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Catalina Island

September 26, 2011 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
Ferry service Catalina Express offers a discount pass with savings on mini-golf, kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals, and other activities in and around Avalon on Catalina Island . The pass is free and easy to get: Just download it and go. The deal: A glance at some of the discounts: -- Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Gardens , one free admission with an adult ticket ($5). -- Descanso Beach Ocean Sports , rent one-hour of kayaking ($24 to $30, depending on size of kayak)
March 23, 2014 | Louis Sahagun
Trying to restore its luster as a tourist destination, this cozy harbor town is undergoing its most ambitious overhaul since chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. built the town's signature feature in 1929: Avalon Casino. More than half a dozen projects are underway or planned in the 2-square-mile community, including a museum, hotel, spa, aquatic facility, chapel and wine-tasting room. Renovations are planned for the island's golf course, and the oceanfront beach club is expanding.
March 29, 2012 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
Last year, Catalina Express marked its 30th anniversary with a gift to passengers: free boat rides on their birthdays. Now the company is extending the freebie offer that's good for a round-trip ticket until next spring. The deal: To take advantage of the Free Ride on Your Birthday pass, you have to begin travel on your birth date and return anytime within 30 days. Make sure you have a valid ID too. Start by registering online. Once you receive an e-mail confirmation, print out the pass and make reservations for a boat online or by phone.
March 4, 2014
An earthquake off the coast of California on Tuesday evening was upgraded by the U.S. Geological Survey to magnitude 5. The quake was originally reported as a magnitude 4.6 about 152 miles southwest of Catalina Island. The temblor occurred at 6:24 p.m. Pacific time. The depth was recorded at 8.1 miles. No damage was reported, and it appears not to have been felt on the mainland. ALSO: Disney 'very forthright' on cutting Boy Scouts funding over gay policy O.C. gets more than 1,000 concealed gun applications in just weeks Jimmy Kimmel pits Toronto Mayor Rob Ford against L.A.'s Eric Garcetti   ALSO: Disney 'very forthright' on cutting Boy Scouts funding over gay policy O.C. gets more than 1,000 concealed gun applications in just weeks Jimmy Kimmel pits Toronto Mayor Rob Ford against L.A.'s Eric Garcetti
May 21, 2012 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
Anyone who needs a quick, inexpensive getaway that's within an hour of Los Angeles, here's a great idea with a great price: Catalina Island packages that come with ferry ticket and hotel starting at just $59 a night per person.  The deal: These Catalina Express Packages allow you to choose from 20 hotels in Avalon. Each hotel offers a different deal, and best prices are offered for Sunday-Thursday stays. A handy map on the website shows you how close each one is to the beach.
January 19, 2013 | By Mikaela Conley
Dylan Bruno bobbed buoy-like in his lizard-patterned wetsuit and offered some advice: "Just kind of float there for a minute. " I lowered myself into the water after not-so-gracefully wriggling into a wetsuit, gloves, hood, booties, snorkel - all the attire a woman hopes to be wearing upon meeting a chisel-cheeked actor turned avid spearfisherman. "Get comfortable," he said when I joined him. I dipped my face into the water and peered down. Kelp forests swayed 20 feet below. Garibaldi fish slowly moved out from their hiding spots and jerked back into them again.
January 25, 2013 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
Here's an inexpensive spring-break idea: Go kayaking, hiking, zip-lining or just kick back on Catalina Island . Discount rooms start at $121 a night for a two-night hotel deal that puts you right in downtown Avalon and within walking distance of the beach. The deal: LivingSocial offers this arrangement for a standard room at the Aurora Hotel & Spa at 137 Marilla Ave. The rate requires a two-night stay and comes with a bottle of wine. Buyers may extend their stay by combining vouchers for this deal.
June 13, 2011 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
If "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" left you stoked for an adventurous sailing trip (without the pillaging and scheming), you won't have to go far to find one. The Californian will set sail from San Diego to Catalina Island in July and October on trips that mix tall ship sailing with kayaking. Sleeping in snug bunks and standing watch on the ship are part of recapturing the spirit of what life was like aboard a 19th century vessel. The Californian (no, it isn't a pirate ship)
December 28, 2011
WHERE TO STAY L.A./South Bay Hostel, Hostelling International , Angels Gate Park, 3601 South Gaffey St., Building 613, San Pedro, CA 90731; (310) 831-8109, . Five private rooms, sleeps 60. Open June 13-Sept. 11. All bathrooms shared. In San Pedro's Angels Gate Park, overlooking a grassy knoll and Korean Friendship Bell. Communal kitchen, free breakfast (pancakes and coffee), free parking and internet, no alcohol. Rates $28-$60 per person, with $3 discounts for members.
