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It's hard to miss this longtime fixture on Catalina Island. The Catherine Hotel is just about 100 yards down the road from where the ferry boats dock, at the bend where the aptly named Crescent Avenue begins its lazy curve along the Avalon waterfront. Although the Catherine is indeed a hotel, many people come here just for the downstairs bar. It's a casual and friendly hangout, an authentic place where seasick tourists are actually welcomed by tale-spinning locals. Plus, the drinks are cheap and strong, unlike at more tourist-y places in Avalon. The bar is divided into several rooms, as well as a front patio, which has a good view of the harbor and is a great place to people watch. There's a dart board tucked away in the corner, and a pool table in an adjoining room. Music ranges from classic rock to whatever anyone feels like playing on the bar's two battered pianos. DJs and occasional live bands make this corner of the town seem like the coolest place on the island.

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