It’s all mermaid wishes and Catalina dreams after visiting one of LA’s best unkept secrets. The tiny little island has more to offer than an epic wine mixer. Avalon is a small and charming beach town with colorful shops and restaurants all in walking distance from each other. It’s the perfect California day trip for two Dolls.
As with most adventures, the journey is a crucial element. We woke up early with our Doll crew in tow and headed to the San Pedro Port to board a ferry to Catalina Island. This island is only 20- something miles off the coast of Southern California dripping with sunshine, love and magic.
This California vacation spot has an international vibe reminiscent of the Amalfi Coast. Avalon has its own casino, beautiful bay, and colorful properties speckled across the hilly terrain.
Top 5 Things to Do in Catalina Island:
- Go on an Adventure: The bay is full of dolphins, sea lions and more aquatic life – go on a glass bottomed boat, snorkel or scuba dive to experience it.
- Enjoy the Local Food: There are a plethora of great restaurants on the water with beautiful views and delicious food. We recommend the sea food – halibut, white sea bass, yellow tail and tuna are all caught and prepared locally.
- Explore the Shops: From silly souvenir shops to upscale boutiques there are plenty of opportunities to find a unique addition toy our closet.
- Live, Laugh & Relax: Sometimes it’s the quiet moments with your best friends that feel so good. We spent plenty of time laying on the beach, sharing stories and dipping into the California waves.
- Make your own Catalina Wine Mixer: There are plenty of liquor stores near the action. In order to save some dollhairs, we bought a nice bottle of wine and enjoyed it on the beach together.
We were surprised to learn of a special connection the island has to Chicago. William Wrigley Jr. acquired the majority of the Catalina Island Company in 1919 and descendants of the Wrigley family are still involved with the company today. Wrigley made it the spring training location for the Chicago Cubs and built a Casino in 1929. The casino a replica of Wrigley Field. The Wrigley’s later donated 42K acres of land to the Catalina Island Conservancy for preservation.
Dolls Favorite Catalina Fun Facts:
- The Chicago Cubs trained on Catalina Island from 1921 to 1951
- Catalina Island has served as the location for the filming of over 500 motion pictures, documentaries, television programs and commercials
- The Catalina Island Wine Mixer (a la Step Brothers) is now a real thing
- The popular 1920’s jazz song Avalon, written and sung by Al Jolson, is about the island
- Marilyn Monroe lived on Catalina Island for one year and six months with her first husband
- The Island is named after St. Catherine’s Day… Both Dolls are named after Catherine’s too: Caitlin (obviously) & Danielle Catherine.
- There is a 20 year waiting list to get a car on the island – most residences have golf carts or just walk
- Only a little over 4,000 people live on the island
- In 1920, Bison were brought over for a movie and Wrigley decided he wanted them to stay – You can still find them on the island today
- There’s no actual gambling at the Catalina Casino. The establishment takes its name from the Italian definition of casino, which is more along the lines of a house or a gathering place than a gambling hall. The iconic twelve-story-high building with its signature circular architecture and tall pillars hosts festivals, premiers movies, hosts walking tours and holds meetings and events.