After a solid year of slumber, Catalina Island is coming back to life. Sailboats aplenty once again moor in Avalon Bay, shopkeepers open their doors wide on Crescent Avenue and golf carts hum down its hilly streets. It’s hard to believe that Catalina Island is part of Los Angeles County. It bears little resemblance, with hefty mountains that jut almost straight out of the sea. But at the southwest end of this 76-square-mile island, the little city of Avalon lies cradled in a natural bay and houses about 90 percent of the island’s 4,000 residents. Yes, Avalon, the southern point of the most south west of the Channel Islands, is an incorporated city, one of the first in LA County. But unlike most of LA County, Avalon isn’t mired in traffic congestion as only a total of 400 small cars and trucks are permitted on the entire island and the waiting list to apply for a permit is more than 20 years. Most locals walk or ride bicycles.

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