Friday, April 16, 2010

Santa Catalina Island

Despite its close proximity to Los Angeles, I am always surprised by how many people have never visited Santa Catalina Island. Located 22 miles off the coast of San Pedro, Catalina is part of the Channel Islands and is located in Los Angeles County. A census conducted in 2000 places the population at roughly 3,100 permanent residents.

The island has a rich history and has played a key role in Los Angeles history. The indigenous people of Catalina were members of the Southern California Tongva tribe, and archeological digs estimate the first settlement beginning in 7000 BC. The first European to discover Catalina was the Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who landed on the island in the mid 1500’s and christened it San Salvdaor after his ship. However, the island was later renamed Santa Catalina in honor of Saint Catherine.
After centuries of private Mexican and American ownership, Catalina was deeded to Los Angeles County ,and has since become a prominent vacation spot for Southern Californian residents. The island offers variety of water sport activities, hiking trails, and historic landmarks, including WWII barracks, the Wrigley Casino and the Zane Grey Pueblo.

Source: Santa Catalina Island, Ca.

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