I think I died and went to Europe...
I have lived in Los Angeles for nearly 10 years and I can't believe I've never been to this glorious island.
The journey starts with Catalina Express. Trulo Tip! For an extra $15 you can upgrade to the Commodore's Lounge which is on the upper tier of the ferry, it includes a snack and a cocktail. AND if you tend to get sea sick (like yours truly) this lends to a very smooth ride.
By the time you've finished your cocktail, you've arrived in Avalon. To be honest, I had zero expectations. But WOW. This place looks like an adult Disneyland with Amalfi Coast vibes. EVERYTHING about it is gorgeous. From the backdrop of beautiful mountains to the clearest water I've seen on the West Coast. IT'S OFFICIAL. I AM READY TO VACATION.
GET A SPA TREATMENT AT ISLAND SPA
One of my favorite things to do on any trip is go to the spa. I think going to the spa upon arrival also sets the tone for the rest of your time, so get yourself there ASAP! At Island Spa, I got an refresher facial and enjoyed their steam room, sauna, outdoor hot tub and heated swimming pool. Also the rooftop has beautiful views overlooking the beach so get those 'grams.
GRAB FREE WINE AND CHEESE AT PAVILION HOTEL
What goes well after an amazing time at the spa? Wine tasting. I have a first class taste on an economy budget so it's a great thing that my hotel, Pavilion, has a free wine and cheese happy hour EVERY night. The only thing I love more than wine and cheese is free wine and cheese.
GRAB DINNER AT AVALON GRILLE
Post getting happy, I grabbed a wonderful dinner at Avalon Grille. It's just around the block from Pavilion so don't worry you can totally wobble your way over there. I ordered the chicken (basic I know, but whatever it was good) and capped the night off with some chocolate cake.
Post dinner coma. Goodnight.
KAYAK TO FROG ROCK
Descanso Beach Club is super cute and they offer guided kayak tours. The reason I recommend doing a tour is you get an overview of Catalina and get to learn some fun facts about the island which makes you appreciate this place for more than just it's beauty. So here you have it, a work out, a history lesson, a cookie (upon arrival to Frog Rock), a swim on a beach that looks like it's in the Amalfi Coast and if the sun is out, a great tan. Win. Win. Triple win.
LUNCH AT BLUE WATER GRILLE
Post kayaking, walking back to the hotel we grab a bite at Bluewater Grill. I mean more than just a bite - kind of like a feast. Shrimp tacos, 2 beers, a hamburger and a lemonade (because it's pink).
EAST END ADVENTURE
If you are going to do one thing from this list, I highly recommend you do this one. The East End Adventure is almost like a safari ride. Your lovely guide (I had Bear - yes his name is Bear) will take you all around Catalina in an open air biofuel H1 Hummer ala Indiana Jones and shows you the most beautiful vistas.
DINNER AT LOBSTER TRAP
This place is FUN. It's definitely divey but don't let that scare you. Their food is also great. Also if you see the owner, he will totally do fireball shots with you (I mean if you're into that sort of thing).
Post dinner and playing with lobsters, we took our one and only cab ride up a mountain for an astronomy tour. Upon arrival they had chairs, blankets and a telescope set up. Not only were the stars spectacular but the view of Catalina at night is insane.
And that my friends, is one EPIC weekend in paradise.
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