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Once in Avalon, take Catalina Taxi Service (tel. 310/510-0025) from the heliport or dock to your hotel, and enjoy the quick and colorful trip through town (don't blink or you'll miss it). Only a limited number of cars are permitted on the island; visitors are not allowed to drive cars on the island, and most residents motor around in golf carts (many of the homes only have golf-cart-size driveways). Don't worry, though -- you'll be able to get everywhere you want to go by renting a cart yourself or just hoofing it, which is what most visitors do.

If you want to explore the area around Avalon beyond where your feet can comfortably carry you, rent a mountain bike or tandem from Brown's Bikes, 107 Pebbly Beach Rd. (tel. 310/510-0986; www.catalinabiking.com). If you'll be exploring, you'll want to rent a gas-powered golf cart from Cartopia Golf Cart Rentals on Crescent Avenue at Pebbly Beach Road (tel. 310/510-2493), or Island Rentals (tel. 310/510-1456), across from the boat terminal. Both companies offer a map of town for a self-guided tour. Rates are about $50 per hour plus a deposit. You must be 25 or older to drive.

Cart Culture -- One of the first things you'll notice when you arrive in Avalon, the only city on the island, is the abundance of golf carts in a comical array of styles and colors. Since Avalon is the only city in California authorized by the state legislature to regulate the number of vehicles allowed to drive on city streets, there are no rental cars and only a handful of privately owned vehicles.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.