Consistently named one of the best island getaways by media outlets nationwide, Catalina Island, located just 22 miles off the Southern California coast, is a unique blend of laid back vibe, rich and historic past, features water and land activities to suit any taste and modern-day amenities and services for every budget.
The island is constantly evolving to offer visitors the best experience, whether it’s to relax and rejuvenate or rev up the action. Following are a few of the new happenings on the island this year. We urge you to visit NOW.
ESCAPE ROOMS: Feel free to dress and talk like a pirate at Catalina Room Escape, one of two new Escape Rooms to open on the island. The Pirate Challenge allows participants one hour to solve a variety of riddles, discover clues and escape from the room. Info: 310.510.2777. https://www.catalinaroomescape.com/
The rules are much the same at Escape Room Catalina. You and your group of two-to-eight confidants have one hour to crack the code, solve the mystery and escape the room. Room themes change with the season, so the company promises they always have fresh puzzles to solve. The company can set up a challenge at their location, or at a hotel room or vacation rental. Info: 310-510-8575. https://escaperoomcatalina.com/
ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES: Catalina Aerial Adventure is flying high. Be sure to try it to get your adrenalin pumping. The new ropes-and-planks course weaves through a grove of towering eucalyptus trees deep within Descanso Canyon. Other adventurous activities nearby include Zip line Eco Tour and Catalina Climbing Wall, https://www.visitcatalinaisland.com/activities-adventures/land/catalina-aerial-adventure.
More good news for hikers and backpackers: Catalina Backcountry is operating a concierge service for outdoor enthusiasts. The company will take a load off your back by transporting supplies and equipment. It also offers a naturalist-led hikes, can set up comfort camping or create an adventure expedition. Info: 310.510.1212, http://catalinabackcountry.com/
TWO HARBORS: Yes, there is a second city on the Island of Catalina. Two Harbors, at the island’s West End, is known for being low-key and rustic. But it has undergone a face-lift, with a new sandy beach, plush palapas, lounge chairs, a group gathering place, food and beverage service on the beach and a small business center. You can take a Catalina Express ferry from San Pedro to Two Harbors. Info: 800.613.1212 Catalina Express; 310.510.4205, https://www.catalinaexpress.com/; http://www.visitcatalina.com/
TOURS: Hop on an eco-friendly bus to tour the island. The all-electric buses are operating on Catalina Island Company tours of Skyline Drive and on Inland Expedition tours. In addition to eliminating the need for diesel or gas, the buses have huge windows, air conditioning and quiet, smooth rides. Info: 877.778.8322, Visit https://www.visitcatalina.com/
About Catalina Island and Catalina Express
Located 22 miles off the coast of Southern California, Catalina Island is accessible by boat from three ports via Catalina Express: San Pedro, Long Beach and Dana Point. Catalina Express offers up to 30 daily departures and year-round service to Avalon and Two Harbors, transporting nearly one million passengers annually. It offers comfortable airline-style seats and grouped table seating. Traveling to Catalina Island in as little as one hour, each vessel was designed and built/purchased specifically for comfort and speed. Catalina Express is an unparalleled resource in Southern California, and one of the world’s most respected ferry fleets. For information and reservations call 800.429.4601, or visit https://www.catalinaexpress.com
Catalina Island’s clear blue waters and Mediterranean climate and ambiance are a Shangri-La. The laid-back island town is chock full of places to eat, drink, shop. Catalina has a wealth of natural and cultural resources, unique animals and plants found nowhere else on earth. Sightseeing opportunities are numerous and varied from escorted tours around town, adventure rides into the interior, jeep eco tours, hummer rides, to zip lines, rock climbing and undersea adventures. Independent activities are plentiful, such as camping, hiking, snuba, to diving, snorkeling, kayaking, spa treatments, as well as beach lounging, golf, motor boating, parasailing, fishing, boat rides down the coastline and more.