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10 May 2017
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Things to do on Catalina Island

Top Five Reasons to Visit the Interior of Catalina Island - The vast majority of Catalina Island visitors only experience the seaside resort town of Avalon. That means they miss out on the dramatic views, unique wildlife and compelling experience available on the rest of the Catalina Island. Here are our top five reasons to visit the interior of Catalina Island.

The Wildlife – Animals on Catalina Island range from the diminutive Catalina Island Fox to the dramatic North American bison. The fox, about the size of a house cat, was recently brought back from the brink of extinction thanks to an intensive captive breeding program. On the end of the scale – both literally and figuratively – is the bison. Introduced to the island in the early part of the last century, they’ve done so well here that they are on an innovative birth control program to control their numbers. Both animals are fascinating to see when visiting the interior.

The Views – With nearly all of the island undeveloped, Catalina Island offers an opportunity to imagine Southern California before freeways, strip malls and endless subdivisions. Its rugged terrain features sweeping vistas of windswept promontories, isolated beaches and boundless seascapes. Catalina’s landscapes call out to be chronicled – whether on your Instagram feed or just in your memory.

The History – Now the home of biologists, conservationists and naturalists, the interior of Catalina Island was once home to hundreds of generations of native islanders, followed by explorers, smugglers, miners, cowboys, soldiers and more. Stop by the Catalina Island Museum to learn more before you walk in the footsteps of Island history.

The Airport in the Sky – Catalina Island is home to a mountain top airport that attracts private pilots from throughout Southern California. Open to the public, the Airport In The Sky is also home to DC-3 Gifts & Grill, famous for its Killer Cookies and buffalo burgers, and a Nature Center operated by the Catalina Island Conservancy. From the airport, several hikes and trails are just waiting to be explored, including one that leads to a soapstone quarry where native islanders crafted implements and containers from soapstone.

The Conservancy – Responsible for protecting nearly 90 percent of the island, the Catalina Island Conservancy is a non-profit organization founded in the 1970s. Visitors to Catalina Island’s interior can learn more about the Conservancy and its work by visiting the Nature Center at the Airport-in-the-Sky or the James Ackerman Native Plant Nursery in Middle Ranch.