(A beautiful place to call home)
If you ask Islanders what the most frequent question visitors ask once they find out they live on Catalina it will probably be, “People actually live here?” and then the next question is always “So what’s it like to live on an Island?” We all have our own standard responses we don’t give much thought to—“it’s awesome,” “it’s definitely different” or “everyone knows everyone and it’s a friendly community.” What many of us have found is we don’t realize how unique and special it is to call Catalina Island home until we move away for college, new jobs or life experiences.
Not everyone has a beach at the bottom of their street, a view of the bay from their living room, or get to hang out “in the hills” on their day off, but we are lucky enough to and we wouldn’t have it any other way! Most importantly, where else is a golf cart the common form of transportation (a valid drivers license is required to drive one) and there are no stoplights? Sometimes we get “island fever,” but luckily we are only an hour boat ride away from the “mainland.”
Many of us that call Catalina home are second, third or fourth generation “Islanders.” Many of our families have been friends for years and we’ve all grown up together. At Avalon High School’s graduation (we have a K-12 school with around 800 students), it’s tradition to have the “original kindergartners” all sing a song or do a dance – it’s amazing to see how many graduates have lived on Catalina their whole lives. Traveling for sporting events is like a mini-vacation for the students of Avalon High School – we travel to Los Angeles or Orange County to play our opponents and every other year those teams travel to Catalina to play and experience island life for a weekend. Students in the elementary and middle school often travel to Los Angeles for field trips to museums and cultural experiences.
While living on Catalina is pretty great, it isn’t without its challenges. For “typical” everyday errands, we often have to take a boat to accomplish them. We’ll cram as much as we can into the time we get off the boat until we head back to the Island at the end of the day—doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, appointments, etc. We plan our day around the boat schedule, and you can always spot someone who lives on Catalina in line at the boat terminal heading home—we’ll be the ones with tons of bags carrying as much as we can back to the Island.
It’s a very close-knit, safe community where it feels like everyone knows everyone – we’re big on waving to each other as we pass in the streets, and we always come together to support each other through community events and fundraisers. It’s a privilege to call Catalina Island home, and if you haven’t already fallen in love with its charm, we hope you do on your next trip!
(hiking in the interior)
(Coming back from a great day out in the hills)
(A local favorite *moving locations this summer)