will be nice. It'll still be a little cooler, quiet, until people start roaming around. I think it will be rather nice. Think of all the great pictures you'll take without strangers showing up in them.
Here's hoping they'll add a later time for your return trip.

So the golf cart is reserved ahead or is it a first come, first served kinda thing? We'll have to do it. Plus I'd like to do the inland tour and all the water tours.

The Zane Grey doesn't have tv's, phones or clocks in their rooms. And really don't want noisy, younger kids running around. Don't blame them as they want as quiet, tranquil environment. They do have a piano room, and a shared living room with a tv plus the pool. Tho I don't think most people like watching Fineas & Ferb, whatevers on the Family or the Sports channels so my son would have his nose out of joint. Otherwise it looks like a beautiful place.
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:11 PM   #38
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As a huge fan of the beautiful, tranquil and picturesque Catalina Island in SoCal (Catalina and Disneyland Resort are my two favorite SoCal destinations), I was absolutely thrilled to see this promo offer from Catalina Express in my e-mail inbox today:

http://www.catalinaexpress.com/birthday_promo.php

Basically, Catalina Express - the primary means of ocean transportation to the lovely Avalon in Catalina - is giving away FREE round-trip boat passage/tickets to everyone on their birthday for the next year (the promo ends in late April 2012). All you have to do is register your info on the Catalina Express website at the link above.

This, of course, will not cover your food, lodging or activities on the Island, but if you have never been to Catalina, take my word for it that it's a great day trip (as well as being great for a weekend), whether you do a lot or do very little in the way of activities - and also take my word for it that getting FREE round-trip boat fare is a very good value to get to the Island. I could be happy just getting to the Island and sitting on a bench, overlooking the water, scouting for sea life!

I am definitely going to take advantage of this offer on my birthday! Everyone register ASAP!!

Be sure to order your free Catalina Island Vistors Guide (this is a magazine that is put out every year, and the Chamber of Commerce or Visitors Bureau will mail it out to you for free) to get an idea of what you can do while on the Island!!
Thanks for the information Sherry. I really enjoy Catalina and annually I spend three or four days hiking the Trans-Catalina Trail. I also scuba dive around Catalina at least twice a month.
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:20 PM   #39
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I had a big reply typed out on my phone yesterday & I lost it before I posted. Computer crashed at home. My phone doesn't do well as a subsitute.

Anyway, Sherry you're right about the Expresss & the lounge, it is a $15 upgrade for the lounge. Since we'll have been on the go since 7AM I figured I'd upgrade for the trip across. You get free snacks and drinks - whatever that'll be I'm not sure. I did call to book not sure why I didn't do it online.

We are booked for 5 nights at the Atwater. We started as 4 nights and somehow it turned into 5. As long as it's clean & comfy I won't complain. (Really hoping it's not the 3rd floor tho)
We will likely have to change rooms on the night of the 4th not a big deal as they have a place to put your luggage.

I still have to figure out if a shuttle or cab will be cheaper, book a rental car and motel or campground while in Anaheim. If a smallish tent, blanket and air mattresses will fit into my suitcase we'll be tenting.

Sherry - I'm certainly not an early morning person. I think with your very early trip tho will be nice. It'll still be a little cooler, quiet, until people start roaming around. I think it will be rather nice. Think of all the great pictures you'll take without strangers showing up in them.
Here's hoping they'll add a later time for your return trip.

So the golf cart is reserved ahead or is it a first come, first served kinda thing? We'll have to do it. Plus I'd like to do the inland tour and all the water tours.

