I just got home from a week long trip down to Southern CA with my family. We spent a day in Long Beach before flying over to Catalina Island. Traveling with an almost 17 month old had it’s challenges but it was also so much fun!! The road trip down south and back was probably the hardest part for Mason. We spent way too many hours in the car but it was totally worth it for the experiences we got to share as a family.
I’ll start by saying that just like when we were in Canada renting certain baby items is totally the way to go. We rented a stroller for the week so we didn’t have to carry Mason around everywhere or chase after him. Not all the hotels have a crib so if you’re baby needs one to sleep they have places you can rent those too. We opted for Mason to just sleep with us in bed.
So here it goes, this is what topped my list for my favorite places to Eat, Shop, Do while on Catalina Island! I hope you enjoy!!
1. Descanso Beach Club. This private beach club has all the island vibes you could ask for. Justin and I literally were reminded of our Caribbean cruise we took over 10 years ago together. The music was totally our jam and the food was really good. It’s the only place on Catalina Island where you are literally dining on the beach! They serve lunch only so you can enjoy the ocean, sand and sun to the max while you’re there!
2. Bluewater Grill. We enjoyed an early dinner (ordered off their lunch menu) out on their patio the first night we were on Catalina Island. I had their grilled Mahi Mahi sandwich but sub’d out the bun for lettuce. Justin enjoyed their Cabrillo chicken sandwich and we ordered Mason grilled fish dipping sticks with veggies and apple juice. They served his meal in a bento box which was super cute and it came with carrot sticks and grapes (which he loves).
3. Luau Larry’s. The crab cakes here were notable and definitely worth stopping in to get. I ordered lunch to-go there one day since our hotel was right next-door and so we were able to enjoy our lunch on the lounge chairs at our hotel rather than eating indoors at one of their booths.
4. Avalon Grille. Whenever we travel Justin and I like to enjoy at least one fancy dinner. This trip we chose Avalon Grille for dinner our last night on Catalina Island. The ambiance was great and the service was excellent. The food was delicious!! I splurged and ordered a glass of wine since the Whole30 was over and had the best dessert that was recommended by our waitress. For dinner I enjoyed a salad with grilled shrimp (still trying to stick close to Whole30 as I can without making things complicated), Justin had their Mahi Mahi, and we ordered Mason chicken fingers since he’d been eating mainly fish this entire trip.
1. Latitude 33. Has a little bit of everything! Men’s and Women’s clothing, sandals, sunglasses, souvenirs, and some everyday items that can make your time on Catalina Island that much more enjoyable. I was immediately drawn to the wall full of Barefoot Dreams pieces! I love how soft and cozy this brand is and I was so close to buying a set to wear around the hotel.
2. Sunkissed. This store was just so cute and total beach living. They had small home decor items. Mainly, wall hangings but also some tabletop decor pieces. Think finishing touches to make your beach cottage dreams a reality.
3. Two’s Co. of Avalon. This shop actually had two locations along the main strip on Catalina Island…one on each end! They carry a number of different artists from decorative tile to jewelry and glass starfish for an added touch to your home. They can pack and ship anything you buy so you don’t have to travel home with it and potentially have something break.
1. Helicopter ride. We chose to fly round trip to Catalina Island as opposed to taking the ferry. It saved us so much time (15 minute flight vice 1 hour boat ride) and was an experience in itself! IEX Helicopters provides not just round trip flights but also has some helicopter tours around Catalina Island that you can choose from. This I would highly recommend as the view from the sky is just so incredible!! (PS I’ll be sharing more on this in another post coming soon!)
2. Undersea Expedition. This was so great for Mason. He loved seeing all the fish underwater and also getting some time on the boat deck to see where we had boated out to. This is the perfect activity if you’re traveling to Catalina Island with your LO’s. Most of the island activities have a minimum age which Mason was well under but this 45 minute boat ride was perfect!
3. Descanso Beach Club rental. I mentioned before that the Descanso Beach Club was a great place to eat but it was also one of the activities we enjoyed most as a family. We love the beach and so getting to be at their private beach was really nice. What I mean by this is that to enjoy the beach area you need to either rent out lounge chairs (they come as a set of two with a side table and an umbrella) or a cabana for the day. Since we were there during the off-season it was very relaxing with only a few other groups on the beach. PS the restaurant will serve you food and drinks at either the lounge chairs or cabanas.
4. Rent a golf cart. This was such a great experience. We rented a golf cart for an hour to tour around Catalina Island. They provide you with a map which has a suggested route to drive and also shows which roads you can drive your golf cart on and which ones are off limits. You really only need an hour to see all of Avalon. For those traveling with LO’s they provide a car seat so there’s no need to rent one separately. Mason had a blast and I think it was honestly his favorite thing we did. He made it almost 30 minutes in before he fell asleep.
Pavilion Hotel. We had an amazing time at the Pavilion Hotel. You can tell that they really take pride in the look of their hotel and making their guests experience as pleasurable as possible. They have complimentary breakfast and a wine and cheese happy hour from 4:30-5:30pm everyday. Their lounge area is so quiet and peaceful. I loved their fire pit, it was great for unwinding early evening before dinner. The hotel is centrally located and everything is totally walkable. They also partnered up with the Catalina Spa to allow guests to use their fitness and wellness facilities during their stay.
I am so excited to be bringing back an old favorite series I did a few years back. I’ve already secured contributors to share their favorite places to Eat, Shop, Do in their cities for the next few months but if you’re interested in contributing and sharing the gems of your city email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with Eat, Shop, Do and your city in the subject!
As always, thank you so much for stopping by the blog today!