Filed under: Luxury Travel & Hotels
William Wrigley, Jr. bought Santa Catalina Island, off the coast of Southern California, in 1919. Since then the attention paid to the island has waxed and waned, but it looks as if 2010 will be a year of exceptional waxing. The former haven for wealthy cosmopolites is nearing completion of an $11 million refurbish that will put more, and more exciting, offerings on the menu for visitors.
Eleven million doesn't sound like much, but on a small island of just 4,000 people it can go a long way. New exploring options will come via air, land and sea: a GPS ranger-guided walking tour that can take you up the 2,097-foot Mt. Orizaba; a Zip Line Eco Tour with five lines that drop almost 600 feet from top to toe; and a Sea Trek Undersea Adventure during which you actually walk the seafloor using special helmets. It'll be like The Abyss, without having to breathe like a fish. For lighter fare there are still the flying fish, sunbathing seals, foxes, bald eagles, and buffalo safaris.
When respite from the wilds of an idyllic Pacific island is needed, your eye might run to the renovated Pavilion Hotel and its private lanais that is a 17-second walk to the beach, or the redone Descanso Beach Club with its private cabanas and chaise lounges. Meals can be had at the new Avalon Grille restaurant on the water, and post-prandial ports and dessert wines can be enjoyed during a stroll of the green rooms once occupied by Errol Flynn and Cary Grant. Not bad for a lush lump of rock visible from the distinctly buffalo-free Venice Boardwalk.
The renovations will be complete toward the end of Spring. The seals and flying fish are ready for you now.