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The Place To Be Downtown From the bright, running neon bulbs to friendly dealers and great value, the traditional Vegas experience is still alive and well in downtown Las Vegas’ Favorite Hotel & Casino – Plaza.

From its regal setting at the north end of Avalon Harbor, this dramatic circular building has stood as a welcoming sentinel since just before the Great Depression.

The impressive Art Deco building was the dream of by chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr., who bought controlling interest of Catalina Island in 1919.

Wrigley saw the casino as a way of casting a magical spell on all who arrived—a way of seeming to say, “look, here is beauty, relaxation, and fun,” and a way to—for at least a little while—escape the country’s troubled times.

Inside, Wrigley hosted lavish dances and performances.

Today, the tradition continues, and annual events guests (many dressed in period attire) still twirl in the casino’s grand ballroom, or watch first-run movies in the elaborately painted theater on the lower level.

(On Friday and Saturday evenings, arrive an hour before show time for a live performance on the theater’s spectacular pipe organ.) Guided walking tours are also a must, shedding light on Avalon’s history and Hollywood connection.

The Behind-the-Scenes Tour lets you peek into dressing rooms that had been closed for 70 years, and to walk on the stage where famed musicians like Benny Goodman played to adoring fans.

Swaying palms, white-sand beaches, warmest water in summer, and melt-your-heart sunsets—that’s what you’ll find at pretty-much-perfect island getaway Santa Catalina Island, just 22 miles/35 kilometers off the Southern California coast.

Catalina, as it’s most often referred to by locals, has all the things you’d want from an island retreat—appealing lodgings, fresh seafood dinners, plenty of family-friendly water sports.

But you’ll also discover unexpected finds, including a star-studded history (Marilyn Monroe lived here), remarkable wilderness adventures, and even its own wine estate.

Climb aboard a Catalina Express ferry for the one-hour ride across the sea from Long Beach, San Pedro, or Dana Point, or the Catalina Flyer from Newport Beach; or, splurge on a 15-minute helicopter ride for an easy escape to California’s ultimate island paradise.