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Warning: You may be tempted to never return from your vacation in beautiful Catalina Island.

Catalina Island is the perfect getaway from the bustle of Los Angeles. The island is only an hour away from LA and easily accessible, but yet feels like it’s a world away. In the early 1900s—Catalina’s golden age— the island was a magnet for stars to escape Hollywood. There’s a rich history to the tiny island that can be experienced in its museums and cultural centers. Stepping onto the sands of Catalina feels like stepping back in time, to a simple and stress-free existence.

Just 22 miles long, the gorgeous island is home to only 4,000 inhabitants. Residents get around the rugged mountains on golf carts, and the island itself is easily walkable—the picturesque view isn’t a bad backdrop either. Catalina is perfect for a day trip, but is also fantastic for a multi-day vacation to truly relax and enjoy the quiet island life.

Here’s the perfect Catalina checklist:

1. Have A Zip Lining Adventure

The Catalina Zip Line Eco Tour opened in 2010, and allows you to reach speeds of up to 45 mph while soaring over the exotic island. Word to the wise: wear sunscreen! The sun’s rays, already amplified on the island, are stronger than ever up in the trees.

2. Cheers to Buffalo Milk:

The famous local favorite of Catalina Island, there’s no actual buffalo in this sweet cocktail. Containing Kahlua, Crème de Cocoa, and Crème de Banana, the creamy drink is a tribute to the buffalo on the island, which were left by a film crew after shooting a western in the ‘20s.

3. Revel in the Beauty of Descanso Beach Club

As one of the last private beaches in California with public access, Descanso is the place to be on Catalina. You can splash around in the turquoise waters with plenty of options to rent snorkels, paddle boards, and kayaks. Or, you could always simply spend the day sunning and getting tropical margaritas delivered to your beach towel—the choice is yours!

4. Enjoy A Movie in Avalon Theatre:

This art-deco masterpiece must-see seats over a thousand viewers. Avalon Theater is a reminder of the days when movies were just beginning, and each trip to the theater was a grand affair. The theater offers regular movies nightly, but it’s easy to get distracted when admiring the amazing architecture and stunning murals.

 

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