Los Angeles has a great amount of activity. From Hollywood to Malibu to Venice Beach, there’s plenty to see and do. But if you want to get away from it all and visit the quintessential Southern California island escape, then you’ve got to head over to Catalina Island.
Most of Catalina is preserved as a nature conservancy which surrounds the small town of Avalon, where roughly 3,000 permanent residents reside. Avalon itself is mainly a receiving port for visitors to the island, though it boasts enough resorts, hotels, and beach-going rentals to keep island visitors happy year-round. This small town feeling (where everyone runs around on rechargeable golf carts) is a wonderful escape from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, and, when all things are considered, it’s amazing that such an ambiance has been held into modern day.
Once here, if lounging on the beach or hiking through the pristine island conservancy won’t cut it for you and you’re looking for something more active to do, consider one of the area’s attractions. Rent a kayak and explore the island’s sea cliffs, or grab some snorkeling gear and go play in the kelp forests with dolphins and sea lions. After your sea excursion, you can rent a bike or golf cart and travel the towns charming alleyways before pulling over and grabbing an ice-cream or cocktail at one of Catalina’s many restaurants and bars. If shopping is more your style, well, there’s that too.
While most departures leave out of Newport Beach or Long Beach, some tour operators will arrange for your travel through your hotel. All things considered, if you’re looking for a nice day escape to an island paradise, outside of all the city life, consider Catalina Island your go-to choice.