Last year I was inspired to visit Catalina Island in Avalon, California after seeing a blogger’s post (Kathleen Barnes – Guide to Catalina Island) on Pinterest. Catalina Island is about an hour by ferry from Long Beach, California, and feels like you’re away on an exclusive island. Similar to my trip to San Francisco, I was visiting Los Angeles and wanted to plan an excursion to Catalina. I went to the digital brainstorming platform of Pinterest and came across another great blog post (Bobo and ChiChi’s post – Catalina Island The Girl Next Door You Didn’t Know About) to help me create an agenda and bookmark some great tips for the trip.
I booked a great ferry and hotel package with The Portofino Hotel. I arrived in Avalon just before 11 a.m., just in time for check-in, then shortly after, me and my adventure road dog (lol), Ashlyn, were headed to the Avalon Tasting & Cultural Walking Tour with Catalina Food Tours. Before I get into the tour, let’s make a pit stop and check out the super adorable room at The Portofino. The hotel was in a perfect location, steps away from restaurants, gorgeous views, and a short bike ride to the Casino and beach. Our room was a Courtyard Double-Double on the first level with a courtyard view. One flight up was the sundeck which provided a picturesque view of Catalina and the ocean.
Back to the tasting and walking tour…our tour guide, Lili was amazing! At no point was the tour boring and the food was soooo good. Throughout the tour, Lili would point out landmarks and share the history of Catalina Island. The tour included 6 tastings, I tried to pick my favorites as I wrote this post, but every tasting was delicious! But if I had to choose the most memorable items…the coconut shrimp at Steve’s Steakhouse & Seafood, the potato taco at Coyote Joe’s, the Sweet & Spicy Tea from Catalina Coffee & Cookie Co., and a MUST HAVE…the Apple Pie Alamode at Lloyd’s of Avalon! After the tour we crashed for a nap then had dinner at Bluewater Avalon. After dinner with a gorgeous view, we headed to Luau Larry’s for a drink and live music before calling it a night.
The next morning we rented bikes (free rental) from the hotel and stowed our bags before making the trek to the beach. We hopped on our bikes and headed to Descanso Beach Club to soak up some sun. We parked our bikes, checked in, and was escorted to our chaises. After getting settled in, we were greeted with welcome drinks and cold waters. We had the perfect set up to enjoy the breeze, the beach, our mojitos, and spectacular view. After the beach, we headed back to the hotel, returned our bikes, and headed back to LA. Thanks for the hospitality Catalina Island! You were a beautiful getaway!