Stay TWOHARBORS Find a barefoot-in-paradise vibe at Two Harbors Play Hike, bike, kayak. Sign up for activities and gear rentals at the Two Harbors Dive and Recreation Center by the pier, 310.510.4272. Feeling lazy? Rent a plush cabana or lounge chair and spend the day pretending you’re a castaway on a tropical Island. Order beverages and food beachside from the Harbor Reef Restaurant, 310.510.4272. Learn more about the sea at the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center, which offers self-guided tours. Visitors can check out a touch tank, research exhibits, hear a science lecture and tour the Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber, 310.510.0811, Dornsife.usc.edu/Wrigley/VisitUs. L eave the busy beach scene of Avalon behind and venture 12 miles up Island to rustic Two Harbors—Catalina’s other community—to step back in time a half century. This stunning slice of paradise has a rich and colorful history that includes Spanish explorers, fur traders, pirates and Civil War soldiers. The pace is slower here, but the water is turquoise blue and there are plenty of outdoor activities: boating, hiking, biking, fishing, diving, kayaking, camping and more. Visitors also find a new addition to the scene here—a posh beachfront with plush cabanas, a sandy white beach with a million-dollar view of the Pacific and the waterfront Harbor Sands Restaurant. Two Harbors, located on the west end of the 22-mile-long Island, straddles an isthmus just a half-mile wide. Its rustic village is home to just 150 residents. Boaters love it, filling the harbors with sloops, catamarans and powerboats. It’s a little more difficult to reach than Avalon, but you can get there year-round from San Pedro on Catalina Express, or from Avalon on a Cyclone boat trip or the Safari Bus. EatChoose from three sit-down dining options: Harbor Reef Restaurant, which offers large plates, mainly seafood; Harbor Reef Saloon, with beer, wine, and cocktails; or Reef Point Dining Deck, set under canopies on Harbor Sands, with burgers, salads and sandwiches. Breakfast and lunch to-go are available at the West End Galley. Harbor Reef Restaurant, a saloon/snack bar/dining room, boasts, without challenge, that it has the “best food in town.” Snacks can be found at the General Store, stocked with everything from milk to rain jackets to your choice of hot sauces. Around Town SAFARI BUS (Two Harbors to Avalon) 310.510.4205 VisitCatalinaIsland.com TWO HARBORS DIVE & RECREATION CENTER Scuba diving, kayaking, biking and snorkeling. 310.510.4272 VisitCatalinaIsland.com BOATERS Use VHF Channel 9 To Contact Harbor Patrol shoreboat, mooring assignments. GENERAL STORE 310.510.4217 VisitCatalinaIsland.com HARBOR REEF RESTAURANT 310.510.4215 VisitCatalinaIsland.com BANNING HOUSE LODGE 877.778.8415 VisitCatalinaIsland.com On the hillside overlooking Two Harbors is the Banning House Lodge, built in 1910 by the Banning brothers, early developers of Catalina Island. It is now operated as a 12-room hotel. This rustic retreat is a perfect complement to your outdoorsy getaway. Other accommodations include the nearby campground and two local guest houses. FOR MORE INFORMATION on camping, cabins and activities call 877.778.8415 or go to VisitTwoHarbors.com. 62 CATALINA EXPRESS MAGAZINE 2019–2020