Enjoy S. California's Haven
Catalina Island, California marinas can be found just 22 miles southwest of Los Angeles, Catalina Island is a slice of southern California heaven plunked down in the Pacific. Cars are restricted (there’s not a single stop light) so golf carts and bicycles rule the roads. The one incorporated town, Avalon, and the tiny village of Two Harbors have adorable shops and cafes, but the real scene stealer here is the natural splendor — bald eagle soars over hiking trails that cut through canyons and along the coast; giant kelp forests rise up from the sparkling clean waters to the delight of kayakers and snorkelers.
What to do
The rugged backcountry is perhaps best seen from the passenger seat on a Jeep Eco-Tour. Catalina Country Club, open to the public, has a terrific golf course that overlooks the town of Avalon. Hit the Water - Scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, jet skis, sport fishing, glass bottom boat tours, submarine tours, para-sailing, swimming, ocean rafting. Land-based activities - Golf cart rentals, bicycle rentals, walking and hiking trails, camping.
Catalina Island Casino Theatre and Ballroom - For over eighty years, the Catalina Casino has been a main attraction for visitors providing culture and entertainment with many Broadway productions. The casino is divided into two large rooms consisting of the theatre and the grand ballroom, embellished with rose colored walls, fifty-foot ceilings and tiffany chandeliers. The beautifully decorated Catalina Casino Ballroom hosts some of the islands major events including the Catalina Island Jazz Festival and the annual New Year’s Eve Celebration. Call ahead to take a tour of the Casino Ballroom (310-510-7428).
Golf Gardens - Known as one of the most beautiful, yet challenging minatirue golf courses, the Golf Gardens is a sight for all visitors to see. The course is caped with flowers and other plants native to the Island’s breathtaking landscapes. The Golf Garden is open all year round with extended hours of operation during the summer months. Make sure to bring the kids to this 18-hole miniature golf course (310-510-1200).
Descanso Beach - This sunny stretch of beach is the perfect place to unwind and relax with family and friends. Soak up the sun on the pearly white beach or swim in the crystal blue waters. Delve into the Island’s many adventures and snorkel or kayak. Have a drink at lunch at the Descanso Beach Club alongside the water. The beach is open mid- April through mid-October. (www.visitcatalinaisland.com, 310-510-7410 )
The Island Spa Catalina - The Spa offers a variety of treatments and rejuvenating therapies using island-grown ingredients. (163 Crescent Ave., 310-510-7300)
Getting there by Boat
- The Lobster Trap (128 Catalina Ave., 310-510-8585) Located on the corner of 3rd and Catalina Street enjoy the casual, rustic atmosphere, of the Lobster Trap, This restaurant is a local favorite with the freshest seafood. Start off with the crab cakes or try the local Catalina lobster.
- The Catalina Country Club Restaurant (1 Country Club Drive, 310-510-7428) This restaurant has a wonderful ambience with top-notch services including a heated outdoor patio for guests to enjoy a meal comfortably in the cooler months. The menu features some of the island’s freshest fish, including steamed mussels, shrimp tapas, and the famous seafood tower.
- Avalon Grill (423 Crescent Ave, 310-510-7494) Enjoy a romantic dinner along great bayside views and outdoor dining. The upscale and warm, friendly atmosphere separates Avalon Grille from other restaurants in the area. Enjoy your dining experience any day of the week from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM.
- (1 Descanso Ave., 877-778-9399), a gourmet espresso bar and cafe, located at the Beach Club, serves homemade breakfast pastries, fresh pressed juices and spiked ice cream confections.
- (Catalina Isthmus, 310-510-4215), located in Two Harbors, serves the freshest and tastiest local seafood, with a breathtaking harbor view from the patio.
- (509 Crescent Ave., 310-510-1919) located just steps from the Avalon harbor, offering live music and entertainment, delicious food and popular libations such as the Wiki Wacker and the Buffalo Milk.