The first time I saw Santa Catalina Island was at ‘Getaway’ – an Australian travel show. I was awfully surprised that I have been to USA many times and I’ve never heard of this beautiful island. I wasn’t even living under a mushroom. It certainly escaped from my ‘travedar’ (travel radar). It became my mission to go there asap.
Santa Catalina Island, often called Catalina Island, is a rocky island off the coast of California. The island is located about 35 kilometres south-southwest of Los Angeles, California. The only way to get there is by a boat.
As soon as we arrive, I was instantly delighted. We were greeted with a vivid blue sky like a huge parachute hovering across the island. It is a beautiful island removed from the hustle and bustle of LA. The atmosphere and demeanour of the island has an exotic Mediterranean-feel. The Mexican influence is evident in the architecture and cuisines served in the restaurants. The island offers many leisure activities like sailing, snorkelling and mountain-hiking (might not be leisure for some). If you just want to stay in the main drag, there’s the stunning art-deco Casino, a couple of nice beaches (at the front and at the end of the island ), a good selection of nice restaurants and a handful of souvenir shops. I love this island although we were only day-trippers. I would have loved to stay there overnight if not for some time constraints. Apparently, the ambience magically changes from daytime frantic to twilight romantic.
TIP: Hire a golf cart to see the whole island. It’s worth it.