Only 26 miles off the coast of Los Angeles, Santa Catalina Island (Catalina for short) makes for the ultimate quick, relaxing, and breathtaking get away for Southern Californians. You can catch a ferry to Avalon Harbor from Dana Point, Long Beach, and San Pedro California. Fare runs around $75 per adult, round trip. Coming from San Diego we jumped in the car and reached Dana Point in an hour. Easy.
As soon as you arrive to Avalon you are greeted with sights of the small bustling town, the sound of the turquoise waves meeting the shore, and the smell of salt air – intermixed with aromas of flavorful cuisine from all the restaurants along Crescent Avenue. If you don’t see a cab to catch, don’t worry, everything is a brief walk away! The town is actually only 1 square mile, making it incredibly easy to see in a weekend.
This town is very reminiscent to a Nicholas Sparks novel, with its seaside setting, quiet demeanor, and pleasant patrons; all making for a relaxing and tranquil weekend away.
Where to Eat – With no lack or shops or restaurants you will not be disappointed. We loved Steve’s Steakhouse – with sweeping views of the bay, tasty cocktails, fresh seafood and great steak it’s a win win for everyone. Our favorite lunch spot was Bluewater Grill had delicious salads and sandwiches – and you have to order the baked crab and artichoke dip…trust me..
Where to Stay – We stayed at the Aurora Hotel & Spa – it was lovely and a great location! But to be honest all the hotels I looked into seemed to be nice so don’t stress to much with choosing your weekend “home”.
What to Do – Rent golf carts! everyone on the island has a golf cart, there are very few cars! It’s $40 an hour and zipping around the roads in one is so much fun!! Take the cart up to Wrigley Memorial – we loved it! Wrigley, the owner of Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Gum, fell in love with Catalina Island and set aside most of the land to be preserved for its natural habitat. He also built most of the island up to what it is today. If you are more on the adventurous side there is zip-lining, and diving. The diving off Catalina is some of the best in California with visibility of 60 ft in the summer, and up to 80 in the winter!
I hope you find time to make it out to Catalina Island if you ever find your way out Southern California!
XO ~ Shannon