You can take Catalina Island for what it is: a rocky island in the Pacific Ocean, about 26 miles off the coast of Southern California. It is just one in the chain of eight California Channel Islands. But there is so much rich history and so much more to Catalina than meets the eye. At first sight, Catalina is beautiful—reminiscent of a Mediterranean island escape. With its clear waters, abundant nature, and charming towns, the island has a lot to offer its residents and visitors. Exploring the miles of rugged coastline, the historic city of Avalon, or the winding roads of the interior is best done with a little help from the experts at Catalina Taxi and Tours. The great thing is you can customize a tour to help you discover all the things about Catalina that you want to know. Read on to learn more about what you will learn on a Custom Catalina Tour.
Who has been coming to Catalina Island all these years: The oldest known inhabitants of Catalina Island were there thousands of years ago. Take a tour that shows you the rolling hills, the careening canyons, the coastal cliffs, and even some of the sandy beaches of the island to get a better idea of how the island might’ve looked when its native people first lived there. Fast forward a few thousand years to the 1920s and the following decades, when Avalon became a true resort town and a favorite destination for the darlings of Hollywood. Even Marilyn Monroe once made this island her home. See where the Wrigley family mansion is and see the location of the old spring training site for the Chicago Cubs. While it’s a popular tourist destination, a custom tour can tell you even more about why it’s been a popular playground for so many years.
What to do with your time on the island: If you take a custom Catalina tour, you’ll be able to see more of the island than if you chose to explore on foot or by golf cart. Custom tours can take you all the way up to the Airport in the Sky where you can catch spectacular views of the island and the ocean around it. There’s so much to do on the island, but maybe you’ll see more of what you want to explore. Take a tour through the interior, and find Rancho Escondido, Middle Ranch, or even the village of Two Harbors at the isthmus. Perhaps taking a tour all around the island will be great inspiration for your next adventure—on land or sea—around Catalina.
Where the wild things are: Even if you’re not taking a snorkel or scuba dive tour through island waters, you’ll be able to appreciate the island’s flora and fauna on a custom Catalina tour. The island formed in the ocean, and it was never actually connected to the mainland of California; that said, many plants or animals that made their way to Catalina Island had to make a major journey—by water, wind, or wings. There are also many endemic species—special to the island. Check out all the island varieties of plants and trees, including coastal sage scrub, the Catalina Ironwood, and the Catalina Manzanita. Native land mammals on Catalina include the adorable island fox, California ground squirrels, and Santa Catalina Island deer mice. Some non-native animals of interest on the island include the Catalina Island bison herd—which were brought onto the island for a film decades ago—and the large population of mule deer. There are plenty of beautiful birds, insects, and sea creatures to see around the island too. Just ask your custom Catalina tour guide about all the flora and fauna to be found.
When history happened here: When you start learning about Catalina’s history, it is key to respect the first native inhabitants who called the island Tongva or Pimu. Later, Europeans came to claim the island for Spain, and it was renamed Santa Catalina. Ownership passed hands from Mexico to the United States, and throughout the years, there have been pirates and smugglers, gold seekers and hunters, missionaries and militaries. Today, it’s mostly locals and tourists, here to work, play, and enjoy the great things Catalina has to offer. Do you want to know more about the town’s history? Ask your custom Catalina tour guide.
Why this island is so special: Whether you’re seeking some relaxation and a rustic picnic at the island’s interior, a beach day on the island’s isthmus, or a tour of the town, Catalina Taxi and Tours can help you with transportation all over Catalina. Friendly and knowledgeable drivers can take you and your party on a private tour of Avalon or anywhere you’d like to go (that’s accessible) on the island. There’s something truly enchanting about this island, and we hope you find it on a custom Catalina tour. Book today by calling 310-510-0342, or click here to learn more.