May 17, 2012
Before the summer ends there's still time to jump on a boat and head to Southern California's very own island paradise - a place where the hurried pace of mainland life shifts to island time. Catalina is California's only island resort destination, making it an excellent choice for a relaxing Southern California getaway. It's an hour away on a high-speed catamaran, or an even quicker ride if you take a helicopter. You can be relaxing in an island paradise in the time it takes to get across town. The weather on the island in late summer and early fall is delightfully warm and sunny, with water temperatures warm enough to enjoy all the activities Catalina is famous for: boating, snorkeling and relaxing at the beach. Accommodations on Catalina run the gamut - from tent site camping to beachfront hotels, from family-friendly inns to well-appointed condos, from charming cottage vacation rentals to an elegant four-star country inn. You can stay in a luxurious ocean-view suite or take the whole family to a comfortable beach bungalow close to town.
January 19, 2013 |
Dylan Bruno bobbed buoy-like in his lizard-patterned wetsuit and offered some advice: "Just kind of float there for a minute. " I lowered myself into the water after not-so-gracefully wriggling into a wetsuit, gloves, hood, booties, snorkel - all the attire a woman hopes to be wearing upon meeting a chisel-cheeked actor turned avid spearfisherman. "Get comfortable," he said when I joined him. I dipped my face into the water and peered down. Kelp forests swayed 20 feet below. Garibaldi fish slowly moved out from their hiding spots and jerked back into them again.
March 29, 2012 |
Last year, Catalina Express marked its 30th anniversary with a gift to passengers: free boat rides on their birthdays. Now the company is extending the freebie offer that's good for a round-trip ticket until next spring. The deal: To take advantage of the Free Ride on Your Birthday pass, you have to begin travel on your birth date and return anytime within 30 days. Make sure you have a valid ID too. Start by registering online. Once you receive an e-mail confirmation, print out the pass and make reservations for a boat online or by phone.
January 25, 2013 |
Here's an inexpensive spring-break idea: Go kayaking, hiking, zip-lining or just kick back on Catalina Island . Discount rooms start at $121 a night for a two-night hotel deal that puts you right in downtown Avalon and within walking distance of the beach. The deal: LivingSocial offers this arrangement for a standard room at the Aurora Hotel & Spa at 137 Marilla Ave. The rate requires a two-night stay and comes with a bottle of wine. Buyers may extend their stay by combining vouchers for this deal.
June 22, 2011 |
If you would like to be under the sea, perhaps in an octopus' garden, head to Sea Trek, Santa Catalina Island's newest attraction. No yellow submarine required. Intrepid wanderers need only don a wetsuit and a diving helmet before walking off the beach of the Southern California resort island onto the ocean floor. The guided excursion meanders among forests of kelp, where schools of anchovies, mackerels and other underwater denizens lurk. The brightly colored garibaldi, California's state marine fish, frequents the waters off the coast of Catalina.
July 25, 2011 |
Reggae rock comes to Santa Catalina Island with a Friday night beach concert by Dirty Heads. Tickets cost $30 each, but you can score a free ticket if you buy a round-trip boat package for $70. -- The deal: The Dirty Heads in Concert package includes same-day, round-trip boat fare between Long Beach and Avalon. Simpkin Project and HB Surround Sound open the concert from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Descanso Beach Club, an easy walk from the boat dock. Concertgoers travel on a Catalina Classic Cruises chartered boat from the terminal at the Queen Mary parking lot, 1046 Queens Highway, Long Beach.