AVALON GETS IT RIGHT: Is there any person out there who has an annual birthday -- this'll cover a pretty wide spectrum of us, we imagine -- who doesn't like the celebration to slip past the day itself? Nope, we're not talking about the getting of presents, we're talking about convivial times, and get-togethers with friends, and the spreading-out of the birthday joy. There's a reason "birthday month" is a high-ranking search on Google. But Avalon, that pert burg that has called Catalina Island home for a century, goes one better than a birthday month. The city is throwing a birthday year in honor of its centennial. And while a birthday year might be a little too much for any one of us -- wouldn't one birthday year just flow into the next birthday year? -- a multi-month centennial celebration suits the small slice of island life just right. Why? Because visitors are getting the gifts in this case, or deals, if you prefer. The nice offers are continuing right through the close of 2013, and the Catalina Express has a helpful Avalon Centennial Travel Planner to help you alight upon the right getaway.
ON THE PLANNER: The Catalina Island Inn's Centennial Package'll run from October through December, weekdays, and it is solid: Get a night in a queen room, and a ticket to-and-from the mainland on the Catalina Express for two travelers, and pay $125. Plus taxi, round-trip, plus a bottle of bubbly. No travel-brochure-y speak here: That's a really good deal for the island, and, yep, you'll want to travel from Sunday to Thursday, but don't you have some vacation days you need to use before the end of the year? Nab this. Or nab a night at Snug Harbor Inn, which will also have a special on from October through December (price kicks off at $132 per person, and that, too, includes your boat trip). For the full planner, and all the centennial deals, click here and read on. Centennials don't come around every day but rather (spoiler alert) every hundred years. If you're an avid Avalon buff, you'll need to wait another century to celebrate like this.