Get out of town: Catalina Island retreat

September 7, 2010 | By | Comments (17)

Have you heard of Catalina Island? It's 22 miles off the coast of Los Angeles and earned a special place in my heart after a high school retreat to Howland's Landing, a week-long camp at the island. I snorkeled and kayaked for the first time ever and saw breathtaking ocean views that are hard to put into words. I ended each day sitting on the beach, admiring the nighttime glow of the stars (not to mention the bioluminescent plankton in the waves!)

September weather is perfect for an end-of-summer getaway to Catalina Island. The island offers hotels, bed and breakfasts and week-long camps (like the one I attended). It's abounding in stunning California views, fresh air, clean beaches, and tons of healthy outdoor activities.

Catalinaislandchamber

 Two Harbors, Catalina Island. Photo credit: Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce

Tips for a Catalina Island vacation:

Transportation: Boat is the easiest way to get there (though it is possible to get there by air), and ferries head to either Avalon or Two Harbors. Click here for
travel info, including boat and shuttle routes and schedules.

What to do: Explore nature on land and under the sea with wildlife tours, para sailing, bike rides, snorkeling,
scuba diving or kayaking. Or simply lie on the beach and soak up the island sun.
Click here for ideas. Special events are held each month. September's line up includes concerts by the water, an art festival, and fishing tournaments. 

What to see: Unique sea life, from the garibaldi, the California state marine fish, during the day to bioluminescent plankton at night. Take in breathtaking, panoramic views after a hike or bike ride to a hilly peak of the island. Wildlife viewing tours could let you see anything from a buffalo to a whale!

Where to stay: Options range from B&B’s, hotels or pitching a tent and
enjoying the stars. Weeklong camps for kids are also available. Click here for all
types of accommodations.

Check out: This interactive map of the island!

More links:

catalina.com

catalinaexpress.com

visitcatalinaisland.com

—Brett Bralley, copy intern

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