The Zane Grey doesn't have tv's, phones or clocks in their rooms. And really don't want noisy, younger kids running around. Don't blame them as they want as quiet, tranquil environment. They do have a piano room, and a shared living room with a tv plus the pool. Tho I don't think most people like watching Fineas & Ferb, whatevers on the Family or the Sports channels so my son would have his nose out of joint. Otherwise it looks like a beautiful place.
Wendy -

A similar thing happened to me yesterday. I was typing out a reply to a friend on Facebook. Because my computer just crashed last month and I have not replaced it yet, the hard drive and operating system are basically failing, so all of my applications like the browsers I use to get online are acting glitchy and weird. And I lost ALL of the text I was typing to my friend on Facebook! The whole thing. Soooo frustrating.

The golf carts are first come, first serve (at least they used to be!). Actually, I think there are 2 or 3 different places from which you can rent a cart in Avalon, but I don't think they all have the 'get 3 hours for 3 hours' deal. The place that PrincessInOz showed in her previous photos, which is the same place I'm used to, is very close to where you get off of the boat, and they open at 8 a.m. or 9 a.m. The 'get 3 hours for the price of 2' thing is pretty popular, so sometimes the carts can be snapped up early - though not always - and you have to wait for people to start returning their carts before you can get one. This doesn't necessarily mean that if you don't get there 5 minutes after they open you won't get a cart - you probably will. But if you get there when the carts are gone, then you will have to wait for people to start returning them.

Some people keep their golf carts for the full 3 hours - especially if they are avid photo takers and if they stop at the Wrigley Memorial and walk around, or if they stop on one of the side paths and walk around a bit. You can actually take the golf cart and drive around up in the hills (you may see the Zane Grey while you are up there), and you can drive around on some of the flat Avalon side streets too. Plus, you can drive all the way over to the Casino and park, take a walk out on the rocks, etc. Some folks don't do all of that and they simply just drive up in the hills, realize what a small town Avalon is, and then return the cart in an hour. So you might not have to wait for a cart too long!

I can imagine the Zane Grey is probably quite peaceful, given its location in the hills. I can't envision there would be a lot of noise up there. I don't think that many people who want to go into town a lot would stay up there because you would either have to really love walking up and down steep hills, or you would have to always take a taxi/shuttle. It's not convenient if you plan on being in Avalon most of the time. The Atwater, however, is much more conveniently located!

You know, if I were going to Catalina for more than one day this time around, I might not take the 6:15 a.m. boat out. But since it is only one day that I'm going, and the latest return boat time is 7:30 p.m., which is earlier than I wanted, I feel I need to get the full day out of it! And that means waking up before dawn and getting on the boat before the sun rises!! Indeed, I will take lots of photos during that quiet time when only the fishermen are awake, before the golf cart place opens! I think I will be so busy walking around, trying to get caught up on what is new or different since I was last there, that time will probably fly by rather quickly.

It's probably better that you called and made your Catalina Express reservation rather than doing it online, since they said they were having trouble with the free birthday promo code in some of the online reservations. When I entered in my code online, I got a message that said "Not approved." When I called and verbally gave them my free birthday code, they had no trouble with it.

If there is an outdoor section of the lounge when you take the trip over, be sure to peek outside and look for dolphins, or at least have your son do it. That is one of the greatest joys of taking the boat over - waiting for the inevitable dolphin sightings along the way. Sometimes the boat captain will even stop or slow down the boat so the passengers can enjoy the dolphins romping in the water if they get close to the boat!

I have heard of drinks and snacks in the Commodore lounge - I am trying to remember what it entailed. I know that either wine or champagne was involved at some point. I remember hearing someone talk about getting the lounge and drinking alcohol on the way over. I can't recall what the snacks were.

Remember, if you do take a tour that brings you to into the Interior of the Island, try to get something that takes you all the way to Two Harbors and back. It may not even be an official "tour" - it may be a Safari Bus or something. Two Harbors in and of itself is not that interesting, but it is the ride through the less-travelled parts of the interior, where the buffalo roam, that is interesting. Anything that does not go all the way to Two Harbors may not reveal too many close-up buffalo along the way. They may be way off in the distance, off of the road.

