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Twenty-six miles off the coast of southern California lies the small island called Catalina which was once home to Marilyn Monroe and General George Patton. It’s been a favorite hangout spot for movie stars and adventure lovers for over 70 years.  

According to Wikipedia “Catalina was originally settled by Native Americans who called the island Pimugna or Pimu and referred to themselves as Pimugnans or Pimuvit.  The first Europeans to arrive on Catalina claimed it for the Spanish Empire.  Over the years, territorial claims to the island transferred to Mexico and then to the United States.  During this time, the island was sporadically used for smuggling, otter hunting, and gold-digging, before successfully being developed into a tourist destination by chewing gum magnate William Wrigley, Jr. beginning in the 1920s.  Since the 1970s, most of the island has been administered by the Catalina Island Conservancy.”  

The hub of the island is the town of Avalon, which features a beautiful harbor and a wide variety of small hotels, restaurants and shops.  There are few cars on the island, and most of the 4000 residents use golf carts for day-to-day transportation. Here is more from Wikipedia:  “Close to one million people travel to Catalina Island every year, though the total numbers in any given year varies depending on economic conditions.  

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 Avalon Underwater Dive Park was the first non-profit underwater park in the United States. The area is famous for the schools of flying fish and the bright orange Garibaldi which team in local waters.  Parasailing is also offered.  Bus tours are given of the interior.  

The Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau[assists tourists with any information on how to get to Catalina Island.  Two Harbors is the second, and much smaller, resort village on the island.  Located at the isthmus of the island, north of Avalon, it is the primary landing spot for those who wish to tour the western half of the island.  It is accessible by boat from San Pedro and by bus or boat from Avalon.  While tourists rarely have an opportunity to surf, two beaches on the "backside" of Catalina offer good waves:  Shark Harbor and Ben Weston Beach. There is also a place called Camp Emerald Bay on the north end of the island that offers summer camps for children and Boy Scouts.  The Catalina Island Museum, located in the historic Catalina Casino building, is also an attraction as it is the keeper of the island's cultural heritage with collections numbering over 100,000 items and including over 7,000 years of Native American history, over 10,000 photographs and images, a large collection of Catalina-made pottery and tiles, ship models, and much more.  The museum features dynamic exhibits on this history and also a unique gift store.  Programs include walking tours of Avalon, classes for students, gallery docents, lectures, an annual silent film benefit and more.  From 1927 until 1937, pottery and tiles were made on the island at the Catalina Clay Products Company, and these items are now highly sought-after collectibles.”

Not only is this island a great place for day trips or vacations, but it is a wonderful place for Native American History enthusiasts and adventure seekers. With so much to do on the island, don’t forget to bring along your Fixate Designs Silicone Rings so that you don’t have to worry about losing or ruining your wedding band.

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