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Catalina Island Bucket List Day

Catalina Island Bucket List Day

Catalina Island is a picture perfect paradise and a world apart from the hustle and bustle of the mainland just 22 miles away. The air is refreshing, the water is clear, the adventures are abundant, the food is delicious, the community is casual and friendly, and there’s not one traffic light on the whole Island. With the support of Catalina Tours, who helped custom a full day tour, I planned a Catalina island bucket list day, including sightseeing, adventure, dining, and transportation.  Our day started at 6 am and finished at 8 pm but it was worth every spectacular second.

Catalina Island Bucket List Day

Starting Our Day
Catalina Express

Catalina Express – Catalina Express took us to Catalina Island in just a little over an hour. Boats depart ports in Long Beach, San Pedro, and Dana Point. We began our journey from the Long Beach Port. Parking was $17 for the day and there were plenty of spots available. We opted for first-class treatment at sea with a $15 upgrade to the Commodore Lounge. It gave us priority check-in and boarding, comfortable seating in a more intimate lounge environment, and a complimentary beverage with packaged snack served by cabin attendants.

The Arrival

Catalina Coffee & Cookie Co. Arriving on Catalina as the sun comes up is a spectacular way to start the day, but admittedly I was rather tired. The fix – Catalina Coffee and Cookie Co.. With homemade and fresh baked original cookie recipes and ample coffee options, as well as Avalon’s only Fresh Fruit Fro-yo Bar and a prime location, The Catalina Coffee & Cookie Co. is a must when visiting Catalina, especially when you need a caffeine fix. Their cinnamon buns are famous and I coupled one with a Coffee Toffee Crunch Ice Blended Coffee for plenty of energy to kick start my day.

Getting Our Bearings

Catalina Bucket List - Sightseeing on the pierWith fully bellies and a jolt of caffeine, we took some time to wander the streets and take in the sights. There is a tourism office on the pier with maps and friendly staff so we stopped by to take a look at other possible activities and experiences. I still felt like we had the best-of-the-best but there were lots of options for our next visit.

Time for Adventure
Catalina Scuba Luv SNUBA

Our first activity of the day was SNUBA diving with Catalina Scuba Luv. SNUBA is a perfect introduction to the vast underwater world without the strict requirements of scuba diving. It was was favorite Catalina Island adventure.

After a 15-minute orientation, our SNUBA guide accompanied us on an underwater tour that was safe, easy, and enjoyable at our own level of comfort.  All of the necessary gear was included and the experience took a total of 90 minutes. All we needed to bring was a swimsuit, towel, and a sense of adventure.

I’m addicted to the underwater world and I’d love to return to Catalina Scuba Luv for PADI Open Water Certification.

Foodie Fun
Bluewater Tasting, Catalina Food Tour

We were only on the island for a day, but we wanted to try the best foods and drinks that it has to offer. The Taste of Catalina provided a sneak peek into six different restaurants and specialty food shops as we strolled through Avalon. All of the locations featured various critically acclaimed entrees, desserts, and beverages for us to indulge. I enjoyed the history, culture, and company during the tour as much as the food. Our guide filled our brains with tales about the charming island and provided insights into the food being served, the history behind the people who prepared it, and the location. She piqued our curiosity to further explore Catalina.

Zipping Away over Catalina Island’s Gorgeous Descanso Canyon
Catalina Ziplining Tour

During the ziplining tour, we traveled nearly three quarters of a mile over five consecutive zip lines at heights of 300 feet above the canyon floor at speeds pushing 40 mph. Does it sound too intense? Don’t let it scare you. Children as young as five years old can enjoy the tour by riding tandem with another participate at least 18 years of age. A five year old girl was part of our tour and she zipped with a huge smile on her face and adventure in her heart.

Beginning at the Hogsback Gate, high in the hills near Avalon and descending through Descanso Canyon, we paused at several eco-stations along the way before continuing on our journey. At each station, our guides gave a presentation on some of the unique and interesting aspects of Catalina, its wildlife, and history. Our zipline journey lasted about two hours and the views alone were worthwhile.

Cheers to Catalina Island

Catalina Island, California

We had just enough time left in the day to have a drink before returning to the Catalina Express. Our Catalina Island bucket list day included experiences for all ages and adventure levels. It gave us a taste of the culture, food, activities, and sights on the island and it left us planning to return again soon for more of the bucket list lifestyle on Catalina Island.

Our friends over at Men Who Blog have a list of their favorite things on Catalina Island too!

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45 thoughts on “Catalina Island Bucket List Day

  1. karen says:

    That Fish & Chips and the Coffee place look delish! I am all about finding new fun foodie places! And of course, the views on the water are amazing!

    1. Lesley says:

      The food was delicious but I loved the adventure more. I’d love to get my PADI certification on the island. I’m already looking at when I can go back.

  2. karen says:

    That Fish & Chips and the Coffee place look delish! I am all about finding new fun foodie places! And of course, the views on the water are amazing!

    1. Lesley says:

      The food was delicious but I loved the adventure more. I’d love to get my PADI certification on the island. I’m already looking at when I can go back.

