The Quick Island Getaway: Catalina
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The quick island getaway: Catalina
Dreaming of a holiday in Capri, but only have the time—or budget—for a weekender? Catalina is right here in our backyard.
For an ideal, self-contained vacay, try this little island, packed with activities like nighttime zip lining, water sports, and festivals galore.
Drive about an hour to Dana Point Harbor and hop on the Catalina Express (ticket office is inside Dana Wharf Sportfishing, 34675 Golden Lantern Street). Grab a cocktail on board and enjoy the one-hour cruise to Avalon. The boats operate daily. (catalinaexpress.com) You can also fly there in 15 minutes on a helicopter. islandexpress.com
Sign up now for The Catalina Island Triathlon, November 3. Swim a half mile, bike 15K, and run 3.1 miles. Or just grab a mimosa and watch.
Our favorite spot is the chic Hotel Metropole. The 52-room hotel is centrally located, clean, and well designed, and boasts a day spa. (205 Crescent Avenue, hotel-metropole.com) The somewhat larger Pavilion Hotel was renovated recently, and offers rooms with private patios and flat-screen TVs, plus a few fun freebies like afternoon wine and cheese tastings and complimentary iPad use. 513 Crescent Avenue, visitcatalinaisland.com
On the dining scene, Avalon Grille eliminates the cheese factor with offerings such as a Build Your Own Bloody Mary Bar on the weekends. Now in its third summer, Avalon Grille’s menu features several dishes made with locally caught fish. It just opened its doors to late-night patrons, serving ’til 1:30 a.m. Thursday–Sunday, with a DJ and bottle service. (423 Crescent Avenue, visitcatalinaisland.com) Catered by Hotel Metropole’s Zest restaurant, the new M Restaurant is a pop-up operation in the Metropole Marketplace, with oceanfront views on the patio and a full bar indoors. Only open on weekend evenings and for select dinners, they’ll serve menus themed with Southwestern, Mediterranean, and various international cuisines. zestcateringcatalina.com