Santa Catalina Island
Avalon Travel Blog› entry 2 of 2 › view all entries
The flight across the Catalina Channel to Avalon was only 20 minutes. (Catalina is famous for being "twenty-six miles ascross the sea" - 42 km - from the Los Angeles basin.) Below, numerous sailboats and yachts could be seen making the journey. The S-44 flying boat landed in Avalon Bay and taxied up to the seaplane pier.
Santa Catalina is one of the eight California Channel Islands and the only permanently inhabited one. In 1966, there were no cruise ships calling at Avalon, the island's principal town, like there are today. One traveled there by pleasure craft, scheduled steamer, or by air. Nevertheless, Santa Catalina had been a popular Southern California getaway destination since the 1880s. Tourists weren't the first to get there, as the Southern California Tongva people inhabited the Channel Islands well before Spanish explorer Juan Cabrillo landed on Catalina in 1542.
We took sightseeing jaunts to the Overlook and on the Glass Bottom Boat. Notable sights in Avalon were the Tile fountain and the Casino. (The Casino was closed then but has since reopened as a musuem and cinema.) We had lunch in Avalon along the main street, but I can't recall where. We ate at an outdoor table, so it may well have been a burger. The main street with lined with souvenir shops. I remember the tile fountain, decorated with ceramic tiles made on the island in the 1930s and 1940s.
At the end of the day, it was time to catch a return seaplane to Long Beach.