Cities Journal

Top 21 Small Cities In California

11. Avalon
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5. Avalon

The Avalon of medieval legend was a significant and mysterious island where King Arthur went to rest spiritually, and its modern-day incarnation, let us call it that way, certainly lives up to that namesake. Avalon makes up the easternmost part of Catalina Island, an island rife with tropical luxuries and modern-day amenities that is only reachable by ferry or helicopter.

In spite of the limited mobility, the town is still surprisingly accessible and boasts a population that’s neither sheltered nor uppity.

There’s a virtual waiting list to live on the island; land and fresh water are limited, so the real estate is too. The magazine suggests that this popularity stems from the fact that dreams of Mediterranean island life basically come true on Avalon.

Close to one million people visit Avalon each year, according to its official government website. The population is much, much smaller than that, lending the town a serene and stuck-in-time atmosphere when peak tourist seasons end, and residents are left to stroll their seaport streets and enjoy their eclectic downtown districts.

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