Wow, I can’t believe the last time I wrote out a blog post was when I was moving to So Cal, where has the time gone?! Especially this year. Before I dive in, I want to take a second to acknowledge this really scary and uncertain time in our world. I know Covid has taken so much from so many and we are all just trying to navigate through this insane year. I want you to know that I’ve had the sad and depressed days, the days where you have no idea what life will look like and it’s hard to see the light at the end of tunnel. I see you, I understand you. During this time I decided to take up new hobbies, devote more time to S&S and live my life more in the moment. I REFUSED to let an entire year just waste away. It’s not IF it’s WHEN.
Okay now back to my post!
When you’re a blogger/ influencer you will never be able to please everyone, heck in life too. Some people aren’t comfortable traveling right now, let alone really leaving their home to go to the grocery store. I respect your decision either way and I hope you can bring that same respect to me(: With all the questions I got from our trip to Catalina Island I thought it would only be best to put it into a full blog post, my comeback to my website if you will lol.
Catalina was honestly one of my favorite trips and definitely a place I’ll be going back to. During such a crazy and stressful time it was so nice to be able to escape (safely that is) and enjoy as much as the island had to offer.
Things to know!!!
Catalina is on an island. This might sound self-explanatory but one of the agents told one of us we could drive there. Unless you have some cool water car I highly doubt that haha. Once you arrive there are two sides to the island, Avalon and Two Harbors. The ferry will take you to Avalon so if you want to go to Two Harbors there is a (separate) speedboat that will take you to the other side. So if you plan on visiting Two Harbors remember you need to purchase 2 different tickets.
Crusin’ to the Island:
Once you have planned when you are visiting the next thing you need to book is the ferry to Avalon. We ended up paying through a third party so our ferry tickets were only $60/per person round trip. That might sound like a lot, but when you take into account the hour and half ferry ride to the island and an hour and a half back it makes sense. There are so many promotional deals going on right now so do your research on discounted tickets so you don’t have to pay full price(:
There are several places to catch the ferry that they dock from (Long Beach, Newport, Dana Point and San Pedro). Do yourself a favor and book in advance! This was a very last minute trip, so by the time we looked at reservations everything was pretty much full. They also were only booking at half the capacity due to Covid so spots went quicker than usual. I would like to note that originally we never booked the ferry just the speedboat to the other side of the island and then lounge chairs when we got there. They say no refunds after purchase on their website however, we had no issue getting a full refund for both. I even came up with this elaborate Covid lie that we never had to even use #bummer hahaha.
The whole process was so incredibly easy and the staff was amazing! We chose to take the first ferry to the island (6:00 am I believe?) and that was by FAR the best decision we could have made. The island was completely empty when we got there giving us time to explore without any crowds, get the beauty of seeing the island in the morning, book anything we needed right away with no lines and of course an endless amount of photo opps, free of any people. The girls and I were talking about it on the ferry ride back, that our trip wouldn’t have been the same if we showed up later when everyone else had so I truly cannot recommend this enough!!
Arriving to the island:
To be honest since we booked so last minute, we didn’t really have a plan going into our day (very unlike me). Instagram didn’t give us much insight as to what to do, so we decided to just wing it. When we arrived to the island around 7:30 am we just took a moment to take it all in. Guys, Catalina is GORGEOUS! It truly felt like I was on an island in the Caribbean or walking the streets of Greece, hard to believe a place like this exists just a few hours from where I live. *There were signs everywhere to social distance, wear masks and people patrolling the area to enforce those rules* When we started walking around besides scuba diving or snorkeling we saw that renting golf carts was a popular activity. Catalina isn’t entirely a flat island so the way locals get around the island is by golf carts. One of the places didn’t open until 10 and the other didn’t take same day reservations. If that worked out we would do it if not we would find something else to do. We got directions to Descano Beach Club and started making our way over there, stopping every now and then for a photo opp.
(Important: You are free to bring whatever you would like on the ferry/island; lounge chairs, food, alcohol, floaties, strollers etc. However, depending on what you want to do it might be a hassle to carry it all. There is a beach on Avalon that is right off of the ferry station but Descano Beach Club (where we went) was definitely a walk we were not expecting, so plan accordingly. As for the speedboat to Two Harbors I’m not sure what you can bring since that is a much smaller boat so I recommend doing your research first!)
Descano Beach Club:
When we got to the club it was beautiful but MUCH smaller than the photos had portrayed with little to no sand to lay out on. Also I would like to note that the island has very strict hours. The beach club is only open 11am- 4pm, so you don’t miss the last ferry at 5 pm. Once you get to the beach club the obvious choice is to rent a chaise lounge (the super boujee looking ones in my photos) since there isn’t a ton of space otherwise. However they do not accept same day reservations, and depending on the day you are looking to visit, these chaise lounge chairs have to be booked weeks, if not months in advance.
You reserve the chairs by pairs, and depending on your preference of where you would like to sit will dictate the price (anywhere between $85-$100). There are also entire cabanas for larger parties or more privacy that range in price as well. These all include full beverage and food service as well as supply you towels and umbrellas. Honestly if I knew how fast they would book up and was spending a few days on the island I would have 100% reserved the lounges one of the days; Next time for sure. If you aren’t able to reserve any chairs you can still eat at the restaurant, walk around or go swimming. There is also a zip lining tour behind the club that looked so fun!!
What we did: When we arrived to the beach club I tried to talk to the manager to persuade him to get us the lounge chairs. Needless to say it didn’t work because even if someone didn’t show up they would still honor that reservation for the rest of the day #lame. However, they do supply a limited number of pop up chairs and umbrellas to rent on a first come first serve basis at $15 per person. These are not listed on their website but since we got there early we were able to snag a few and started laying out before the club even opened. We ended up enjoying the beach for a few hours while it was still peaceful and then went and grabbed lunch at the club restaurant. Let me tell ya’ll, the food and drinks are soo good. I still have dreams about that Bloody Mary!! If that isn’t your scene, you can also walk around the club and event center, check out the zip lining excursions, and even rent snorkel gear at the kiosks.
Cartin’ Around the Island:
Once we were done with lunch we walked back through town to see if they had any golf carts available and ended up booking through Island Rentals right off the main road. They charge by hour ($50/per hour) so we paid for 2 hours. We actually lucked out and got an extra 15 minutes free of charge since we were arriving back around the time they were closing #score. This specific company only took cash but there was an ATM that was close by so it worked out fine. The entire experience was so fun and had me and the girls laughing and video taping the entire time. The tour takes you through the cutest little neighborhoods, hidden coves to take a dip in and puts you on the tip-top of the island to see panoramic views, it was truly incredible.
Note: the lady we talked to did not explain the map very well lol. The girls were cracking up listening to this woman speed through every turn we were supposed to take and not supposed to take with me. Needless to say, within the first 15 minutes I got us lost hahaha. The golf cart however was easy to operate, comfortable and clean and we ended up just doing our own thing and then driving back on the course. After our 2 hours were up we dropped off the cart and headed back to catch the ferry early; After a very long day a nap was in order (;
Have you guys been to Catalina Island?! What did you do when you went? I need recs for next time (: As always thanks for following along and hope to chat (more frequently that is) with you guys soon! xo