WHAT’S NEW ON CATALINA ISLAND
Consistently named one of the best island getaways, Catalina Island, located just 22 miles off the Southern California cost, is a unique blend of laid back vibe, rich and historic past, features water and land activities to suit any taste and modern-day amenities and services for every budget.
The island is constantly evolving to offer visitors the best experience, whether it’s to relax and rejuvenate or rev up the action. Following are a few of the new happenings on the island this year. All aboard for those who want island fun.
Ahoy…me hearties! Feel free to dress and talk like a pirate at Catalina Room Escape, one of two new Escape Rooms to open on the island. The Pirate Challenge allows participants one hour to solve a variety of riddles, discover clues and escape from the room. Call 310-510-2777.
The rules are much the same at Escape Room Catalina. You and your group of two-to-eight confidants have one hour to crack the code, solve the mystery and escape the room. Room themes change with the season, so the company promises they always have fresh puzzles to solve. The company can set up a challenge at their location, or at a hotel room or vacation rental. Call 310-510-8575.
Catalina Aerial Adventure is flying high. Be sure to try it to get your adrenalin pumping. The new ropes-and-planks course weaves through a grove of towering eucalyptus trees deep within Descanso Canyon. Other adventurous activities nearby include Zip line Eco Tour and Catalina Climbing Wall.
You haven’t seen the real Catalina if you just visit Avalon. Take a hike into the backcountry on the new-and-rehabbed Trans-Catalina Trail, part of a 165-mile system of recreational roads and hiking trails on the island. Catalina Conservancy has added 27 miles of new trails, refurbished restrooms and is eradicating non-native plants. In other big news for the Conservancy, the Catalina Trailhead Visitor Center, being built in downtown Avalon, is expected to be completed in late 2018 or early 2019. Call 310-510-2595.
More good news for hikers and backpackers: Catalina Backcountry is operating a concierge service for outdoor enthusiasts. The company will take a load off your back by transporting supplies and equipment. It also offers a naturalist-led hikes, can set up comfort camping or create an adventure expedition. Call 310-510-1212.
Yes, there is a second city on the Island of Catalina. Two Harbors, at the island’s West End, is known for being low-key and rustic. But it has undergone a face-lift, with a new sandy beach, plush palapas, lounge chairs, a group gathering place, food and beverage service on the beach and a small business center. Call 800-613-1212.
Hope on an eco-friendly bus to tour the island. The all-electric buses are operating on Catalina Island Company tours of Skyline Drive and on Inland Expedition tours. In addition to eliminating the need for diesel or gas, the buses have huge windows, air conditioning and quiet, smooth rides. Call 877-778-8322.
Story By; Jose Martinez
Photography Courtesy Of: Catalina Island Company