The water tours all sound like great ideas - the Flying Fish tour begins its seasonal run in a few weeks, and should be ready for reservations then. That's a popular one, so book that in advance. And it even looks as though the Semi-Sub has a nighttime ride now! That is new since I was last there. I think the Semi-Sub is fun in the daytime - and you will definitely see fish! BUt the idea of a night ride intrigues me!!

It sounds like it's going to be an exciting whirlwind of a trip! Between Catalina and the Aquarium and San Diego and Anaheim - wow! Exhausting!! Exhausting, but rewarding and fun, I think!

Good luck with the rest of the planning, like the shuttle vs. taxi decision and the where-to-stay-in-Anaheim decision! Keep us posted.
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Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:29 PM   #40
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Thanks for the information Sherry. I really enjoy Catalina and annually I spend three or four days hiking the Trans-Catalina Trail. I also scuba dive around Catalina at least twice a month.
Oh yay! Welcome, ludari. Thank you so much for joining in! I'm so glad someone else spoke up on this thread - especially another person who can weigh in with information and feedback about Catalina! (I was beginning to think there were only a few of us out here on the DIS.) I knew there had to be some other previous Catalina visitors or people interested in going lurking around out there.

I'm not a diver, but I have always heard over the years that the diving off of the Catalina coast is some of the best anywhere for diving enthusiasts. Supposedly the fish and plants are just amazing and unusual to see. Is this true? I've seen the Garibaldi and I know how vibrant and colorful they are. What have you seen while diving?

And the Trans-Catalina trail sounds awesome! Have you encountered many buffalo or island foxes and deer along the way?
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And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12
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Old 06-09-2011, 09:53 AM   #41
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I finally received my free 2011 Catalina Vistors Guide in the mail last week. The Visitors Bureau/Chamber of Commerce used to get those things out in the mail within a couple of days but, I suppose, since they send them out at no cost to the recipient and postage rates are increasing, it is cheaper for them to send out the Guides this way, where they take much longer to arrive (much, much longer!).

But I must say - the Catalina Visitors Guide is one of the best ones. It's really like a magazine - same size and width as a magazine - with beautiful photos and lots of good hotel, restaurant and shop information. It's better than the brochure-sized guides to other cities that I have obtained from various Chambers of Commerce!

So I highly recommend that everyone order their free Catalina Island Vistors Guide for 2011, so you can read it while you are planning to take advantage of the free Catalina Express birthday round-trip boat ride and planning your trip!!! Gotta love the freebies!!

I posted over on a forum specifically about Catalina a couple of weeks ago, and many of the people on that forum are Island residents or frequent visitors. A couple of them didn't even know about the current Catalina Express birthday promotion. They were telling me that one of the changes to the Island (since I was last there) is white sand on the beach.

Now....don't get any ideas of vast, long, pure stretches of uncluttered white sand in a tropical oasis. The Avalon beaches are about the size of a postage stamp. They are functional, of course, and you can sit on them and read or sunbathe or whatever. But they are tiny - and because they are so close to the main walkways in town, there is not much peace and quiet. But, there they are.

Avalon has to have its sand imported from Redondo Beach in SoCal (at least it was Redondo the last time I checked). Now that it's white sand, I am wondering if they are getting it from somewhere else. In any case, even though the beaches are teeny, I would guess that the white sand makes them look cleaner and more inviting.


I found out that on my trip to Avalon next month (or all through July, perhaps?), there will be a photo exhibit of the Beatles taking place in one of the galleries. The exhibit is comprised of the photos taken of the Beatles by Pattie Boyd, who was involved with George Harrison....and Eric Clapton, as I recall. She either hooked up with George while she was with Eric, or vice versa. Can't recall. In fact, both George and Eric wrote songs about Pattie. Apparently Pattie is supposed to be at the exhibit for at least a couple of days in July, greeting guests, which should be interesting. One of the definite days is July 2nd - which is not when I will be there, but she may be back on one of my days.

