Catalina Island is a short boat ride from Los Angeles or Orange counties, but very far off in ambiance and charm. You can very easily forget you are in California and let your imagination take you to a Mediterranean Island. Visiting the island today, it is hard to believe that it was established as a home for Native American tribes and later as a beef ranch. The development of Catalina into its current status as a tourist destination happened in waves. The person with the biggest influence on the island’s development was the chewing-gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. He purchased the majority of the island around 1919 and got to work improving it.