It’s Cool, Damp and Cloudy on Santa Catalina. That means no crowds, friendlier locals and hotel discounts

Why visit Santa Catalina Island at the onset of winter when it’s too cold to swim and clouds often blanket the resort town of Avalon? Because in the off season Southern California’s favorite weekend escape offers gourmet restaurants without crowds, colorful bars where it’s actually possible to meet locals and hotels glad to provide deep discounts since only 30% of the town’s 1,051 hotel rooms and vacation rentals are occupied.