It’s Catalina Island week here and we’re presenting a three-part feature on the island. We spent an awesome weekend there venturing out of our comfort zones, trying new things, and having a wonderful time. How could a paradise this beautiful be so close to crazy Los Angeles? To start things off — the top five things we love about Catalina!
[one_fifth][/one_fifth][four_fifth_last]Warm, friendly smiles all around
Catalina Island is nurtured and maintained by a rather small community, and while many of them are pure islanders, there are some who moved there in their later years, too. Our bartender at Catalina Cantina, who was very nice and chatty, mentioned that he moved to the island after meeting a woman during his first visit. She eventually became his wife, and now they’ve got kids and are living happily in Catalina. The people of Catalina are there because they want to be there and have genuine love and concern for the place. They all work together to keep it as much as possible in its original, beautiful state.
You get to make use of your legs. For, you know, walking and stuff.
The charm of this place is in its size. The island is small enough that you can walk or bike to anywhere. Feeling hungry? The boardwalk is most likely just a block away from your hotel, less if your hotel is on the boardwalk already. Feel like swimming? The Descanso Beach Club, which is actually open to the public, is less than 10 minutes of walking away. Catalina fosters a very active lifestyle that is very much lacking in urban cities. Cars are rare as they prefer “autoettes,” which refers to golf carts or golf cart-sized cars. This means minimal pollution and zero traffic.[/four_fifth_last]
[one_fifth][/one_fifth][four_fifth_last]There’s just the right amount of things to do.
A wide range of outdoor activities are available on the island, including hiking, para-sailing, zip-lining, diving, and sightseeing. Once you’re done working those muscles though, you’re free to sit, at a beachfront cafe or your hotel patio, and enjoy the moment. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to do nothing at all. Which brings us to the next point…
Cafes don’t offer free Wi-Fi.
It’s hard not to think about work even when you’re on a beautiful island. Admittedly, we brought our laptops with us and tried using them in a cafe one afternoon in between scheduled activities. There wasn’t a reliable Wi-Fi connection to be found, which sort of forced us back into Islander Mode. That’s something we appreciate now looking back, because it’s not everyday we find ourselves on Catalina Island. Might as well make the most of it, right?[/four_fifth_last]
The first thing you notice about the place is the marvelous waterfront patio seating. But trust us when we say the view pales in comparison to the real star of Antonio’s – the pizza! Thanks to Matt, one of our zip-line instructors, who gave the place a glowing review, we decided to try it for ourselves. Yes, that was a great decision. We’d gladly go back for more.[/four_fifth_last]
Stay tuned for a detailed retelling of our short, but sweet trip. Plus: where to stay, activities you absolutely have to try, and a unique itinerary that’s guaranteed to acquaint you with the island in a short amount of time. Thank you to our dear friends at the Catalina Chamber of Commerce for taking such good care of us!