Oh these views! I think every time I step off the boat onto Catalina Island my blood pressure drops like it would say ahhhhh, if it could talk. It was pretty quiet, after all it was a Wednesday in December, but the weather was perfect, cool in the morning, 70 in the afternoon, then back to cool at night. Catalina is a popular place in the summer, there is the obvious beach, after all it's an island, snorkeling, scuba diving, glass bottom boating, zip line, etc. and all the cruise ships stop here on their way to Mexico. But it's very nice to go in 'winter', it's quiet with mostly people who live on the island. And although there's none of the above beach things going on, there's still plenty to do.
One of the most popular thing to do on Catalina is rent a golf cart or bicycle and explore the island. Last time we did electric bikes, you pedal until you get tired, like when you're going up hill, (or after I pedal for five minutes), then you flip a switch on the handle bars and 'viola' it becomes an electric scooter, genius! When you walk off the ferry into town you can't miss the golf cart stand. Bring cash, they don't take cards. Last time we visited we rented the bikes so this time we did the golf cart.
Anyway, we just love the golf cart, it's so much fun chugging it up hill and along the cliffs into the hills with gorgeous custom homes and then around the Wrigley Manson and Botanical Gardens. And don't forget to cruise by the old Casino. It opened in 1929 and still retains it's old world charm, it has a movie theater and a ballroom. We have friends who went this year for New Years Eve and had a blast. May have to think about that for next year. This is how it looked at the end of the day with its little Christmas tree on top.
Avalon Grill. There are lots of choices of restaurants for all tastes along the water and in town. We also play miniature golf every time. Yes, we are those people. This is a very competitive version of mini golf, at least for the hubbs, I'm more interested in the perfect instagram photo.
The other hotel I highly recommend is the Aurora Hotel & Spa this is the polar opposite of the Zane Grey, a modern spa hotel. Here you will not only find the big white down comforter but also the matching terry robes. The breakfast here is included too, but this time instead of toast in a baggie it's fruit, eggs, pastries and anything else you can think of classified under breakfast, a fest that you load up your plate with and head to the amazing roof top deck. This hotel runs about $200 per night. We discovered it when we were trapped on the island. We had stayed over for our anniversary and the day we were to leave a big storm came in and the water was too choppy for the ferry's so we had to stay another night. Stranded on Catalina Island, poor us ;) I loved that instead of gouging, which they easily could have, all the hotels offered 50% discounts to those of us that were stranded. So we picked this one and will happily stay there another time at full price!
So if you are planning a visit, here are the Catalina Island basics;
- Tickets to Catalina
- Golf Cart & Bike Rentals
- Miniature Golf
- Real Golf
- Avalon Grill
- Wrigly Manson & Botanical Gardens
- Aurora Hotel & Spa
- Zane Grey Hotel
HAPPY DAY TRIPPIN!