  3. What a lovely day you had. I lvoe when people fulfill their bucket list items. Way to Go.

  4. What a lovely day you had. I lvoe when people fulfill their bucket list items. Way to Go.

  5. It’s a gorgeous place and I would love to go someday. I hope a day is enough time!

    1. Lesley says:

      One day wasn’t even close to enough. It was a busy long weekend so we made the best of one day but I’m already thinking about when I can go back and stay for a few days. The nightlife on Catalina is pretty amazing as well. It’s worth the over night.

  6. It’s a gorgeous place and I would love to go someday. I hope a day is enough time!

    1. Lesley says:

      One day wasn’t even close to enough. It was a busy long weekend so we made the best of one day but I’m already thinking about when I can go back and stay for a few days. The nightlife on Catalina is pretty amazing as well. It’s worth the over night.

  7. MyTeenGuide says:

    What a beautiful place to visit. The food looks yummy, too. I would love to go one day.

  8. MyTeenGuide says:

    What a beautiful place to visit. The food looks yummy, too. I would love to go one day.

  9. Kim says:

    Catalina Island is so pretty. I haven’t been in years but it looks even better. Love the food options!

  10. Kim says:

    Catalina Island is so pretty. I haven’t been in years but it looks even better. Love the food options!

  11. Cass Bailey says:

    That sounds like an absolutely perfect day! I bet you slept all day the next day though 😉

    Your photos are gorgeous and I love the look of that fish and chips restauraunt x

    1. Lesley says:

      I did sleep in the next day and the day after that 😉

  12. Cass Bailey says:

    That sounds like an absolutely perfect day! I bet you slept all day the next day though 😉

    Your photos are gorgeous and I love the look of that fish and chips restauraunt x

    1. Lesley says:

      I did sleep in the next day and the day after that 😉

  13. Mandy Carter says:

    That is my kind of day! Sounds like a great thing to add to the travel bucket list!

  14. Sheena Tatum says:

    I am so jealous right now! That looks like it would be an amazing vacation. You look like you had so much fun!

  15. Sheena Tatum says:

    I am so jealous right now! That looks like it would be an amazing vacation. You look like you had so much fun!

  16. Audrey says:

    What a great way to spend the day!!! I would love to spend the day doing thiAs and relaxing, so much fun.

  17. Audrey says:

    What a great way to spend the day!!! I would love to spend the day doing thiAs and relaxing, so much fun.

  18. Brittany says:

    It looks like such a fun place!! AND! It looks like you had a great time!

  19. Brittany says:

    It looks like such a fun place!! AND! It looks like you had a great time!

  20. Brittany says:

    It all looks so fun! I bet you guys had a blast! I would love to go there someday with my family!

  21. Rachel says:

    This place looks incredible! I will have to remember it for later. My husband and I could use a good trip alone.

  22. Rachel says:

    This place looks incredible! I will have to remember it for later. My husband and I could use a good trip alone.

  23. CourtneyLynne says:

    I love Catalina!!! I made a visit a few years ago and had the best time ever. Such a fun island!

  24. CourtneyLynne says:

    I love Catalina!!! I made a visit a few years ago and had the best time ever. Such a fun island!

  25. Casey says:

    From start to finish this looks like the perfect day! I think ziplining would be a super fun part of the trip. It’s always good to mix in some excitement with all the relaxing.

  26. Casey says:

    From start to finish this looks like the perfect day! I think ziplining would be a super fun part of the trip. It’s always good to mix in some excitement with all the relaxing.

  27. Christina Aliperti says:

    What a great way to spend a day! Everything looks and sounds like fun. I hope one day I get to visit Catalina Island.

  28. Christina Aliperti says:

    What a great way to spend a day! Everything looks and sounds like fun. I hope one day I get to visit Catalina Island.

  29. Heather says:

    Gorgeous! The zip line looks awesome! I loved doing zip lines when I was younger, but haven’t in many (many) years 🙂

  30. Heather says:

    Gorgeous! The zip line looks awesome! I loved doing zip lines when I was younger, but haven’t in many (many) years 🙂

  31. Catalina Island is just breathtaking. I love visiting magical destinations like this one. My husband and sons would love the zip lines too.

  32. Catalina Island is just breathtaking. I love visiting magical destinations like this one. My husband and sons would love the zip lines too.

  33. Michaela says:

    I’ve never been to Catalina island before! I’ve always felt it’s too expensive with not a lot of things to do. Bookmarking this for later!

  34. Michaela says:

    I’ve never been to Catalina island before! I’ve always felt it’s too expensive with not a lot of things to do. Bookmarking this for later!

  35. geanine says:

    I haven’t been to Catalina Island since I was a child. Back them it was mostly consumed by video arcade games. Glad to see it has evolved, I know I certainly would love to try that zipline!

  36. geanine says:

    I haven’t been to Catalina Island since I was a child. Back them it was mostly consumed by video arcade games. Glad to see it has evolved, I know I certainly would love to try that zipline!

  37. Krystle Cook says:

    All of these activities look like so much fun. To top it off, that food looks amazing! I have never heard of Catalina Island but you have intrigued me.

  38. Krystle Cook says:

    All of these activities look like so much fun. To top it off, that food looks amazing! I have never heard of Catalina Island but you have intrigued me.

  39. Doug says:

    We had a fantastic day on the island! Enjoyed walking down the green pleasure pier & went Parasailing! Flew side by side with my partner! Weight limit is 450lbs! Give it a try, we stayed dried.

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