I spent part of the holidays in Los Angeles this year, surrounded by a sea of asphalt and traffic sprawling for hundreds of square miles. Shuttling between relatives and friends on the maze of 14-lane freeways, I soon felt spiritually exhausted by the visual din of billboards, power lines, parking lots, storefronts, neon signs and cars blowing past at 80 mph.
Avalon Bay, Catalina Island. Credit: Catalina Chamber of Commerce
Though eco-travelers may be enthused about renting greener cars or making their road trips more environmentally friendly, sometimes it feels best to leave the car behind altogether. To that end, I’ve put together this introductory list of “car-free islands” in the U.S. There’s no better time than fall to discover them, when summer crowds have flocked back to the mainland, and these idyllic isles welcome slower-paced travelers yearning for a serene getaway.
A few weeks ago, I taught my Core Immersion Training at the Century City Equinox in Los Angeles, Calif. Each day, we valet parked our cars before entering the club. Those who live outside of Los Angeles may have to re-read the prior sentence: Yes, we VALET PARKED our cars to go to the gym, as do thousands of other Angelenos all around the city, where valet parking is an unfortunate fact of life in a city where the car is king, and vast distances separate us from getting here to there.