Living in Los Angeles can feel quite exhausting whether it’s a daily commute in rush hour traffic on the 405 freeway or working hard to keep up with the cost of every day living expenses. Fortunately, there is a charming island off the California coast line that is only an hour-long ferry-boat ride from Long Beach where you can escape to at several different times on any given day. Sitting at only 22 miles long and 8 miles wide, Catalina Island is a California paradise with tropical weather during the summer and awesome scuba diving conditions year round. In this article, we’ll highlight our favorite activities and magical moments to showcase why Catalina Island should be your next get away!
Flexible Travel Options:
The Catalina Express provides one-hour ferryboat trips from three mainland cities: Long Beach, San Pedro, and Dana Point. One other available method of transportation is a fifteen-minute Helicopter ride on the Island Express. The Catalina Express is our preferred choice of transportation and the boat offers an upgrade to the Commodore Lounge, which we highly recommend. The Commodore Lounge includes comfortable seating arrangements and a complimentary first beverage and snack!
In our experience, we truly enjoyed the upgrade that was provided by Catalina Express. There was a separate line for all Commodore passengers that was significantly shorter in size to board the vessel creating a fast and efficient transition from land to boat. In addition, we selected two complimentary mimosas to start off our morning, that were accompanied by two adorable miniature sized Chandon Champagne.
Finally, our ticket also included a choice of either a packaged sized snack of Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies or spicy trail mix. Our recommendation would be to opt for the upgrade, as it is only a $15.00 difference in price.
Awesome Activities & Adventures:
Catalina Zip line Eco Tour
The Catalina Zip Line Eco Tour is an exhilarating approach to view the island’s landscape from an aerial perspective and jam-packed with excitement! The tour includes full equipment complete with two guides that will explain in detail safety instructions at the beginning, and delivers five platforms high above the canyon floor. Experience dropping at heights of 600 ft above sea level across lines up to 1,100 lineal ft at speeds up to 30 mph! The tour guides are very knowledgeable about the islands history and the animals that reside on Catalina Island. Each platform holds information displayed on a stand for reference while each tour guide explains the details of each animal.
In our experience, our tour guides were extremely friendly and patient which allowed us to have a great time. We want to give a shout-out to Brandon for really going above and beyond and making sure we were having a blast on our tour. He always kept us smiling and laughing and was very enthusiastic. The weather was also in our favor, which is important to remember when participating in outdoor activities. We recommend this tour to any visitor on the island no matter what age or size as it will enhance your island experience!
Catalina Island Aerial Adventure
Adventure awaits you at the newest addition of Catalina Island with the thrilling Aerial Adventure course! There are five self paced and guided courses ranging from two beginner, two intermediate and one advanced. Each course is creatively designed with rope ladders; log bridges, balance beams and zip lines for your enjoyment. Prepare to climb, swing and slide from tree to tree through a series of obstacles and elements suspended high above the canyon floor.
In our experience, we completed the second beginner course, along with both intermediate courses in the two-hour increment allotted for this activity. This excursion was our favorite, and we recommend it to anyone looking for an adventure.
Catalina Room Escape
A fast paced growing trend in the United States is the variety of escape rooms that are popping up all over the country. We had the pleasure of participating in the The Catalina Pirate Challenge escape room and enjoyed every minute of it. The escape room is designed with a pirate theme complete with costumes for your amusement.
Unfortunately we did not escape the room. Instead we had one more riddle to solve in order to escape before the 60-minute clock ran out. Although we’d like to discuss the details of this awesome experience, we understand the importance of keeping it secret for other visitors. What we can tell you is we would recommend this activity to every tourist who visits the island as we feel it is a great representation to Catalina as a whole. We had the pleasure of working with Matt. Matt and his wife Jeannette are the owners of the escape room. They are very kind, professional, and really go out of their way to make sure you enjoy your time on the island. Good luck and happy solving!
Escape the ordinary at the Aurora hotel on Catalina Island. This lovely boutique hotel offers ocean view rooms, an outdoor rooftop lounge overlooking the marina, complimentary wine and cheese Friday evenings, and Saturday morning complimentary breakfast with a mimosa bar. The check in to check out process is seamless with the amazing staff at this hotel, and the centralized location makes it perfect when deciding what to do on the island.
In our experience, we recommend this hotel for an overnight stay or a long weekend get-away. This establishment is family friendly, and a pleasant and luxurious environment for your trip.
Cultural Cuisines & Delicious Dining Choices:
Descanso Beach Club
The DBC also known as Descanso Beach Club is a fantastic place to enjoy lunch and cocktails. The area is situated directly on the beach above the ocean with views of the canyon and the famous Casino on the island. The menu is tasty with items such as the islands iconic favorite drink, the “buffalo milk”, to delicious appetizers such as Tricia’s Nacho platter.
In our experience, we ordered two Pina Coladas accompanied by a Black & Blue Caesar salad and a Descanso Cobb salad for lunch. The items we chose were very tasty and the service was impeccable. We recommend this restaurant to every tourist looking for feel good island vibes and appetizing food choices.
Blue Water Avalon
Looking for the best seafood on the island? Do you enjoy a waterfront patio with stunning views while dining? The Blue Water Grill has been voted “Best” of Catalina Island, and we would have to agree. This restaurant is perfectly situated in the middle of the Avalon harbor. This establishment offers great service, impeccable food, and an island ambiance to enhance your visit.
In our experience, we ordered two buffalo milks, which are known as the island’s favorite iconic beverage, an order of the cedar plank salmon and lemon pepper crusted mahi mahi accompanied by jumbo shrimp cocktail and a cup of the clam chowder. This was definitely the best meal we had the pleasure of eating on the island. We recommend this restaurant to all visitors, whether the length of stay is a day or a week, as we feel this is the best dining establishment on Catalina Island.
Thank you for your support in reading our article, and please feel free to visit our website at www.adventurpro.com for more travel tips and exciting adventure stories from our travels around the world!
Have a great one, and always remember your Adventure Awaits!