Last week I went on a trip of a lifetime hosted by the brand Petal & Pup, who graciously hosted me and about 10 other girls in Catalina Island. If you’ve never heard of Catalina Island, it’s a small island located off the coast of Long Beach, California. I went to Catalina (also known as Avalon) probably 15 years ago with camp. It’s a popular tourist spot, especially with local Californians. Honestly, it’s a best kept secret. The island totally gives off European vibes! Today I’m sharing everything you need to know when visiting Catalina Island!
How To Get To Catalina Island
Getting to Catalina Island does take a bit of time. My girlfriend Ashley (@tallblondebell) and I met at LAX and stayed in Long Beach at the Westin for one night. I honestly recommend flying into Long Beach, rather than LAX. LAX is my least favorite airport, plus it took us well over an hour to get to the hotel, despite being just 12 mile or so away from our hotel. Plus the cab cost us $160 from LAX to the Westin Long Beach (it was 5pm, so surge pricing was a thing). Next time I would fly into Long Beach or Orange County and keep it easy!
With that said, after staying the night at the Westin we met the Petal & Pup team and other influencers joining us on the trip at the Catalina Express Pier.
The ride over is about an hour and 20 minutes from the Pier to Catalina Island, and if you get sea sick, definitely take a motion sickness pill! I was totally fine, but I don’t get sea sick. I also took a meclizine for safety, but had zero issues.
Once we got to the pier, we got a taxi to our hotel, which was literally 5 minutes away. We dropped our bags and headed to the beach!
Also to note, one of the quirks of the island, is that you can’t own a car until you have lived on Catalina Island for 10 years! Once you live there for 10 years, you can apply for a vehicle. Most people, for that reason, drive golf carts. I suggest renting a golf cart if you are visiting! Cabs are not cheap and the island is small.
Where To Stay
I cannot rave enough about our hotel! We stayed at the Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel, and the view was absolutely insane! Everyone of us loved it. We had the pleasure of meeting and having dinner with the owner of the hotel. Basically the hotel is an old home, converted into a hotel. It’s just magical! The views are second to none (I mean… check out the view from our balcony!!). I wish I had taken photos of the interior of our room, because it was just stunning. When I go back, I’ll 100% be staying at the Zane Grey again.
Things To Do
Descano Beach Club
You GUYS… the Descano Beach Club in Catalina Island was unreal! We had a big cabana, with beach views and incredible service. I won’t lie, the drinks were STRONG (and delicious). I like that, they definitely give you what you pay for! We had the best day hanging out at the Descano Beach Club, and the food was also really freaking good. Ashley and I both had the Poké bowl, and it was healthy, fresh, and absolutely scrumptious! If you get a chance, spend the day at the Descano Beach Club! This is in no way sponsored, I just loved it.
FULL disclaimer, the actual beaches in Catalina suck. They’re rocky and not great. This is really the only way to get a pure beach vacay (in my opinion!).
Catalina Botanic Gardens
We spend one morning heading to the Catalina Botanical Gardens. It was a $21 cab ride for 6 of us, so again if you can rent a golf cart, I highly suggest doing it! Overall it’s a quick 30 minute to an hour excursion. It’s a bit of a trek up the stairs, but it was really no big deal. Clearly all of us were not dressed for hiking, although everyone else there was! I would probably wear sneakers next time. The botanical gardens are really nice, but it’s probably something I won’t do again. It was desert-y, and very AZ vibes (which I wasn’t expecting!).
Where To Eat
Here’s a few places that we ate while we were in Catalina Island. We didn’t have a ton of time, but if you do go, I highly suggest the below! We had amazing meals and coffee from these spots.