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Escape to the Mediterranean Without Leaving California

Did you know you could take a cozy weekend getaway to the Mediterranean without leaving California? Just a 70-minute ride on the Catalina Express, and you arrive in paradise. Bathed in warmth and sunshine, nestled into the hills alongside a gorgeous seafront, Catalina offers a charming small-town vibe where terracotta roofs and balmy breezes whisper of the beautiful and idyllic Mediterranean.

How to Get to Catalina Island?

Swap Your Passport for a Ferry Ticket Aboard the Catalina Express

Imagine escaping the hustle and bustle of LA and finding yourself on an island utopia just over an hour later. With the Catalina Express, this dream becomes reality. Glide across the Pacific in comfort and style, savoring the refreshing ocean breeze and breathtaking coastal views before docking in the tranquil harbor of Avalon, Catalina. Choose from two distinct travel experiences:

  • Sail away in General Seating and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the main cabin. Large windows offer stunning panoramic views, making the journey just as enjoyable as the destination.
  • Elevate your experience with the luxurious Commodore Lounge. Here you can unwind in comfort and style with attentive service, cocktails, and a complimentary snack.
An image of the Catalina Express and the Commodore Lounge.
Wondering how to get to Catalina Island? Your journey to paradise begins sailing aboard the Catalina Express.

No matter which experience you choose, you’ve left the city behind and your island adventure awaits.


Stay Footsteps from the Beach at Chic Oceanfront Oasis, the Bellanca Hotel

Step into a world of coastal chic at the Bellanca Hotel, your gateway to an unforgettable Catalina escape. Boasting a prime location in the heart of Catalina’s only incorporated city Avalon, this boutique haven offers everything you need for a luxurious and memorable island vacation.

An image of a Bellanca Hotel room and the Bellanca rooftop lounge.
Step into a world of coastal chic in the heart of Avalon at the Bellanca Hotel. Relax in your hotel room or bask in the sun on the rooftop lounge.

Wake up to breathtaking ocean views from your spacious room. Downstairs complimentary bikes await, inviting you to explore the charming streets of Avalon and discover hidden gems at your own pace.

An image of Ariel sipping coffee on the balcony of the Bellanca Hotel, next to a photo of the complimentary bikes.
The Bellanca Hotel offers spacious hotel rooms and complimentary bikes.

After a day of exploring, unwind at the Naughty Fox, Bellanca’s trendy restaurant featuring delectable dishes and refreshing cocktails with a coastal flair. As the sun sets, ascend to the rooftop lounge and bask in panoramic vistas while sipping on handcrafted cocktails. Then, it’s time for my favorite part of the evening. Return to your room, take a hot bath, slip on your pajamas, and get cozy by the fireplace.

An image of a bathtub at the Bellanca, next to me lounging infront of the fireplace.
At the end of the night, there is nothing more relaxing than taking a hot bath, slipping on your pajamas, and getting cozy by the fireplace.

With its central location, the Bellanca Hotel places you within walking distance of Avalon’s vibrant shops, restaurants, and attractions. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a romantic getaway, the Bellanca Hotel is your retreat for an unforgettable Catalina experience.

Things to Do in Catalina

With the Catalina Island weather being near perfect, visitors can take advantage of exploring the island year-round. By bike or foot, there are so many things to do in Catalina. Dive into the island’s vibrant heart or embrace its wild soul with roughly 76 sq. miles of rugged landscapes, hidden coves, sun-kissed beaches, and boutique-lined streets to uncover.

Brown’s Bikes

Atop my list of things to do in Catalina is renting an E-bike from Brown’s Bikes. With over 20 miles of paved streets, you can pedal up hills and stumble upon hidden gems and breathtaking landscapes. We rode through charming palm-fringed streets, letting our inner child out as we lifted our legs off the pedals and soared through the wind. At that moment I forgot all my worries existed as I laughed so hard my stomach hurt. And the best part, soaking in the island’s beauty as we stopped to admire the sunset. Talk about one of the most breathtaking sites you will ever see.

An image of Ariel on an E-bike from Brown's Bikes.
Atop my list of things to do in Catalina is renting an E-bike from Brown’s Bikes.
Catalina Backcountry

For the more adventurous traveler, venture beyond the familiar Catalina and into a wild adventure with Catalina Backcountry. Known for creating customized day trips, each outdoor expedition is different, as it is uniquely catered to you and your interests. First, I want to say our guide was hilarious! Having grown up in Catalina, he not only showed us the best beaches, campgrounds, and Instagrammable picture spots, but he also showed us hidden coves and the best places for spotting animals. In fact, we saw an eagle soaring overhead, several bison, including one that was so close we could almost touch the horns, a fox, horses, and all kinds of beautiful plant life! We also learned the full history of the island with hilarious and heartfelt personal anecdotes.

