Santa Catalina Island, better known as just Catalina, is a rocky island off the coast of California in the Gulf of Santa Catalina. I’ll be the first to admit there are some trashy parts of Catalina, which have deterred luxury tourists from the island over the last decade. There are some hotels, restaurants, bars, and some tourists in the small town of Avalon that I would rather not experience again. However, on the flip side, the island is a gorgeous 76 square mile gem, much of which has been preserved in the Catalina Island Conservancy thanks to the Wrigley family. And now, thanks to their Santa Catalina Island Company, the island is making a comeback with the opening of Descanso Beach Club and a new high-end eco zip line tour. In addition to this there are also dozens of amazingly fun activities to do on Catalina, and a handful of good restaurants (Blue Water Grill for lobster!) and a few nice hotels in Avalon.

Catalina is the perfect place to go on an adventure escape with your friends or family. And the best part? It’s only a 1 hour ferry ride or 15 minute helicopter ride from Long Beach…

Catalina Island Express Helicopters

Catalina Island Express Helicopters

IMG_6569

Catalina Island Express Helicopters

Touchdown in Paradise! I was pleasantly surprised to find that Avalon was even prettier than I remembered it and the water more clear and blue. On my first visit I was eleven, too cool for everything, following behind my family with headphones on, listening to Ace of Base the entire trip. I definitely did not realize how lucky I was to be in such a beautiful place!

Avalon, Catalina Island

Avalon, Catalina Island

The Avalon Hotel, Catalina Island

Despite coming to the island with no hotel booked, only to find there was not one but two big events going on (Buccaneer Days and the Catalina Air Show) we somehow scored the last room at The Avalon Hotel

The Avalon Hotel, Catalina Island

The Avalon Hotel, Catalina Island

The Avalon Hotel, Catalina Island

Very clean rooms with updated bathrooms, complimentary cheese and wine tastings, continental breakfast served on their lovely patio, and killer views of Avalon harbor from the rooftop deck, make this one of the nicer hotels on the island + friendly staff and even friendlier Koi Fish!  

Koi Fish at The Avalon Hotel, Catalina Island

Avalon, Catalina Island

Catalina Air Show view from Avalon Hotel

Catalina Air Show

The Avalon Hotel, Catalina Island

Avalon Hotels, Catalina Island

Avalon, Catalina Island

I was super excited to go parasailing with Island Water Charters. An absolute must do when visiting Catalina. Go 800ft and spend the extra $20 on photos!

Parasailing Catalina Island Water Charters

Parasailing Catalina Island Water Charters

Parasailing Catalina Island Water Charters

Parasailing Catalina Island Water Charters

Parasailing Catalina Island Water Charters

Catalina Island

Eco Zip Line Tour Catalina Island

Zip Lining, Catalina Island

Zip Lining, Catalina Island

Zip Lining Catalina Island

Descanso Beach Club, Catalina Island

Descanso Beach Club, Catalina Island

Descanso Beach Club, Catalina Island

Avalon, Catalina Island

It’s sadly human nature to take for granted things in life that are easily accessible or seem to be constant. But the only thing for certain in life is nothing is for certain. So you have to actively take time every day to appreciate your friends and loved ones
and the beauty in your own backyard.