Back in the 1960s, the Four Preps put Santa Catalina, also known as Catalina Island, on the map with their song, 26 miles, noting it “is the isle for you.” A couple of generations later, Catalina Island is still the isle for us. Just over 4,000 people live permanently on the island, with most of them located in Avalon. The island has been a tourist resort since the 1920s, with chewing gum magnate William Wrigley kicking off the tourism movement. Catalina Island is, however, also a popular day trip destination since it’s just 22 miles off the coast of Los Angeles. It’s a good place to ride glass-bottom boat to explore reefs and old shipwrecks; snorkeling and scuba diving also are popular activities. Native Americans have lived on the island for 8,000 years; you can learn more about them and the island’s history at the Catalina Island Museum.
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