Our 3-hour journey took us all over the island. We rode through the canyons, stopped at lookout points, stepped on the beach, hiked to the top of cliffs, and even grabbed a quick snack at Catalina’s only airport. I can’t wait to come back and explore more of the island with Catalina Backcountry with an overnight outdoor experience, which they also offer with gear haul included.

Looking for things to do in Catalina? Let Catalina Backcountry plan an outdoor adventure for you. An image of Ariel doing a yoga pose with the water in the background, and a large bison grazing.
Looking for things to do in Catalina? Venture beyond the familiar Catalina and into a wild adventure with Catalina Backcountry. Just look at that bison!

Catalina Dining

Put a Drink in Your Hand and Feet in the Sand at Descanso Beach Club

Just a few steps away from Catalina’s historic casino sits the island’s only beachside restaurant and bar, Descanso Beach Club. Soak up the turquoise tides and Catalina’s golden glow by dining on elevated bar bites like the Crispy Shrimp Bowl, DBC Burger, Tuna Melt, or Chicken Pozole Rojo. Pair your meal with frozen drinks, classic cocktails, wine, or beer. The Catalina Island weather is perfect for sitting on the ocean-view patio, but if the sand beckons you, elevate your experience by lounging in a private cabana.

An image of food and cocktails from Descanso Beach Club.
Take advantage of the Mediterranean Catalina Island weather and dine at the island’s only beachside restaurant and bar, Descanso Beach Club.
Enjoy Tranquil Waterfront Views at Bluewater Grill

Seafood lovers like myself need to dine at waterfront restaurant, Bluewater Grill. Take advantage of the Catalina Island weather and sit on their extensive outdoor patios with beautiful bay views. The menu features fresh sustainable seafood dishes like the scrumptious Calamari Fritti, Baked Crab & Artichoke Dip (that was so good my friend and I wanted to lick the bowl), Fisherman’s Platter, and Mediterranean Ahi Salad. And make sure to end your meal with a robust slice of Key Lime Pie.

An image of Ariel siting on the patio of Bluewater Grill and menu items.
Seafood lovers like myself need to dine at waterfront restaurant, Bluewater Grill, and make sure to order this Mediterranean Ahi Salad.
An image of two dishes at Bluewater Grill.
Bluewater Grill’s menu features fresh sustainable seafood dishes like the scrumptious Baked Crab & Artichoke Dip (l) and Calamari Fritti.
Laid-Back Island Vibes Meet Sophisticated Coastal Cuisine at The Naughty Fox

Laid-back island vibes meet sophisticated coastal cuisine at the Bellanca’s signature restaurant the Naughty Fox. Sit at the bar and watch the TVs, or dine outside and admire stunning ocean views. The food was so good, we ate there for dinner and breakfast. The food was fresh and delicious and all I can say are these three words, Ahi Poke Nachos. Picture this, avocado, mango, Fresno chilies, seaweed, cilantro, spicy aioli, and sesame seeds atop a bed of crispy wonton chips. I want to hop the Catalina Express right now just to grab another order of this masterpiece of a dish! Other must-trys are the Frito Misto Medley of fried calamari, scallops, and shrimp, Lobster BLT which was fried to perfection, and Lobster Mac and Cheese. And for breakfast, make sure to order the Avocado Toast and a side of you guessed it, lobster. Paired with the Breakfast Potatoes and Mimosas, and you have the perfect morning meal.

An image of the dishes at the Naughty Fox.
Laid-back island vibes meet sophisticated coastal cuisine at the Bellanca’s signature restaurant the Naughty Fox. The Ahi Poke Nachos (l) and Frito Misto Medley are simply delicious.
An image of two dishes at the Naughty Fox.
If lobster is what you fancy, the Lobster BLT and Lobster Mac and Cheese are must-haves.

Your Mediterranean Paradise Awaits

Whether it’s your first time heading to Catalina, or you want to fall in love with the island all over again, this quaint gem of the sea is just a 70-minute escape from LA. Bask in the Catalina Island weather, and immerse yourself in its captivating charm, azure waters, vibrant culture, and Mediterranean vibe. Breathe in the fresh island air, embrace the laid-back lifestyle, and chart your own island paradise on Catalina.




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