July 13, 2018

Catalina Island: The Hidden Paradise Minutes from LA!

I spent the most amazing weekend on the gorgeous Catalina Island!! I was so excited because I hadn’t visited since I was in 8th grade and I was dying to explore it again!

Located just 22 miles off the Southern California cost, Catalina Island is a unique blend of laid back vibes, historic past, and so many water and land activities that the whole family can enjoy.

I’ve learned that the island is constantly evolving to offer visitors the best new experiences whether that’s to relax, rejuvenate, or rev up the action!

We stayed at the picturesque Pavilion Hotel located by the pier on the oceanfront pedestrian walkway. It was beautiful.

The outdoor spaces on Catalina Island are spectacularly gorgeous and oh so relaxing like the courtyard at the Pavilion Hotel. I actually managed to read half my book, something that never happens with kids!

I can’t believe this island oasis is only 70 minutes from Los Angeles and is actually part of LA County. When you’re there, you feel so far away in the best way possible.

We toured Avalon on a trolley bus and learned all about the Island’s history while taking in the most breathtaking views of the Avalon Harbor. My Cubbies fan hubs was delighted to learned the Cubs hosted Spring Training in Catalina for years!

Just a short boat ride from Avalon is Two Harbors, a majestic oasis on the shore of Isthmus Cove featuring oversized palapas big enough for eight people and lounge chairs on a white sandy beach.

The feel is pure South Pacific with a full service restaurant and tons of spaces to dock your boat. It’s only 22 miles from the So Cal Mainland, so you can take a ferry directly here just for the day! You can hop on a boat at 10am, and stay until 4pm for a mini relaxing vacation.

There are endless things to do on Catalina Island, I was honestly a little surprised. I’m here to tell you all about them so you can be prepared when you visit!

Escape rooms! Catalina Island offers several Escape Rooms, which if you’ve never done before, are SO much fun! There’s a really cool pirate themed one at Catalina Room Escape. The Pirate Challenge allows participants one hour to solve a variety of riddles, discover clues and escape from the room. Perfect for the kids.

If you’re not into pirates, the rules are much the same at Escape Room Catalina. You and your group of two-to-eight confidants have one hour to crack the code, solve the mystery and escape the room. Room themes change with the season, so the company promises they always have fresh puzzles to solve. The company can set up a challenge at their location, or at a hotel room or vacation rental. How cool would it be to have it in your hotel room?

If you’re an adrenaline junkie and not afraid of heights, Catalina Aerial Adventure is perfect. The new ropes-and-planks course weaves through a  grove of towering eucalyptus trees deep within Descanso Canyon. Other adventurous activities nearby include Zip line Eco Tour and Catalina Climbing Wall.

My husband is really into hikes! You haven’t seen the real Catalina if you just visit Avalon. I recommend taking a hike into the backcountry on the new Trans-Catalina Trail, part of a 165-mile system of recreational roads and hiking trails on the island. Then you can feel like you’ve fully immersed yourself in the island’s beauty.

But if hiking is a little too much for you, there are so many eco-friendly bus tours you can take around the island. They have huge windows and air conditioning so you can take a break from the heat.

Catalina Island’s clear blue waters, Mediterranean climate and ambiance are a hidden paradise. The laid-back island town is chock full of places to eat, drink, shop. Sightseeing opportunities are everywhere from escorted tours around town, adventure rides into the interior, jeep eco tours, hummer rides, to zip lines, rock climbing and undersea adventures.

There are so many amazing things to enjoy while you’re there, like camping, hiking, scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, spa treatments, beach lounging, golf, motor boating, parasailing, fishing, boat rides down the coastline and so much more.

I loved my stay at Catalina Island, and knowing it’s so close to home makes it easier to go back again and again. Spending time with my family and seeing Harper and Grayson bond is always the best part of vacations for me. Doing it at a place as breathtaking as Catalina was just a bonus.

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