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We're thinking of leaving the kids behind for a few days (4
nights maybe?) and going to Santa Catalina Island for our
10th anniversary in October. I'm not sure how to get there
though--do you fly into L.A., rent a car, take a boat to
Avalon? I'm also looking for recommendations on where to
stay, where to eat, what to do, anything you can pass on.
Is this a good idea for a short romantic getaway?
Need a little romance
We just got back from a short trip to Catalina (not exactly
a romantic trip... we were with our toddler and my parents)
and my family used to go every summer when I was growing up
so I thought I would offer a bit of advice.
If you are just going to Catalina, you should probably fly
into Long Beach. From there it would be a short taxi ride to
the Catalina Express boat to Avalon. It would probably be a
waste to rent a car and just have it parked at the dock
while you are gone... (you cannot bring a car with you to
Catalina). There are a lot of nice hotels along the beach -
The Pavilion Hotel
was just remodeled and looked very nice from the outside.
For food two nice places are the Descanso Beach Club and
Avalon Grille, but I doubt you would need reservations
anywhere in October... you could just stroll around and see
what looks good. For fun you could rent kayaks or bikes or
go snorkeling (although it might be cold) or go on the Glass
Bottom Boat Tour. There is also a new zip line which looks
like a lot of fun. This website is good:
Honestly, I think Catalina is fun, but you might get bored
being there for 4 nights (unless you are really into taking
an all day bike ride or spending a day playing golf)...
maybe two nights in Catalina and two nights somewhere else
in southern CA? Have fun!
Has anyone been to Catalina Island, Southern Calif.? We're thinking of going
this summer and I'm wondering what it's like in July or August weather wise
and water temperature wise. Is Avalon Beach a good beach for 3 and 5 year
olds? How about kid freindly hotels, condo, whatever. Any info would be
About Catalina, I've been going there every summer since I was a baby; I've
in my grandparents' house, so I can't help with hotels, except to say that
with kids, you
probably don't want one on Front (or Crescent) street. There are crowds at
loud, but still--on the front street and it might bug you. The restaurants
on the island
are not the greatest, and tend towards the expensive (a captive market!),
so if you can
find a hotel with a kitchenette (depending on how long you're staying) you
might be better
off for some meals. The weather in July and August is very warm during the
shorts--and at night you might need sweaters. The island feel is great.
There are very
few cars (although more now tah nten years ago!), you can go everywhere on
foot (you can
also take a bus tour ride, but a 3 year old would probably be bored), and
the air is balmy
in the summer. If you go, definitely go to Descanso beach during the day or
Fridays and Saturday nights they have a salad bar buffet and you bring your
own seafood or
meat to grill, and sit at big picnic tables on the beach. have fun!
I spent four or five summers on Catalina at Cherry Valley Cove in Boy Scout
camp. The water is COLD -- about 55 degrees -- because the island is far
enough off the coast to be smack dab in the middle of the Japan Current, our
West Coast anti-Gulf Stream! Since I always chose the water sports
programs, the first thing I had to do on arrival was jump off the dock and
prove I could swim. That was virtually the only time I went in the water,
except for the one time I went diving for numbered rocks in the cove (how
dumb can you be?) and came out 20 minutes later blue to the bone.
If you like to swim at Ocean Beach or elsewhere in Northern California you
might enjoy the waters at Catalina -- otherwise, stay dry or wear a wet (or
Catalina Island is known for being 10 degrees cooler in the summer and
10 degrees warmer in the winter than the mainland due to the tempering effect
of the ocean. Although the interior can get hot, the weather in Avalon is
wonderful. Avalon Beach has very gentle waves since it faces the mainland. The
water is cool, but not freezing like up here. We went there for several summers
when I was a little kid, and I loved it.
this page was last updated: Apr 14, 2011
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