There’s something for all types of vacationers at Santa Catalina Island, one of California’s Channel Islands, southwest of Los Angeles in the Pacific Ocean.
If you’re the outdoor type, you’ll love the wildlife, the diverse flora, and Mount Orizaba, the highest mountain on the island. If you like culture, activities, and nightlife, you’ll probably be drawn to Catalina Casino, a cultural center with a movie theater, ballroom, and museum. And if you prefer all things water, Catalina Island is known for its premier diving locations and its gorgeous beaches and cabanas along Descanso Beach.(The Catalina Express, one of two convenient (and stylish!) ways to travel between the mainland and Catalina Island. Guests can also reserve a helicopter to get back and forth.) (View of the Santa Catalina coastline from the Catalina Express or the Catalina Flyer, the largest passenger catamaran on the West Coast.)
Stay in style on Catalina Island at the lovely and newly redesigned Pavilion Hotel where guests are treated to complimentary breakfast each day; complimentary fitness and wellness regimens, including group fitness; and daily wine and cheese tastings.
(The Pavilion Hotel)
Catalina Island has exciting dining opportunities. Breakfast at the Pavilion Hotel is served in its spacious library from 7–10:30 AM. The Descanso Beach Club Restaurant is the perfect place for a casual lunch with its beachside bars and cozy fire rings on the beach. And Ben’s Bakery is where you’ll find fresh grab-and-go sandwiches, wraps, salads, and, of course, fresh baked goods, muffins, and pastries.(Fire pit on the beach)
Harbor Reef Restaurant, with its “South Seas casual” vibe, is an ideal dinner destination. The restaurant serves up fresh, locally sourced fish as well as steaks, ribs, chicken, and prime rib. And Avalon Grille restaurant creates a relaxing, romantic atmosphere with big windows that overlook Avalon Bay and open air dining on the patio.(Santa Barbara Lingcod) (Marinated flank steak)
While on Catalina, go on an East End Adventure—in a bio-fuel H1 Hummer 1,500 feet above sea level—up mountainous island terrain! The ride provides breathtaking views of the coastline and the canyons below us. And speaking of breathtaking, the Zip Line Eco Tour at Descanso Beach Club restaurant is not for the faint of heart. Five separate zip lines drop from 600 feet above sea level for more than 1,000 feet. Zip through the air at up to 30mph (that’s pretty fast when you’re not in a vehicle!) 300 feet above the canyon floor.East End Adventure tour Zip Line Eco Tour East End Adventure
And when you get enough of the action-packed turn-up, dial it back with an appointment at Island Spa Catalina. Indulge in signature treatments and rejuvenating therapies that use local, island-grown ingredients. Experience seaside luxury inside the 15,000 square feet spa or have an outdoor experience in locations that include a café, courtyard, soaking pool and vista deck.Catalina Spa (Catalina Spa pool)
You don’t have to go far to have a vacation that’s not your average, run-of-the-mill experience. Just head off the coast of Los Angeles to Santa Catalina Island and change your perception of what happens on the West Coast.