• No Products in the Cart

An escape from LA is just a ferry ride away!: Exploring Catalina Island

catalina island sunset, catalina island model, catalina island couple, sunset kiss, adventurous couple, mr and mrs adventure, brittany rouille, drew neumann, avalon beach, transcatalina hike, hiking catalina island, hiking couple

catalina island sunset, catalina island model, catalina island couple, sunset kiss, adventurous couple, mr and mrs adventure, brittany rouille, drew neumann, avalon beach, transcatalina hike, hiking catalina island, hiking couple

The morning sun was shining brightly on our sleepy-eyed faces as the salty wind flew through our hair. We could see the outline of our destination in the distance and sat happily as the Cat Express gifted us with stunning views of the Golden Coast along our 1 hour commute. As the bustling roads and jam packed freeways of LA became more and more distant, we felt a sense of relief in our hearts… we were finally returning to one of our favorite places, a tiny island filled with wonder, relaxation and of course, adventure. Aaa, C A T A L I N A  I S L A N D .

catalina island, mr and mrs adventure, the green pleasure pier, green pier catalina island, things to do in catalina island, things to do in LA, best LA secrets, Catalina island casino, catalina island port, avalon port, avalon catalina island, things to do on catalina island

There are 2 ways to journey to Catalina:

  1. Helicopter: 15 minutes, quite a bit pricier (you have to call for pricing), great alternative if you get sea sick easily
  2. Ferry (Catalina Express, Catalina Flyer): 45 – 75 minutes (depending on what port you are leaving from and traveling to), you can buy a round trip ticket for your bike/surf board too ($7 roundtrip)! The Cat Express is slightly more expensive but they offer a larger selection of more ideal arrival and departure times, and you can ride free on your birthday! If you stay in the open air area you shouldn’t get sea sick, plus you get the best views!:

catalina island, catalina express, things to do in catalina island, things to do in LA, best LA secrets, catalina island port, avalon port, avalon catalina island, things to do on catalina island, how to get to catalina island, light house, san pedro port

Check out the mirage-like view of Catalina from the San Pedro Port:

catalina island, catalina express, things to do in catalina island, things to do in LA, best LA secrets, catalina island port, avalon port, avalon catalina island, things to do on catalina island, how to get to catalina island, view of catalina island from LA, outline of catalina island, san pedro portShortly after setting sail, we were lucky enough to meet the famous Rubber Duck! You can read more about his mission to spread joy around the world here:

famous rubber duck, what is the rubber duck, where is the rubber duck, rubber duck in las angeles, catalina express, san pedro port, yellow duck, florentijn hofman

famous rubber duck, what is the rubber duck, where is the rubber duck, rubber duck in las angeles, catalina express, san pedro port, yellow duck, florentijn hofman

Once we made it out to sea, a giant Blue Whale stopped by to show same tail too!

catalina island, catalina express, whale watching, whale tail, things to do in catalina island, things to do in LA, best LA secrets, catalina island port, avalon port, avalon catalina island, things to do on catalina island, how to get to catalina island

Before we knew it we had arrived to our destination with world class scuba diving, zip lining, hiking, biking and beach laying awaiting us:catalina island, mr and mrs adventure, the green pleasure pier, green pier catalina island, things to do in catalina island, things to do in LA, best LA secrets, Catalina island casino, catalina island port, avalon port, avalon catalina island, things to do on catalina island

catalina island, mr and mrs adventure, the green pleasure pier, green pier catalina island, things to do in catalina island, things to do in LA, best LA secrets, Catalina island casino, catalina island port, avalon port, avalon catalina island, things to do on catalina island, descanso beach club

Our favorite things to do in Avalon include:

  1. Scuba Diving at the Casino Point Dive Park with Dive Catalina:

dive catalina, things to do on catalina island, scuba in catalina, scuba dive california, scuba avalon catalina

dive catalina, things to do on catalina island, scuba in catalina, scuba dive california, scuba avalon catalina, yellow fish

  1. Exploring the shops and cafes along Crescent Avenue, “Avalon Bay Company” is my fave!catalina island shopping, catalina island shops, where to eat catalina, where to shop catalina, things to do on catalina island, catalina island brew house
  2. Descanso Beach Club: located just off the main strip with a live DJ mixing jams, fancy umbrella drinks, beachside service, loungers and more, this spot is the Vegas of Catalina! (plus kids lol)
    descanso beach club, things to do on catalina island, catalina beaches,
  3. Taking a leisurely stroll along the Green Pleasure Pier, you never know who you’re gonna run into!:

catalina island, mr and mrs adventure, the green pleasure pier, green pier catalina island, things to do in catalina island, things to do in LA, best LA secrets,

catalina island, the green pleasure pier, green pier catalina island, things to do in catalina island, pelican, california piers

catalina island sunset, catalina island model, catalina island couple, sunset kiss, adventurous couple, california piers, green pleasure pier, catalina sunset, avalon beach,

  1. Enjoying a drink and a refreshing dip at the Casino Dock Cafe, “Avalon’s best kept secret!”

casino dock cafe, best catalina bar, best kept secret in catalina, fun bar catalina, jump into water

casino dock cafe, best catalina bar, best kept secret in catalina, fun bar catalina, jump into water

casino dock cafe, best catalina bar, best kept secret in catalina, fun bar catalina, jump into water

  1. Camping at Hermit Gulch (book here) where you can even have catered food delivered to your campsite!:

hermits gulch, deer, deer on catalina island, camping avalon, where to camp on catalina island

