Santa Catalina Island : California


What It Is Like to Retire in Santa Catalina Island

Santa Catalina is an island some 22 miles southwest of Los Angeles. The population is small - just over 4,000 - because almost 90% of the island is reserved as a conservancy. There are only tow towns: Avalon and Two Harbors. There was once a gold rush on the island. Chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. fell in love with the island and helped to develop its infrastructure. He built a casino and moved Chicago Cubs spring training here.  It is difficult to live on the island because there is so little land available for development, along with being very expensive. However it is quite beautiful with mountains rising over 2,000 ft. above sea level.  Actress Natalie Wood drowned in the waters near the settlement of Two Harbors under questionable circumstances over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in 1981. Photo from the air courtesy of Wikipedia and NASA, in the public domain; photo of Catalina Island Interior courtesy of Wikipedia and D Ramey Logan, Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0/


Where to Retire in Santa Catalina Island and Home Prices

There are very few places to live on the island since so much of it is protected. Most people live in Avalon, although there is some development in Rancho Escondido and Middle Ranch. City-Data reports the median price of a home to be well over $500,000,  which makes things difficult for the tourist and hospitality workers who live here.


What Is Special about Santa Catalina Island

It is a beautiful island that tourists love to visit.  The temperature is moderate throughout the year since it is located in the Pacific Ocean.


What Is Not Special about Santa Catalina Island

It is hard to get to, there are few places to live (and those are expensive), and there is not much happening here except nature and tourism. It has been hit by tsunamis.


Who Will Like Retirement in Santa Catalina Island

People who love nature and living on an island.


Local Economy Is Driven by



Climate and Physical Environment

This is one of the Channel Islands. It is 22 miles long by 8 miles wide, and is 22 miles south southwest of Los Angeles.  The average temp is in the mid 50s in January and 70 in July. There is very little rain except in winter.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

There is not much culture in Santa Catalina.  But there are restaurants, since tourists have to eat somewhere.



The crime rate is very very low.


Medical Facilities

The Catalina Island Medical Center is available for emergencies. For more serious issues you will need to go to the mainland.



Transportation to and from the island is either by ferry or helicopter.  In the gold rush of the 1850s and 1860s the miners relied on carrier pigeons to deliver messages, who could complete the trip in 45 minutes.


Valuable Links

Love Catalina Island

What people are saying about Santa Catalina Island

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