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Santa Catalina Island, California

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Catalina Island is an occasional stop for cruise ships on a West Coast itinerary. Most of the million tourists that visit each year arrive by ferry, small plane, or helicopter from Long Beach or San Pedro.

Most of the island is controlled by the Catalina Island Conservancy, a private nonprofit organization. Under an agreement with Los Angeles County, the Conservancy has granted an easement to allow day hiking and mountain biking, but visitors must first obtain a permit at the Conservancy's office (on which they declare the parts of the island they intend to visit). Hiking permits are free, however bicycle permits require a small fee.

The use of motor vehicles on the island is restricted; there is limit on the number of registered cars, which translates into a 10-year-long wait list to bring a car to the island. Most residents move around via golf cart. Tourists can hire a taxi from Catalina Transportation Services. Bicycles are also a popular mode of transportation. There are a number of bicycle and golf cart rental agencies on the island. Only the city of Avalon is open to the public without restrictions.

Glass bottom boats tour the reefs and shipwrecks of the area, and scuba diving and snorkeling are popular in the clear water. Lover's Cove, to the east of town, and Descanso Beach, to the west of the Casino, are popular places to dive. The area is famous for the schools of flyingfish and the bright orange Garibaldi which teem in local waters. Bus tours are given of the interior.

Selected information from Wikipedia.

Updated December 3, 2007. Comments?   Counter CGI