If you’re looking for that getaway beach island that’s not too expensive nor out of the country, Catalina Island is the place to go.
Located only an hour off the California coast, Catalina island is known to feel like it’s own world. At 26 miles long, it is home to about 4,000 residents and truly has a small town feel. The island was most recently owned by William Wrigley (yes, the founder of the famous Wrigley Gum) and now is part of California. It also used to be a getaway for Hollywood celebrities, and Marilyn Monroe even lived here before she was famous. So what’s the best way to enjoy the island?
How to Get there
Currently, the only way to get there is by ferry. You can get tickets here to the island from California using the Catalina Flyer. The ride takes about an hour, and the ferry typically offers food and drink for purchase. You may even catch a dolphin or two on your way too. Make sure you buy tickets at least a week out. These ferry’s do fill up and sell out, so buy ahead.
In my opinion, Catalina is great for a weekend trip or even a day trip. Hotels typically are a bit more expensive than they would be in California, and you can easily see everything in a few days.
What to do
- Descanso Beach Club
This beach is the easiest to access, and a great spot to grab some lunch as well. You can see in our picture below, you’ll definitely be eating and drinking with a beautiful view. After you eat, you can grab your beach towel and lay out in the sand just a few steps away.
02. Walk the Trans Catalina Trail
This trail is 38.5 miles in length, but you can hike a fraction of it and still see beautiful views. Camping is also allowed here in a few spots.
03. Snorkeling at Lover’s Cove
Lover’s Cove is the place to go snorkeling here. You’ll be surrounded by fish, lush plants, and natural lands. With that being said, make sure you have good shoes to get down the rocks because there’s no sand around here. Overall, it’s still a great experience.
04. Tour the Catalina Casino
Don’t get confused here – though it’s called a Casino, it’s not actually a gambling casino. This roman-style casino is actually the main event center for everything on Catalina. They play old movies here and host large events such as weddings, festivals, etc. Did I mention it’s the world’s largest circular ballroom? This magnificent building is an eye catcher on the island and something you don’t want to miss out on.
05. Zip Line Eco Tour and Jeep Eco Tour
While they’re two separate events, they’re both great choices. If you don’t want to hike the island at all, I recommend the Jeep Eco Tour. The Zip Line Eco Tour will also give you great views and a thrill of a ride.
Make Sure to Bring…
First and foremost- SUNSCREEN! Being an island, the sunburns come on a lot stronger than they would in your backyard pool. We laid out for 15 or 20 minutes and were both burnt to a crisp. Our next whole day was spent applying and reapplying aloe vera. Don’t make the same mistake. I recommend something strong such as this Neutrogena Ultra Sheer sunscreen. It’s SPF 100 and waterproof, so you can still enjoy the water.
Towels – Unless you’re staying on the island, you’ll definitely want to bring your own towel for the beach. Your hotel will give you one to use as long as you return, but you don’t want to be stuck without one on the hot sand. I love these large, lightweight towels that also come with it’s own bag. This makes it easy to carry in a beach bag.
So there you have it! Can’t wait for you to take your weekend trip and enjoy some fun in the sun!