One of the best people I met in college has officially moved to New York! I am so extremely proud of her for moving somewhere she has always wanted to and landing a job at Jet Blue. I will miss seeing her all the time but to celebrate her accomplishments, my graduation, and have a last hoorah together, we took a day trip to Catalina Island this past Monday. Santa Catalina Island is one of my favorite places to visit for a million reasons and if you don’t know, it’s one of California’s channel islands with the city of Avalon on its east side with restaurants, activities, and beaches.
My first visit to the island was when I was about 10, my dad was offered a 2-year position at the LA Sheriff’s Department in Avalon and we took a family trip to get a tour and make the final decision about this possible move. While he ended up declining the position because my mom didn’t want my little sister and I to have to take the ferry when we wanted to see family, I fell in love with Avalon and the history and environment beyond the city. My second time there was in the 7th grade when my class went on a weekend science trip to the other side of the island where we went snorkeling, crawled through mazes, and woke up to a few buffalo outside our cabins which, as someone who loves everything science, was an amazing experience.
When I went to Catalina with my family I wanted this Wiki Wack hat so bad my dad bought a Wiki Wacker (the drink at Luau Larry’s) just so he could get one for me!
The last few times I’ve been to the island have been with friends and I’ve been able to actually go to all the bars there. My favorite places to eat on the island are Bluewater Grill (and there is one in Newport Beach too), Avalon Grille, especially for a nice dinner, and The Sand Trap for great tacos. And as for the bars, none disappoint! You can stop by Luau Larry’s to buy a Wiki Wacker and get a Wiki Wack hat, grab a Strawberry Smash at Bluewater Grill, and get the island’s famous Buffalo Milk almost anywhere! My favorite place to go for a Buffalo Milk (or two) is Descanso Beach Club which is a short walk along the water past the Casino where a drink also allows you to lay out on their beach and enjoy the sun. They also have an open grass area and kayak and paddle board rentals which are fun since the water is always pretty calm.
The amazing Buffalo Milk at Descanso Beach Club
The island has so many things to offer besides food and drink too! There is a lot of interesting history about the growth of the island into what it is today, a lot of wildlife both in the water close to shore and surrounding the city on land, as well as zipline tours, bus tours to their Airport in the Sky, mini golf, and much more. Wandering down the streets of the small colorful houses is just as relaxing as sitting on the beach and it’s fun to see everybody get around by golf cart since you need a reason and approval for a car which can take years.
Wether it’s just for a day trip or a longer getaway, Catalina is a wonderful place to visit and feel like you are far away from the craziness of Orange County and LA all without actually leaving LA County. It is also a reasonably priced trip to take as the Catalina Express is less than $80 round trip (and you can go for free on your birthday) and you can spend as much or as little money on the island itself!
If you want to see what my friend and I did on our little day trip last week, you can check out the video below! If you’ve ever been to Catalina or to a similar place, let me know or if you want to know more I’m happy to share.