We took a quick trip to Catalina Island this weekend, and before we went, I knew absolutely nothing about it. Now I know why it’s famous—it’s gorgeous!
We had to get there by boat. It was about an hour ride, and we had a sunny day for it. I observed something as we were boarding the boat—it was maybe 68 degrees out, and absolutely everyone around us was wearing hoodies, jeans, boots, even scarves and coats. I, however, was wearing a short-sleeved striped dress and open-toed wedge heels. Actually, yes, I am from a state where it’s snowing right now and 68 degrees in January is considered the tropics. Thanks for asking!
So the moral of the story is, I pretty much froze getting these pictures off the back of the boat. It turns out the wind on a giant boat going 20 miles an hour is quite chilly. Who knew? But the view was worth it!
Blue skies the whole way. Here comes the island!
And it’s getting closer:
(Side note: for some reason, this makes me think of the Mayan Ruins, which I have never seen and probably look nothing like this. But it’s a fun little idea in my mind.)
And it’s here! All of a sudden, we were right on top of it and people were jostling for the best photography spot on the back of the boat. I won. 🙂 Bonus points for a big camera and looking like a Midwestern girl who’s never seen an island. Whatever works.
We stayed at the cutest hotel and spa, called Catalina Canyon. It was up on a hill and small enough to feel very inviting. There are only about 4200 people who live on the island year round (and about 90% of them drive golf carts!), so the whole place feels very quaint and cute.
Here’s Dave, waiting patiently at the end of the hall outside our room while I took a million photos.
The view from right outside our hotel:
After a quick stop at a local bar to watch the Kentucky game (yes, on Catalina Island we must still watch Kentucky basketball) we headed out to see the casino.
Which, to our dismay, was not a casino at all but a historical building with a restored ballroom. The whole island was a Hollywood playground back in the ‘50s, and this place was kind of the crown jewel. I think it did have a casino at one time. But alas, it was closed so we just kind of wandered around it. The whole island was fairly quiet—I’m betting January isn’t prime tourist season.
So an interesting fact about the island—the night Natalie Wood drowned in 1981 (the actress who played Maria in West Side Story), she was sailing off the coast of Catalina Island with Robert Wagner and Christopher Walken. They never determined if her death was suicide, accidental or foul play, but there has been lots of speculation.
Creepy. And now here’s a picture of boats!
Even though it was a little chilly, the sun was shining bright.
Here’s a few pics of the cute downtown area (the “town” on the island is called Avalon):
And our friend Mr. Seagull.
(That is a seagull, right?)
And my favorite pictures of the whole trip, which unfortunately I didn’t take. Credit goes to Dave for these—he took them on his morning bike ride up in the mountains (me, bike riding, and mountains just don’t get along.)
Catalina was beautiful and a lot of fun—I’m glad I got to experience it!
We’re headed to San Francisco this weekend, so I’ll be back soon to share those pictures. Happy Thursday! 🙂