Why is it that journeying to an island always feel so relaxing? Only an hour boat ride from LA, Catalina Island is a great destination for a family trip or a romantic getaway. Come for the day or stay for a few nights to get the full experience. You cannot bring your personal car on the island, so consider renting bikes, or simply walking around on foot; Avalon, the main town on Catalina Island, is only one-square-mile.
Stay: Located in the heart of Avalon, the Hotel Metropole is one of the more upscale accommodations available on the island, with a full-service spa, and a trove of shops and restaurants right next to the hotel and the Metropole Market. For anyone looking to get out of town, the Inn on Mt. Ada is a spectacular mansion that is the former home of William Wrigley, Jr. and wife Ada, which is situated 400 feet above the ocean. Given its high-altitude location, the hotel also provides each guest with a golf cart, making it easy to travel around to see the rest of the island.
Do: Catalina Island is not a destination for staying indoors, and some of the island’s most popular activities include golfing, biking, hiking, parasailing, scuba diving, jet skiing, parasailing, zip-lining and camping. You can also, of course, just hang out on the beach; there are three public beaches on the island, and one publicly accessible private beach, Descanso Beach. In terms of shopping, you can pick up a unique and hand-crafted gift at one of the island’s many boutiques. Or you can head to one of the island’s four day spas.
Eat: Even if you don’t stay at Mt. Ada, it’s worth journeying out there for lunch, where you can dine on the prix-fixe menu while enjoying sweeping sea and harbor views. One local hotspot that’s a must-try is Original Jack’s Country Kitchen, where you will likely need to wait on line to taste cozy, homemade delights like fresh-made baked goods and other breakfast goodies. For a drink, the Marlin Club is the oldest bar on the island and features a funky decor that was built to “resemble a boat by the Merchant Marines during World War II.”