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Avalon

On Santa Catalina Island. A recommended destination for all seasons.

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Avalon is the primary city on Catalina Island. Situated in a natural harbor on the southern end of the island in the Pacific Ocean. The island is 25 miles offshore from Long Beach. Avalon is accessible by private boats, municipal ferries from several cities and helicopter from Longbeach. There is also a small airport for private planes. The ferry ride takes about one hour, the helicopter takes about 20 min. Avalon is part of the Los Angeles-Long Beach, California metro area and is located in Los Angeles County, near the San Pedro and Outer Santa Barbara channels.

The permanent population estimate for July 1, 1998 was 3,072, an increase of 154 since 1990. The summer and fall population swells to many thousands as many visitors flock to the island for day trips or longer vacations. While the permanent population may be small, 99% of the population of the island is confined to the town due to the geography of the island. The town of Avalon, facing east, is nestled in a natural bowl with steep mountain ridges on three sides making it compact. The downtown is easy to walk or ride a rented bicycle or scooter.

Avalon is a somewhat exotic beach front community and has many fine hotels and restaurants. The harbor-beach is freely accessible and terminates at the cities’ landmark building, the Wrigley Casino, now used as a theater. Due to the narrow winding streets, lack of parking space and expensive gasoline, the majority of vehicles on the island are either propane or electrically powered. Ranging from scooters, golf carts to mini-trucks, vehicles more at home in the Far East. This type of conveyance is not normally seen on American city streets.

There are only a few major roads on the island leaving the town. Some roads are gated and require a special pass to gain access. Visitors are accommodated by a variety of tour packages. There are tours that that utilize specially designed busses that articulate to accommodate the hairpin curves on the one-lane mountain roads out of town. One of the tours terminates near the north end of the island on a high bluff overlooking the ocean. There are several stops along the way including the municipal airport and the Wrigley ranch. If you are very lucky, you may catch a glimpse of the remnant of the buffalo herd that once roamed the island.

Traveling to the island in the summer, many tourists opt to spend a few nights on the Hotel Queen Mary (hha), now a fine hotel and historic attraction on it’s own. The ferries to Avalon docks within walking distance of the ship.

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11/22 Coming to The area
OC Greek Food Fest Anaheim CA May17-19 The OC Greek Food Festival celebrates the best of Greek food, music, dancing and culture. Experience authentic Greek foods and homemade Greek pastries; traditional Greek dancing and Greek music.
San Diego Greek Festival San Diego CA June7-9 Treat yourself to an enjoyable Friday evening with delicious Greek food, imported beer, live Greek music and dancing. Then come back the next day for more fun. On Sunday, repeat as needed!
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Santa Barbara Greek Festival Santa Barbara CA July27-28 Enjoy delectable festival favorites like gyros and moussaka. And no Greek village would be complete without homemade pastries from Yiayia's traditional recipes: baklava, melomakarona, and kataifi are just a few of the sweet treats to delight you.
Little Italy Festa San Diego CA October13 The largest Italian American festival on the West Coast. Hip and Historic Little Italy welcomes over 120,000 attendees with the tantalizing sights, sounds and aromas of Italian culture.