May 7, 1990 | NONA YATES
An expedition to Catalina Island for many people may include a few restaurants, a stroll through Avalon and a sightseeing trip or two. The Cabrillo Marine Museum, however, is offering a different kind of trip to Catalina, one where visitors can learn about the unique marine and land environments of the island on May 19.
February 27, 2014 | By Mary Forgione, Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
Fans of the quieter side of Catalina Island, rejoice. Quiet and rustic Two Harbors is going a bit posh with two new vacation rental homes that elevate the lodgings lineup offered on the western end of the island. Three-bedroom Casa Santa Cruz sleeps eight and four-bedroom Casa Santa Rosa sleeps 10. Both offer harbor views and ocean access 20 land miles from the town of Avalon. The homes come with amenities such as televisions, grills, balconies and decks, dishwashers and fireplaces.
January 27, 2014 | By Robert J. Lopez
Three people were injured when their 22-foot power boat crashed near Two Harbors on Santa Catalina Island, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said Monday night. Two of the victims were listed in critical condition. One was flown by a Fire Department helicopter to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, and the other was taken by the U.S. Coast Guard to Long Beach Memorial Hospital, a fire dispatch supervisor said. The other victim appeared to have minor injuries after the accident, which was reported shortly after 7 p.m, the Fire Department said.
January 4, 2014 | By Stephen Ceasar
Engine failure forced a single-engine plane into the water near Santa Catalina Island on Saturday afternoon, but the two people on board were unharmed and rescued by a nearby boat, authorities said. The plane went down about 1:15 p.m. about six miles northeast of the island, said Coast Guard spokesman Adam Eggers. A recreational boat that was nearby responded and rescued the two people in the water, Eggers said. Neither was injured. The two passengers were taken to Catalina Island.
November 3, 2013 | By Samantha Schaefer
A small plane ran off the runway at Airport in the Sky on Catalina Island shortly after 3 p.m. Sunday, injuring four people on board, fire officials said.  The injuries were described as minor and no other information was available, said Supervising Dispatcher Miguel Ornelas of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.  There was no fire at the crash site and several agencies were responding, said Capt. Doug Fetteroll of the Los Angeles County Fire Department's Avalon station.
October 21, 2013 | By Samantha Schaefer
A rare 18-foot oarfish that was found dead off Catalina Island has been dissected and will be split between several universities for research. The serpent-like fish, among the largest reported in nearly 20 years, was spotted by a snorkeler in about 20 feet of water on Oct. 13, said  Jeff Chace, program director at Catalina Island Marine Institute. A second oarfish, measured at 14 feet, washed ashore in Oceanside  on Friday and is being examined by scientists. Pieces of the massive fish found off Catalina will be split between research institutions including UC Santa Barbara, Penn State and the  Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, he said.  "Not a ton is known about it, so we wanted to give people access," Chace said, who described the fish's eye as being the size of a tennis ball.
August 14, 2013 | By Reg Green
When I tell people I live in California, they almost always ask where. But when they hear Los Angeles, all too often their faces fall. They were hoping, I suspect, for Sausalito or Pebble Beach. To them Los Angeles is a place of flat, seemingly endless streets, mini-malls wreathed in smog and choking traffic. We all know what they mean. But there's another way to view the city. A few days ago I hiked to the top of Mt. Lowe, 5,600 feet above sea level, with the entire Los Angeles basin spreading out beyond.
Malcolm Joseph Renton, who helped develop Santa Catalina as the island resort a fabled 26 miles across the sea from Southern California, has died. He was 89. Renton, former general manager of the Santa Catalina Island Co., died Aug. 1 at Lakewood Regional Medical Center. Born in Pasadena, Renton grew up on Santa Catalina as the son of David M. Renton, considered the right hand of island proprietor and chewing gum magnate William Wrigley.
June 18, 2013 | By Susan Denley
At the London showings of spring 2014 men's collections, designer Astrid Andersen put men in tiny crop tops, panne velvet, mink and lace on the runway Sunday. I'm hoping the men I know will just say no to looks like the one above. [Independent] Body Glove co-founder Bob Meistrell died of an apparent heart attack Sunday on his boat as it was returning to the California mainland from Catalina Island. The diving enthusiast was 84. He and his late twin brother launched the company that made the first commercially viable neoprene wetsuit, and they later branched into swimwear.
June 17, 2013 | By Emily Foxhall
Bob Meistrell, who co-founded the pioneering surf and water sport supply company Body Glove, has died at the age of 84, family members said. Meistrell reportedly died from a heart attack Sunday while on his boat near Catalina Island. Meistrell was on his boat, Disappearance, helping mark the path for competitors in the “Rock 2 Rock” paddleboard race near Catalina when his boat engines malfunctioned, said Bill Meistrell, his nephew. When Bob Meistrell went to change the fuel filters behind the motors, he collapsed, his nephew said.
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