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  • Writer's pictureSam


Zack and I went to Catalina Island for the weekend to celebrate my 22nd birthday!

We had so much fun and actually relaxed for most of the trip! Below is the list of stuff I looked into before heading out. I had been to the island once for my cousin Laurens bachelorette weekend, so I had some idea of what was there. After that list, I will hit some of my highlights of the trip and some tips and things you need to know. There is seriously a ton of other things I didn’t list but we ended up seeing.

Catalina Island 🍋🌟


-Zip line Eco tours (2 hrs) night tour options

-Rent Kayak and search for hidden coves

-Old Wrigley Mansion

– Wrigley Botanical Garden- GIANT view

-Buena Vista point Overlook

-Aurora Catalina Hotel

-Descanso Beach

-Hotel St. Lauren- giant pink hotel 👌🏼

-Mt. Ada Hotel

-Lovers Cove


-Luau Larry’s

-Original Jacks Country Kitchen

-Antonios Pizzeria and Cabaret

-The Sandtrap $1 tacos and $5 margs

We took the Catalina Express out of Long Beach on the 12:15 p.m. boat.

We arrived around 1:15 and decided we would spend the afternoon on golf carts. We rented from the place closest to the boats. The other golf cart place takes a card and is closer to Pebbly Road but you have to be 25 years or older. We really loved the aerial views and taking pictures and driving around. With stopping every once in a while for photos and getting lost a couple of times, we took a little under 2 hours (the map was confusing and its incredibly hard following a map when it’s flying in the breeze hahaha). I know we really loved the cart rides! It ended up being like $90 for almost 2 hours.

Then we dropped our luggage at our hotel which was a little grimy but close to everything and the cheapest we could find. Staying at the Wrigley Mansion is $600-$1,100 a night wow. We still had a great time.

Next, we were hungry so we stopped at the Catalina Cantina to grab a drink during happy hour. The margarita was alright but the chips and salsa were the stars of the show. Super yummy.

Then we got late lunch at Mi Casita. Decent food and prices. The margarita was pretty big too!

We then literally took a nap for a few hours and then went out to the Avalon Grill for dinner. This place was pricy. We got the chicken for two and it was suuuper yummy. Service was a little slow and our server definitely seemed to cater to the older rich folks.

Then right before Scoops closed we got some dessert. I got the cookies and cream flavor, sooooo good.

The next day we had our day at Descanso planned. We got chaise lounges from 11 – 5. I got them complimentary from the Catalina Island Company! They were so sweet to let me celebrate my birthday there. Definitely use their site when booking your trip, it has amazing tips and all the staple activities on the island.

We ordered drinks all day and seriously enjoyed the sun to the fullest. It was so relaxing. Also, the chairs are huge and perfect for lounging comfortably. We ended the day with two shots of Casamigos Anejo, our new fave.

We were totally pooped after hours in the sun, so we decided to shower and relax with some Jane the Virgin.

Then we had dinner at The Original Antonios Pizza. Food was delicious but service was suuuuuuper slow. It took like 40 minutes for a small two-topping pizza. I get it, only two waitresses working a lot but they didn’t even set any expectations for how long we would be waiting.

I got one photo at the Hotel St. Lauren before going out for the night.

Then we went to The Galleon and enjoyed some karaoke. We didn’t get the liquid courage enough to get up their ourselves but it was a lot of fun watching.

The next day we didn’t have much of a plan. We thought about renting a boat from Green Pleasure Pier for 4 hours but we were brunt from the day before and figured sitting in the sun for that long would be brutal.

We started the morning at The Original Jacks Pancake House. The food was realllly good, but again the service was an issue.

We then spent the day just hanging out and sightseeing the little shops. We played at the arcade which was actually pretty fun. Then we walked over to Descanso Beach Club again to hang out for lunch. We got chips again and the Mango Chamoy Margarita. Our last drink on the island!

We then went to tour the Casino and it was tooootally worth it. The view in the ballroom is stunning. Absolutely loved it.

The last drink of the trip! I think commodore is worth experiencing once or for special occasions. You get a free drink and snack for the $15 dollar upgrade and priority boarding.

some tips

The island is known for the buffalos, so their specialty drink is the buffalo milkshake. Zack and I didn’t really love but we just aren’t much for milk drinking. The drink you need to have is the Mango Chamoy Margarita at Descanso Beach Club.

Be prepared to be a little disconnected. The cell service is pretty awful. The island has some free wifi but it doesn’t reach across the entire island. Some hotels/ Airbnbs offer their own wifi that works pretty well.

The water on the island is scarce, so be prepared to always have to buy water bottles and not get a free glass of water.

Mondays are cruise ships days. Tons of people flooding the island.

Let’s catch the wave! 🌊I hope you guys found this post helpful to plan your trip to Catalina!


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