I'm not a huge Beatles fan like other people I know, but I thought it would be interesting to see photos taken by one of the Beatles' women and meet Pattie. She was with two of rock's greatest legends, after all. (And I used to work for Poison back in the '80s, so we can connect on some rock and roll level!!) I hope she is there on my day too.
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And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12

Last edited by Sherry E; 06-09-2011 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 06-09-2011, 12:03 PM   #42
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Hi Sherry, I also received my guide this week. I am very impressed with the quality and photos. Can't wait. Looks like theres lots of reasonable places to eat and the motel looks like a pretty good location.
DS14 wants to stay longer on Catalina, I think with our 4 full days and a couple of hours each travel day is good for this year. We can always go back next year.
Then we have a crammed packed 3 full days in Anaheim with a to do list longer than my arm. No theme parks, baseball, hockey stores, DTD. And new for us stuff: Medeival Times, Dave & Busters, Block at Orange and maybe eat at House of Blues.

Only have a shuttle from SNA to LB and return left to book.
I'm gonna need a vacation after this.
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Old 06-09-2011, 12:41 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
Oh yay! Welcome, ludari. Thank you so much for joining in! I'm so glad someone else spoke up on this thread - especially another person who can weigh in with information and feedback about Catalina! (I was beginning to think there were only a few of us out here on the DIS.) I knew there had to be some other previous Catalina visitors or people interested in going lurking around out there.

I'm not a diver, but I have always heard over the years that the diving off of the Catalina coast is some of the best anywhere for diving enthusiasts. Supposedly the fish and plants are just amazing and unusual to see. Is this true? I've seen the Garibaldi and I know how vibrant and colorful they are. What have you seen while diving?

And the Trans-Catalina trail sounds awesome! Have you encountered many buffalo or island foxes and deer along the way?
Sherry,

Yes, Catalina diving is so exciting and a short boat ride for those fellow divers. They are numerous diving spots for various skill levels all around Catalina Island. I have experienced amazing kept forest, a small ship wreck, numerous aquatic life (including the Garibaldi), sharks, rays, giant sea bass, etc. I always see something new each time I dive around Catalina even when I return to the same diving location.

My next favorite activity at Catalina is the Trans-Catalina trail. Every time I've done this trip I've seen numerous buffalo along the trails. I've even had them hang around the Blackjack campsite all afternoon before they decided to move on. I've also experienced one fox who was trying to break into my backpack while I was sleeping and I have only encounter one deer along the trail. They used to have wild boar on the island but they have been eradicated from the island. The trail doesn't offer much tree cover so you are exposed to the sun and other elements but I look forward to this backpacking trip each year.
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Old 06-09-2011, 04:20 PM   #44
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When my brother was a teen he took one of my duffels on a Boy Scout camping trip to Catalina and my duffel got gored by a wild boar! (Funny: my brother sewed it up so well I didn't notice until he told me a couple years later). Can't say I'm crushed that they are gone.

I booked the ferry for my family that is going over in a month. The discount coupon found here is only good off adult tickets, so it was fractionally cheaper to book my FIL as an adult instead of a senior. I booked by phone so they can use the coupon when they show up to actually pay.

We have some other friends that are over there diving right now. If they tell me anything interesting when they return, I will share.

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Old 06-30-2011, 01:30 PM   #45
Sherry E
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Wendy - I can't believe it's time for your Catalina trip already! Wow, time has flown since we first discussed it and now it's here!

I really, really hope you and your son enjoy Avalon - I figure your son, at his age, will either love it and want to go back all the time, or be bored silly because it's a small town. We'll see, right? I, myself, am a little iffy about some of the changes that have been made in Avalon, from what I've heard, but I'm looking forward to getting back there in 3 weeks to see it for myself!

I know you have a lot of other places to visit on your SoCal trip, so when you get time be sure to post here and let us know how it all went!
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Taking on the holidays, one photo at a time...

Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12
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