"26 Miles (Santa Catalina)," sung by the Four Preps in 1958, helped make Santa Catalina Island a national household name. Many recreational boaters and passengers on the Catalina Flyer will travel the 26 nautical miles from Newport Harbor to Avalon.
But most people are only familiar with city of Avalon, or members of the local yacht clubs only make the crossing to the clubs' boat moorings and beach areas on the island. A smaller percentage and usually only a boater crowd know about the hamlet of Two Harbors referred by boaters as the "Isthmus." These are the only harbors on Catalina with shops, restaurants and fuel docks. Visitors will find only minimal overnight accommodations at the Isthmus, with camping and the Banning House Lodge. However, Avalon has more hotels and overnight accommodations.
Looking from the shores of Newport, one can see the tops of Catalina's mountains, but not the harbors. This is due to the curvature of the earth and the reason why you cannot see the lights of Avalon across the Pacific at night. Catalina is one of the eight Channel Islands in an island chain stretching from San Miguel Island located west of Santa Barbara to San Clemente Island, which is the most southerly situated island offshore from San Diego County.