Things to note: Reservations are required and there is a 2 night minimum for camping on weekends. You can rent all your camping gear, you are only permitted to burn wax logs (which they sell on site), showers are $1/minute (it was cold water only when we went) and it is located up hill so be prepared for a strenuous hike or bike ride up, or hop on the trolly for a small fee. We opted for bikes 🙂

catalina island bikes, take bikes on ferry to catalina, biking with backpacks, mr and mrs adventure

  1. Hiking the 3.9 mile Garden to Sky loop, starting from the back of Hermit Gulch Campground (permit required) or starting from the Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden:

The view of Hermit Gulch from the trail, you can see our little orange tent!:

catalina island hikes, hermits gulch, avalon hikes, garden to sky hike

Look at these sweet friends we made along the way. At night they all gather on the golf course to sleep and if you look closely, you can see a hundred twinkling eyes that shine just as bright as the twinkling stars that hang in Catalina’s crisp night sky.

hermits gulch, deer, deer on catalina island, camping avalon, where to camp on catalina island

catalina island hikes, hermits gulch, avalon hikes, garden to sky hike, view of avalon from above, garden to sky summit, trans- catalina trail, trans catalina hike

It takes about 1.5 hours to reach the top, with fresh, cool Pacific breezes the entire way:

catalina island hikes, hermits gulch, avalon hikes, garden to sky hike, view of avalon from above, garden to sky summit, trans- catalina trail, trans catalina hike

catalina island hikes, hermits gulch, avalon hikes, garden to sky hike, view of avalon from above, garden to sky summit, trans- catalina trail, trans catalina hike, quote at top of garden to sky hike, captain eddie harrison quote

A foxy, new friend!:

catalina island hikes, hermits gulch, avalon hikes, garden to sky hike, view of avalon from above, garden to sky summit, trans- catalina trail, trans catalina hike, fox

The views truly are awesome from the “garden to the sky”!:

catalina island sunset, catalina island model, catalina island couple, sunset kiss, adventurous couple, mr and mrs adventure, brittany rouille, drew neumann, avalon beach, transcatalina hike, hiking catalina island, hiking couple, garden to sky hike

catalina island hikes, hermits gulch, avalon hikes, garden to sky hike, view of avalon from above

catalina island hikes, hermits gulch, avalon hikes, garden to sky hike, view of avalon from above, garden to sky summit

Ending at William Wrigley‘s Memorial (of Wrigley gum!) in the Botanic Garden:

wrigley memorial, william wrigley jr, catalina botanic garden

This past trip was our third time to Catalina. We have been to Avalon twice and once to Two Harbors, these are the only two ports on the island. While Two Harbors is just as beautiful, we are definitely a bit partial to Avalon. With one store, one bar/cafe and one restaurant, Two Harbors relies on its unique gems to draw attention.

Things to do/see in Two Harbors include:

  1. The Wrigley Marine Science Center, a state-of-the-art research center and marine reserve:

two harbors, wriggles marine science center, usc marine lab, things to do on two harbors

  1. A quieter version of the Green Pleasure Pier, plus hiking, kayaking and camping:

two harbors, wriggles marine science center, usc marine lab, things to do on two harbors

3. And did I mention the buffalo? Yep you heard me right. In 1924, 14 buffalo were transported to Catalina Island for use in filming the motion picture, “The Vanishing American,” an old Western tale. After the picture was completed, William Wrigley Jr. agreed that the buffalo could remain on Catalina. There are now approximately 150 on the Island roaming free and we happened to run into one of them! Well, luckily we didn’t actually run into him:

two harbors, american buffalo, buffalos in two harbors, buffalo on catalina, things to do on two harbors

No matter where you decide to explore or what you decide to do, there is no denying the beautiful memories and lasting effect that Catalina Island has on the heart and soul.

catalina island sunset, catalina island model, catalina island couple, sunset kiss, adventurous couple, mr and mrs adventure, brittany rouille, drew neumann, avalon beach, avalon bay store

As we set sail that final evening, ending our journey right where it began, we watched as the sinking sun transformed the sky into a collection of swirling pastel water colors, reminding us to appreciate just how amazing the world we live in truly is…

catalina island sunset, catalina express, pacific coast sunset, california dreaming, amazing sunset, endless summer, beautiful

catalina island sunset, catalina express, pacific coast sunset, california dreaming, amazing sunset, endless summer, beautiful

catalina island sunset, catalina express, pacific coast sunset, california dreaming, amazing sunset, endless summer, beautiful

6 Comments

  1. Reply

    maddie

    September 10, 2014

    Picture perfect – both the people and the location.

    • Reply

      mrandmrsadventure

      September 10, 2014

      Thank you Maddie <3

  2. Reply

    rob

    September 5, 2014

    This is GREAT! Love the photos. Always wanted to check out the catalina island restaurants and casinos!

    • Reply

      mrandmrsadventure

      September 8, 2014

      Thanks Rob! Hopefully you can make the trip one day soon, it’s a special place 🙂

  3. Reply

    Rebecca

    September 3, 2014

    You two are truly inspiring! Can you do a post on hiking gear and list of must haves?

    • Reply

      mrandmrsadventure

      September 4, 2014

      Sha!! Great idea. We will get on it and will let you know as soon as it’s up, thank you for the suggestion!

Leave a Reply

RELATED POSTS