By Jim Kelly
As summer stamps its fiery feet into Arizona, the
state is a rumble with the sounds of suitcases sliding
off the shelves and thoughts of distant climes.
One favorite destination is anywhere near the blue
chill of the Pacific Ocean.
However, although most Arizonans have made the trek
west to California, one part of the state still seems to
be overlooked by many of them.
This adventure and recreation spot is Santa Catalina
Once the playground of the wealthy and aloof,
Catalina Island has more activities for individuals and
families crammed into its 76 square miles (54 miles of
coastline) than any other day destination in the state.
There are a number of ferry choices when going to
Catalina, and your pick for the best one will probably
be determined by where you are staying in California.
There are choices ranging from seaplanes to private
charter yachts, but my favorite is a trip into the past
with the largest (and best-priced) boats belonging to
Catalina Classic Cruises
Once you arrive in Avalon Harbor, however, the
variety of things to do is almost overwhelming.
Catalina Water Activities
Discovery Tours' Undersea Tour
Sit 5 feet under the water and watch Catalinaís
abundant marine life. Daytime and nighttime trips are
offered aboard the semi-submersible vessels. This
company offers Seal Rocks, Flying Fish Tours, and
Sundown Isthmus Cruises. 310-510-TOUR
Catalina Kayak Adventures -
They offer guided tours, group discounts and rentals
at Avalon and Little Harbor: (310) 510-2229.
Catalina Divers Supply -
Congratulations to this company for their 48 years of
business on Catalina Island. This is a noteworthy
anniversary for any dive shop, and they say their crew
members are ready for the many great years of diving to
come! (310) 510-2229
Catalina Ocean Rafting -
Yes, ocean rafting. This company offers whale
watching, snorkeling and a variety of related rafting
trips: (310) 510-0211 or 1-800-990-RAFT
Just so you donít starve while visiting Avalon and
parts beyond, the island has a wide selection of
restaurants. These are only a sampling of the choices
Ristorante Villa Portofino
They offer a sampling of regional Italian specialties
along with the best of European and American cuisine.
101 Crescent Ave. (310) 510-2009
Sally's Waffle Shop
They specialize in delicious omelets and waffles on
the beachfront. Next to Joeís Place at the foot of the
Green Pleasure Pier. (310) 510-0355
Steve's Steak House
Steveís is open 7 days a week and has a full bar.
reservations are accepted, and group rates are available
for lunch and dinner. 417 Crescent. (310) 510-0333.
Armstrong's Fish Market
Unless youíve caught one yourself, Armstrongís offers
the only fresh seafood dining in Avalon Bay. The feature
mesquite broiled Seafood, Steaks and Chicken. Fresh
Sashimi, Clams, Oysters, Mussels and Crab Cakes and also
have a Full bar. 306 Crescent Ave. (310) 510-0113.
Descanso Beach Club
This is an oceanfront bar and grill on Avalonís
premier beach. They also have the only cocktail and food
service on the beach. (310) 510-7410
Where Islanderís and tourists can meet to enjoy good
food and friendly service at family prices. Pancakes,
hamburgers, full dinners. (310) 510-0491
So what are you waiting for? Jump on a plane, hire a
car or bus out to San Pedro to begin one of the
adventures of your life.
More information on Catalina Island can be obtained
by visiting the Chamberís Web site at