Top 10 Things to Do
Catalina Island

Exploring California's Santa Catalina Island

Located 22 miles southwest of the coast of Los Angeles, California, and just an hour boat-ride away, Santa Catalina Island provides an easy escape from the smog, traffic and fast-paced lifestyle of the city. It was first settled by Native Americans some 9,000 years ago. In the ensuing years, it was home to ranchers, smugglers and sea otter poachers before becoming a playground for Hollywood stars in the early 20th century.

In 1924, fourteen bison were brought to the island to include in the silent Western film based on Zane Grey's novel, The Vanishing American, although the creatures never appeared in the movie. Once filming wrapped, the bison were left behind. Their numbers escalated to more than four hundred at one point, but now a controlled population of one-hundred fifty bison is maintained.

The city of Avalon is the heart of the island, offering activities for all ages, whether it's exhilarating zip-line adventures, Hummer tours, or great snorkeling and diving. Read on to discover GAYOT's picks of the Top 10 Things to Do on Catalina Island.