Catalina Island, located 22 miles south-southwest off the Los Angeles coast, offers a tropical getaway that feels like a world away but in fact is only a boat ride away. The distance is reasonable even for a day trip, but the perfect distance for a weekend getaway that feels a world away.
My husband and I took the Catalina Express out of Dana Point, which was about an hour drive from where we were staying at the Lawrence Welk Resort in Escondido. If Dana Point isn’t convenient, you can also take the Catalina Express out of Long Beach or San Pedro. Both the Dana Point and Long Beach routes take you into Avalon, while you can go into the quieter Two Harbors port from San Pedro.
Make sure you follow the advice about arriving 45 minutes prior to your designated departure time, as you’ll need time to check in and get your tickets and move your car into the designated lot. The ride is reasonably priced at $74.00 roundtrip from Dana Point or $72.00 roundtrip from San Pedro or Long Beach to Catalina Island (with discounted rates available for seniors and children).
We rode on the upper level of the Catalina Express, where I was able to start writing this blog on my iPad. There are several tables available both inside the cabin and outside on the deck, and even the seats that aren’t at tables have seat-back trays like you’d find on an airplane.