Catalina Island -- right off the coast of Long Beach, California -- is a destination for tourists of all ages because of its seclusion and fun island activities. Visitors to the island can enjoy snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, horseback riding, kayaking, scenic boat tours and the Catalina Island Golf Course. Most guests stay in Avalon, the island's biggest city, home to the Catalina Island Museum, the Avalon Theatre and a variety of family-owned shops.
Catalina Island Inn Hotel
The Catalina Island Inn Hotel offers a luxurious island experience, complete with the on-site Simply Nirvana Massage Therapy Boutique Spa. Rooms at the inn are handsomely furnished in a nautical style, with green and white linens and seashell artwork. The hotel offers complimentary continental breakfasts daily, in addition to free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TV sets and mini refrigerators. Many rooms offer views of the harbor and the Pacific Ocean. The hotel is only a few steps away from Descanso Beach.
The Hermosa Hotel -- housing island guests since 1896 -- is one of the cheapest places to stay in Avalon, located a block away from the beach. The hotel, family owned and operated, offers simple but comfortable rooms for the economical traveler. The hotel is friendly to divers, offering dive lockers and an outdoor diver shower for an after-dive rinse. Wi-fi is available in hotel common areas, where guests can relax on a balcony or in the hotel lobby.
Catalina Beach House
The Catalina Beach House Hotel -- originally known as the Driftwood Inn -- was built in the 1960s, when Captain Joseph McAfee decided to convert his houseboat into a unique lodging for the island's tourists. This family-friendly and pet-friendly hotel offers a variety of rooms to fit every budget, from smaller "value rooms" -- which feature the basic amenities -- to mini-suites, located on a private deck and offering a kitchenette, spa tubs and a harbor view. All guests can enjoy Wi-Fi on the patio courtyard.
Catalina Island Seacrest Inn
The Catalina Seacrest Inn -- the original home of Catalina's owners, the Banning brothers -- is decorated in the Victorian style, and bills itself as an "inn for romantic couples." Almost every room features a four-poster bed with a canopy, a large whirlpool tub and access to a complimentary library of films. Each of the hotel's 10 rooms has its own elaborate theme, from the Sea Shell to Wicker Roses. Guests can enjoy the hotel's massage center and harbor-view sun deck. The inn offers a free continental breakfast every morning on its rooftop patio.
Glenmore Plaza Catalina Island
The Glenmore Plaza is in the heart of Avalon, and is a mere 50 steps away from the beach. The recently remodeled hotel features colorful and cozy rooms with ocean views, pillow-top beds, cable TV and whirlpool tubs. The hotel also offers free breakfast, free beach towels and complimentary transportation to and from nearby boat and helicopter terminals. Rates at the hotel include one free tour of your choice, as well as boat transportation to and from the island.
Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel
The Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel -- featuring Southwest-style decoration -- has only 16 rooms. Each room offers a view of either the Pacific Ocean or the Catalina mountain, and each room is named after a book by the hotel's namesake. Zane Grey was a longtime Catalina resident who wrote 89 books, many of which were turned into films back in the 1920s. Because the hotel's aim is to provide maximum tranquility, there are no phones, TVs or clocks in the rooms. Accordingly, travelers with children will want to seek alternate accommodations.
- Catalina Beach image by Christian Schoettler from Fotolia.com