Here is an excerpt from how I once described Catalina Island to a friend:
I did all of my scuba dive training at Casino point, which lies directly at the large, white, round building and houses the island's only movie theater. Walk down Via Casino - the main stretch of road that follows the outer edge of Avalon. The water is amazingly clear, to where I could stand on the deck of a sailboat looking downward and seethe anchor in the sea floor 60 feet below. If you go to the southern end of the island (to the left of the pier) and walk or rent a bicycle all along that edge of the island, it's beautiful, too. Catalina is very tranquil, especially this time of year. The streets are narrow, but remind me of a mini San Francisco in some respects because of the unique architecture and hills. There is a great shopping area on the main drag near Via Casino, but I don't remember the name. It is on a hill with Spanish tile. If you are going to be on Catalina after dark, you must hang at Luau Larry's. It is also on the main drag and is a happening place, but very cramped inside. If you ride a bike, drive a golf cart, or walk, I suggest going into the residential streets. Some of the houses are like Victorians while others are little dumpy places. If you go up far enough, you will run into horse stables, which were fun. You can also drive a golf cart up into the roads surrounding Catalina, getting to the cres where the airport is. On a clear day, it is a breathtaking view. Even if you can't get to the top, half way is good. The view that the LA news stations show is that of the same on top of the hill facing the Casino. You must eat at Antonio's. It is on the main drag and has decorated dollar bills on the walls. In fact, there are several of mine around the walls from the years gone by of diving - by the entrance and in the booths near the bar area.