By steamer or airplane no matter how you traveled, you would have still enjoyed the same beautiful experiences of Santa Catalina Island. Just a short boat ride from Long Beach, the charming city of Avalon awaits its travelers as a premier location for Southern California residents to get away from their troubles with an island getaway.

Hermosa Hotel is one of the oldest hotels on the island. It was established in 1896 and although there have been a few upgrades (including plumbing) a lot of the same things remain. Hermosa Hotel is just about a half-block from the beach. Today you can walk right down to Antonio’s pizza, however, this used to be the way onto the island as the peer for the steamer from the mainland. When travelers arrived, the local children played a big part in the greeting. Children would run to the boat and check the number of passengers and then race back to the restaurants and shops to spread the word of how many donuts, chicken, and candy to make for the travelers. Meanwhile in the water, kids would dive for coins as passengers threw money into the ocean. Although this does not happen today, it is still notable how the day seems to revolve around the Catalina Express travel schedule.

There have also been some notable residents on Metropole Street. Marylyn Monroe lived on Metropole just after she married her first husband while he was in the United States Marines. While her exact address is not known, she is said to have lived in a cottage on Metropole. We like to think of her as one of our neighbors.

Things to do that travelers have done for decades:

  • Search for seashells on the beach or beach glass if you know where to look
  • Horse rides or walks through the hills to see buffalo and wildlife
  • Camping along the different harbors and beaches around the island
  • Fishing (or a Fish dinner) with one of the many fishing charters and seafood restaurants along the main street in town
  • Enjoy ice cream (or drinks) on the beach
  • And a must for all those who like the views, walk up the road to the historic, Wrigley Memorial

Check out all these attractions and more while staying centrally located at The Hermosa Hotel. Charming, friendly, and looking forward to welcoming guests like in the good old days!

For more Catalina History, we encourage you to visit our neighbor, The Catalina Museum. The museum is located just next door – the exhibits are always changing and always fascinating.

Whether you arrived as a guest over a hundred years ago or you plan on coming this summer, the same beautiful hills greet you when you arrive. The feeling remains the same as you walk onto the island – your island adventure was well worth the short boat adventure over.