Chants from Avalon heard ‘we’re No. 19!’

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Sounds funny, but Catalina Island is hitting big numbers

A travel website recently surveyed 3,000 families to determine the top 150 small towns they like to visit this year. Of the 150 small towns, Avalon was ranked 19th and was the highest ranked town in California. In the survey, conducted by, Avalon was voted higher than Sausalito (26th), despite its views of the Golden Gate Bridge, and Ojai (63rd), despite it being the fictional hometown of televisions’ “Six-million Dollar Man,” and “The Bionic Woman.” Apparently, they were high-school sweethearts when they grew up there. I know, I digress, but the point is I never forgot about that.

Still, Avalon was voted higher than both of those very lovely places to visit. According to the article published on the site, “it is a great vacation destination for families due to its stunning natural beauty, abundance of outdoor activities, and variety of family-friendly attractions.”

Of course, this is not news to frequent visitors to the island. But it is just another notch for Catalina in recent polls and publications, according to a list of mentions compiled by Love Catalina. In January of this year, writer Carrie Dennis published a list of the “20 Most Beautiful Small Towns in the U.S.” That article ranked Avalon at No. 3, topped only by Girdwood, Alaska and Sedona, Arizona, for towns with a population under 20,000.

“[T]his resort community will make you feel like you’re a continent away while still remaining firmly in Los Angeles County,” she writes.

Other lists are more activity specific, but still some aspect of Catalina brought it into the mix. Also in January of this year, posted an article noting the best hiking trails to tackle in 2023, slated by the month in which to do so. For the month of February, it suggested Catalina Trail as the place to be. Among trails from all over the U.S. and as far away as New Zealand, Catalina again made the cut.

Writer Erica Zazo points out that February in winter is a great break from the snow, and that the Trans Catalina Trail offers a respite between heat and crowded trails, despite the cool to cold temperatures, especially at night. “Just come prepared to share the trail with free-roaming island bison that inhabit the island, and get ready for never-ending views of rocky cliffs above cobalt blue ocean waters,” Zazo writes.

Other publications with Catalina on their to-do lists would include, which included Catalina in its “The Best Things to do in Los Angeles,” article in early January. All in all, the world is getting out and the ones offering advice on where to go, have Catalina on their minds.

If you’d like to take a look at the study, visit: