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Visit Catalina Island - Art, Film & Jazz Festivals

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Visit Catalina Island - Art, Film & Jazz Festivals

P.O. Box 217
Avalon, CA 90704

Visit Catalina Island - Art, Film & Jazz Festivals Information

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Top 5 Things to Know About Catalina Island:

  1. There Is Art All Around You: The Catalina Art Association puts on the Catalina Festival of Art in September. The Catalina Festival of Art features workshops, kid-friendly attractions and a general appreciation of all things artistic. The festival runs for three days and features street art shows, silent auctions, food, wine, beer and more. Admission is free and the festival runs from September 19-22, so all you have to do is show up for your Catalina vacation to enjoy!
  2. Fall Means Films: September on Catalina Island means art in all of its forms. The Catalina Film Festival is a five-day event featuring over 75 films along with nightly entertainment and events. Catalina has long been a favorite of Hollywood celebrities who wanted a quick getaway from Tinseltown without having to travel very far. Those who love movies and celebrities will want to schedule their Catalina getaway to coincide with the island's film festival, which runs from September 18-22.
  3. Those With Jazz Hands Are Welcome: Chances are that all jazz fans are planning their Catalina Island getaway for October. The JazzTrax Festival runs for three weekends in October (Oct 3-20) and features over 30 artists. Performances take place all over the island, with the greatest venue being the Avalon Ballroom in the Catalina Casino.
  4. Catalina Is for Lovers: Who needs Hawaii or other tropical getaways when you can stay within the continental United States and take a ferry to Catalina Island for a romantic weekend away. The island is a great place for couples who want to spend some time away from it all. Many Catalina attractions and Catalina getaways cater to couples. There are restaurants with amazing views and and food, a multitude of tours to take, many day spas and much, much more. Catalina Island is a short ferry ride from Long Beach, making it easy to visit should you be visiting Los Angeles or San Diego.
  5. There Are Plenty of Places to Stay: Catalina Island offers no shortage of places to stay. There are plenty of hotels, bed and breakfasts, vacation houses and campgrounds available. The town of Avalon, the island's only incorporated city, has just about all of the accommodations on Catalina within its limits. This means you won't have to worry about being located too far from anything.

Why We Go: Catalina Island is the only resort island on the west coast of the United States. This makes it ideal for those who don't want to leave the U.S. to go on an awesome island getaway. It is very easy to reach California's island paradise. You can take a ferry, plane or even a helicopter to Catalina! Once you arrive, getting around is ridiculously easy as the town of Avalon is small enough to be walked around. The town offers top accommodations, restaurants and attractions, so you won't find a shortage of places to stay or eat and things to do.

  • You Can Walk Everywhere: What makes Avalon so great is that you can walk the entire town without breaking much of a sweat. Avalon measures only one square mile and there is a set limit for how many cars are allowed on the island. Most folks either walk or take taxis around the island. Shuttle buses and golf courses are also primary modes of transportation used on the island.
  • There's Plenty of Ways to Stay Active: Sure, you could spend your entire time on Catalina Island lounging around in the sun, relaxing and sipping on a cold drink. Or, you could take some time off from the beach and explore the wilder side of the island. Catalina is perfect for adventurers as it offers plenty of ways to enjoy the outdoors. Those who like to hike will want to check out the new Trans-Catalina Trail. Measuring 37.2 miles round trip, the trail runs the length of the island and back. Those who want to see Catalina from above will want to take a ride on the island's zipline. There are also aquatic adventures offered, from kayaking to scuba diving and much, much more. Take a day away from the beach or spa and see what outdoor activities Catalina Island has to offer.
  • It's Ridiculously Easy to Get To: Residents of San Diego have no excuse no to plan a Catalina getaway as the island is ridiculously easy to get to. Many companies offer boat transportation to and from the island. There are many different types of boats that run to Catalina, from private yachts to small speed boats. These charters run up and down the coast from San Diego to Los Angeles. Those who don't want to get wet can take a helicopter or an airplane to Catalina Island.

The Local Scoop: A Catalina vacation is the perfect way to get away from it all without actually having to go that far away. The island's close proximity to many of southern California's top cities makes it easy to get to. Once there, you'll find that Catalina Island is unlike any other California vacation destination. From scuba diving to spas, Catalina offers a range of activities sure to please every type of traveler.

Do's and Don'ts

  • Do Visit During Fall: While summer may seem like the best time to visit Catalina Island, don't sell fall short. The island's theme for fall is "Visit Catalina Island - Art, Film and Jazz Festivals." There are a ton of festivals to check out on the island after summer ends, so be sure to plan a Catalina getaway after summer ends and before winter begins.  
  • Do Come Prepared to Walk: Avalon is a small town and many of Catalina Island's top attractions are outdoors, so be prepared to do some walking. Bring a pair of comfy shoes to slip into before the day begins.
  • Don't Rush Things: While you can see Catalina Island in a day, it's best to give yourself more time to get the most out of California's floating paradise. You could technically get a massage, eat an amazing dinner, scuba dive, hike and zipline all in a day, but why rush things? Embrace island time and take a few days to explore all Catalina has to offer.                   
  • Don't Forget to Check out the Catalina Casino: Catalina Island's most iconic building is the Catalina Casino. This building isn't actually a casino; it was named after the Italian meaning of the that means a "gathering place." The casino sees its most action when shows and festivals come to the island as it is the most lavish venue on Catalina. 

Visit Catalina Island - Art, Film & Jazz Festivals Map