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  • Writer's pictureHeidi Nicolle

What to do in Catalina

Looking to get on island time? If you live in Southern California or are planning a visit definitely add Catalina to your bucket list!! 

How to get to Catalina: 

Catalina is located only 22 miles from Southern California and is easily assessable by the Catalina Express. The Catalina Express has ports in San Pedro, Long Beach and Dana Point. With a fleet of high-speed, high-tech vessels that provide up to 30 departures daily and year-round service so you can quickly get to Avalon or Two Harbors in Catalina all in about an hour's time. From select ports, you can upgrade to the Commodore or Captain’s Lounge with elevated seating, priority boarding and a complimentary cocktail for the ride. 

When arriving to Avalon in Catalina, you won’t have to worry about a car, everything is walkable although they do have Uber and rental golf carts on the island. From the ferry, it’s a quick 5-10 minute walk to most of the resorts. 

Where to stay in Catalina:

We stayed at the beautiful Hotel Metropole. If you are going for a special occasion, I highly recommend upgrading to the VIP wing with oceanfront balconies, fireplaces and spa bathrooms. We stayed in room 102 with a separate living room complete with fireplace, 1.5 spa bathrooms and 3 decks overlooking the ocean to take in all of Catalina’s beauty. 

What to do in Catalina: 

For daytime activities, Descanso Beach Club brings a vibe with live summertime music, beach chair and cabana rentals and a full restaurant & bar right on the ocean. I recommend booking your chairs or cabana ahead of time through this link Descanso Beach club is a quick 10 minute walk from downtown Avalon. Head towards the Casino, around the corner and it’s a straight path from there. 

If you are feeling a more relaxing trip, check out A Touch of Heaven Day Spa. We had side by side massages and it was seriously one of the best massages of my life. If you carry tension in your upper back or lower back like I do, this is a must service. Touch of Heaven day spa is located inside the Hotel Metropole in downtown Avalon. 

Now if you are craving more of an adventure, Catalina has you covered. Some of my favorite guided tours include the extreme parasailing, dolphin and sea lion tours, bison expedition, and zip lining. If you are feeling like exploring on your own there are golf cart rentals, paddle-boards and kayaks available to rent. The golf cart scenic path brings you to one of the best lookout spots in Catalina with an aerial view of downtown Avalon, to the Wrigley House and Memorial, and by the zip lining. 

Catalina also has amazing shopping and local flair. Take a stroll downtown, through the Metropole Marketplace and on the pier. 

Where to eat in Catalina:

For breakfast or lunch, one of my favorite spots in the Café Metropole. With so many yummy and healthier options like fresh pressed juices, smoothies, açai bowls, avocado toast and so many more options. 

For lunch or dinner, I recommend The Naughty Fox right next door to Hotel Metropole at the Bellanca Hotel. My recommendation is the Buffalo Milk for a frozen creamy delicious cocktail. 

For one of the best dinners on the island, check out the M Restaurant. Sip on a fine selection of wines while enjoying a delicious pasta dish (yes- they have gluten-free), steak or seafood entrée. 

Hope you have a magical trip to Catalina loves! 

xoxo ~ Heidiisms

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