Weekend Getaway in Avalon, Catalina Island

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Advisor - Katie Gooding
Curated By

Katie Gooding

  • California

  • Beaches

  • Active Travel

  • Nature Escapes

  • Island

  • Relaxation

  • Long Weekend

Advisor - Weekend Getaway in Avalon, Catalina Island
Curator’s statement

Having spent numerous weekends exploring Catalina's stunning coastline, I've come to appreciate its unique charm. Whether you're seeking a family-friendly getaway or an adults-only retreat, Catalina offers a perfect blend of adventure and relaxation with breathtaking views. What sets this destination apart is its accessibility. Getting to Catalina from Southern California is a breeze, and once you arrive, you'll discover a myriad of activities both on land and in the water that cater to travelers of all ages.

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Day 1: Explore Avalon

island town

Take the first ferry out from your departure point to make the most of your time in Avalon. Once you arrive, drop your luggage off at your hotel and start your day with breakfast at Cafe Metropole.

Get your bearings of Avalon by renting a golf cart and starting your journey on Avalon’s Scenic Route. Your drive will begin by passing through lovers cove and looping up to Mt. Ada before heading inland towards the Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Gardens. After you’ve spent some time exploring the grounds, you’ll continue along the route to check out some jaw-dropping views. Check out the beginning of the Zip Line Eco Tour and stop at the Chimes Tower to see the Casino & Avalon from above before making your way back into town!

Avalon is full of great restaurants to stop at for lunch. I recommend NDMK Fish House, a locally owned seafood & sushi restaurant that serves up fresh catches every day.

Stroll along Crescent Avenue for some leisurely afternoon shopping, or take a walk down the pier and hop on one of the many Ocean Tours the Catalina Island Company has to offer.

End your day watching the sunset at one of Avalon’s many beachfront restaurants such as Maggie’s Blue Rose or Bluewater Grill!

Day 2: Beachside adventures

Weekend Getaway in Avalon, Catalina Island - Day 2: Beachside adventures

Walk along the boardwalk towards Descanso Beach Club, where you can spend your day lounging on the beach or staying active in the water.

The beach club offers cabana & lounge chairs as daily rentals so you can indulge while sunbathing on the pristine beach.

Kayak or stand-up paddleboard along the scenic coastline & hop in the water to snorkel amidst the colorful marine life.

Enjoying a delicious lunch and refreshing drinks at Descanso’s beachside bar & restaurant - be sure to try the famous Original Buffalo Milk while you’re there!

End your time at Descanso with a walk back towards Avalon as the sun sets on the harbor.

Get ready for dinner at M Restaurant - a delicious Italian spot on the main street with a fabulous view. Note that all of their pasta dishes can be substituted with gluten free penne!

Day 3: Spa day

Weekend Getaway in Avalon, Catalina Island - Day 3: Spa day

Check out of your hotel and into Island Spa Catalina for your last day in Avalon. Treat yourself to a blissful massage, facial or body treatment and spend the day unwinding in the therapeutic dry sauna and eucalyptus steam room or by soaking in the pool and hot tub. Wind down your day of rest and rejuvenation by enjoying the view from the spa’s relaxation deck.

Head back into town and stop by The Naughty Fox or Catalina Island Brew House for a last lunch before taking off back to the mainland!

Getting to Catalina Island

By Helicopter - IEX Helicopter offers quick flights to Catalina Island from various points throughout Southern California.

By Boat - From Newport Beach - Hop on the Catalina Flyer passenger ferry for a quick 75 minute ride into Avalon.

From Dana Point, San Pedro, or Long Beach - The Catalina Express passenger ferry will get you from the mainland to Avalon or Two Harbors in less than an hour and a half.

Advisor - Katie Gooding

Travel Advisor

Katie Gooding

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to California.