Los Angeles-Area Tourist Spot Is A Mediterranean-Style Travel Destination
The escape from LA to tropical island paradise – otherwise known as Catalina Island – is back open to tourists after the COVID-19 shutdown.
And to make it easier to get there, Catalina Express has increased its departures schedules. The round-trip price is about $75 (it varies by a couple of dollars depending on the departure port). The ferry goes to both Avalon and Two Harbors. A complete schedule with fares is available on the Catalina Express website (link below).
There’s plenty to do once you get to Catalina, of course. Avalon is filled with shops, restaurants, bars and most of the island’s activities. The waterfront is lined with these places and for those who seek water recreation there’s snorkeling, scuba diving, a glass-bottom at ride, kayaking, fishing or just dining and drinking, for Avalon has some great bars.
Its Descanso Beach Club has zip lines, an “aerial adventure” which is kind of an elevated walk through the tree line, a rock climbing wall, cabanas and a beach bar.
Two Harbors is a remote beach where most of the people with sailboats go when sailing from Southern California harbors. The water is great for swimming and kayaking and there’s scenic walking and bicycling trails along the cliffs. Its lone bar/restaurant, Harbor Reef – much of which is a just a deck, really – has the island’s best Buffalo Milk, Catalina’s frothy signature cocktail. PubClub.com has spent many nights drinking Buffalo Milks and dancing under the starts at the Harbor Reef bar.
As Two Harbors and Avalon are half an island apart from each other, you pretty much have to choose between one or the other, tho there is now a boat that goes between them. The Cyclone Power Boat is just $15 each way. There is only one boat a day, departing Avalon at Noon and from Two Harbors at 2, so if you’re on Avalon and want to check out Two Harbors, you’ll only have enough time for lunch and a couple of Buffalo Milks at the Harbor Reef. Or, if it’s your last day, you can take the Two Harbors ferry back to San Pedro.
Inland, there’s tours that where you can see the buffalo graze and as well as remote beaches and coves.
There’s also a par 3 golf course and the “airport in the sky,” popular among private pilots. Catalina can be a day trip or an overnight adventure. Hotel rooms are $200+ a night and there is camping in Two Harbors and in the island’s interior.