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Posted by on Aug 11, 2011 | 15 comments

Papillon Photos: Avalon, Catalina Island

Earlier this year, I visited Santa Catalina Island.  For those of you who are not familiar with this place, Catalina Island (as it is usually called) is located off the coast of Southern California at 22 miles south-southwest of Los Angeles.  Actually, really close but a world away from the big city.

For years, I have heard magnificent tales about this little island.  A lot of people swear this is the closest you can get to the Mediterranean ambience in the United States.  Honestly, I thought all these were exaggerations.  But, you know what?  I had to ate my thoughts and words.  The island does feel like it is located in the Mediterranean Sea. I have been to Capri and some Greek Islands.  In Catalina, you feel a similar vibe, weather, view and coolness factor.  I just couldn’t get enough of it.

Today, I want to take you on a photographic journey to the only incorporated city in the island, Avalon.  The “city” is small (about 4,000 residents) but full of charm (the rest of the island is also gorgeous).

Here is why I loved Avalon:

Getting to the Island

I arrived at the island in a big cruise ship.  Due to its massive size, the ship was not able to dock at port.  You have to take a small boat in order to arrive at the main pier.  While on the little boat, a pod of about 200 dolphins began to follow us.  It was so great to see them.  Imagine starting your day with dolphins surrounding you!!!  Soon, the beauty of Avalon began to get closer and closer.

Approaching Avalon


The beauty of Avalon


The Main Pier

Then, we arrived at the colorful main pier.  A lot of excursion and activities are offered here.

The Main Pier

The Waterfront

The town waterfront street is short and oriented to tourists.  However, it is really charming and has enough dining and shopping opportunities (for those who enjoy those activities).

Avalon Waterfront Street


Palm Lined Street


The Artistic Vibe

Stores, galleries and shopping areas are decorated in creative, colorful and modern ways.  It is like a shot of light for the brain.

Shopping and eating area


Colorful store displays


Candy Store


The Houses

A short walk away from the waterfront street, gives you a better idea of how people live on the island.  A lot of houses, or I should say dream houses, inspire you to leave the mainland and run towards the island life.  Adorable colors and unusual shapes abound.

Pink Hotel


Beach cottage


Palid yellow house


Unusual looking house


Pretty staircase


The Odd

When I say the odd, I am saying it in a nice way.  I am referring to those little things that add a hint of coolness in the most unexpected places.  What about a pink, old car? Or a multi-colored buffalo statue?  Without doubt the oddest article was offered in one of the waterfront stores.  It is called the “ex knife set”.  It consists of a knife holder shaped as a person.  The holder contains some holes where you insert the knives.  Basically, you get the feeling of stabbing your ex every time you use it.  Gulp. I guess there are those kinds of problems on islands too.

There was a restaurant offering topless tacos, whatever those are.

Pink Car


Multi-colored buffalo


The Ex Knife Set


The Casino

Of course, you can’t go to Avalon without taking a look at its World Famous Casino.

The Casino


Avalon's World Famous Casino


One of Avalon's Beaches


What was the worst part of the day? Having to leave the island. Avalon, hopefully I will see you again.

Have you visited Catalina Island? Let me know in the comments section below.

Avalon in the afternoon glow


    • It is true. You have to make this trip. I am sure you will love it. Now, I want to visit some other Channel Islands like Santa Cruz or Anacapa. You make the trip from Venture which is not that far from LA. Hopefully, I can do it before summer is gone.

  1. The blue sky in those pictures is just breathtaking. I love the staircase picture too. You made me want to climb those stairs.

  2. Ruth, I visited Catalina many years ago and I loved it as well. It is such a gorgeous place and far removed from typical California escapes. I have always wanted to return. I love your photos.
    Lisa recently posted..Expat Living; Taking the Plunge for a Third TimeMy Profile

  3. It’s an absolutely wonderful place. I was fortunate to be able to return to California to visit my family in May and I took my boyfriend to Catalina for two days. He thought I was overstating the beauty of Catalina, but now he has nothing but accolades for it. It’s so beautiful and so calm.

    • Like I said, I thought people were overstating its beauty too. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I visited. That is why I like to see a place with my own eyes instead of deciding to visit based in others opinions.
      Ruth recently posted..Papillon Photos: Avalon, Catalina IslandMy Profile

  4. Wow – if you didn’t tell me this was off the coast of California, I’d have thought this is some european island!!! beautiful place!

  5. Funny you should write about this now…. I’m going on Saturday! I’ve lived in SoCal for my entire life and have never gone before. You gave me some insight about what we should see. 🙂
    Michael Figueiredo recently posted..The World of Coca-ColaMy Profile

  6. We’re going to California this summer and I’ve been wondering about including a hop over to Catalina. Even the name is pretty. And Avalon even more so. Your pictures are gorgeous!
    Sophie recently posted..The 11 Best of 2011My Profile

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