If you reside in the United States, then there is good news for you. There is no need to travel thousands of miles to vacation on an island when the beautiful Catalina Island is located right off the coast of California. The island can be found only 22 miles southwest of Los Angeles and is one of the Channel Islands of the state of California. It is approximately 22 miles long and 8 miles wide and has two major towns, one called Avalon on the east end, and the west end has the town called Two Harbors. Beyond the two cities are the mountains and rugged wilderness that make the island so beautiful. It has mild temperatures year-round, and peoples transportation methods are usually by foot, bike, or by golf cart. IT is an easy-going and fun place for all ages to see and experience.
How Do I Get To Catalina Island?
To reach the island, you must take a ferry. Ferries can be taken from Newport Beach, Dana Point Long Beach, or San Pedro, California. Helicopters, private planes, or private boats are the only other ways to get to Catalina Island. The ferry ride takes one hour, and a helicopter takes about 15 minutes.
Catalina is a popular tourist destination because it’s an island! The nearby island is prepared for your trip, and they have many creative and fun packages to choose from. Special holiday packages are offered, scuba, helicopter packages, spa, boat plus hotel, and zip lining are all available. Some of these include overnight accommodations, dinner credits, spa credits, transportation and much more. These are great ways to see and experience the island and have some fun in the sun.
The Best Hotels
Catalina Island has some nice hotels to choose from, depending on how close you want to be or based on what view you would like. The Hotel Atwater is just that; it is right in the water. Located steps away from the beach, it is a fantastic place to rest and is conveniently located in Avalon. The Inn on Mt. Ada is located higher up in elevation, offering beautiful views of the harbor, boats, the island, and the Pacific Ocean. Casa Santa Cruz is a lovely beach cottage with three bedrooms and has stunning views of the cove and Catalina Harbor, and is located in the town of Two Harbors. Others to consider are the Pavilion Hotel, the Banning House Lodge, and the Casa Santa Rosa.
Dining on the Island
There are some great dining choices available on Catalina. One of the most popular is the Avalon Grille which overlooks the scenic Avalon Bay. World-class wines and an upscale, yet relaxed atmosphere can be found at the Grille. Enjoy some specialty dishes and the large central bar or the outdoor patio for even better views. Try out the Isthmus Picnic Sites in the town of Two Harbors. The West Bandstand is the area closest to the beach, providing the perfect backdrop for a nice lunch. The Catalina Harbor picnic area is located over by the pier for another pretty area to dine. Also, try the tasty Harbor Reef Restaurant in Two Harbors. They serve up freshly caught fish, right from the local water. There is also the Harbor Reef Saloon, the West End Galley, and the Descanso Fresh at Descanso Beach Club. Events like beach parties and comedy clubs are offered too, so check out what is happening on your trip.
Ahh, the Spa
The Spa is a perfect place to unwind and relax on a lovely island with the sea breeze. The resort can be found in the historical building called the El Encanto, right near the Avalon Bay. It has treatment rooms, hot sand therapy, a shop, a café, treatment suites, a wellness studio, and an ocean view vista deck with beautiful ocean views and lounge furniture. Massages are available, as well as facial therapies and treatments, firming and toning treatments; “just for him” therapies, manicures, manicures, pedicures, waxing, hair and makeup can all be enjoyed. A soaking pool and saunas are also offered to help you relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings and environment of the Catalina Island.
Camping on an Island
For those who would like a cheaper option and a chance to explore, bring your boat or kayak and your camping gear. There are several different camping sites; some of them beachside available. Two Harbors has most of the camping areas, although one called Hermit Gulch can be found in Avalon. There are sites called “boat-in” campsites where you have to boat to your destination, where you can camp on the soft sand just feet away from the water. Bahia Azul, Little Harbor, BlackJack, and Parsons Landing are all impressive campsites, and the views around you are breathtaking.
Calm Catalina Island
The calm waters of Catalina Island are perfect for swimming and sunbathing. The beaches of the island are all within walking distance from dining and hotels. The curve of the Avalon Bay leads to scenic views, and you can experience the soft sand and the water dotted with sailboats, fishing boats, and excited tourists having the time of their lives. You don’t need to travel thousands of miles when a beautiful island is right here off the coast of California, waiting for you to see her beautiful blue waters and enjoy what she has to offer.