Everybody knows southern California has beautiful beaches. While it’s easy to think of Cali as all surfers and sunshine, there’s so much more to it than that. Catalina Island is one of the state’s most underrated gems.

Towering palm trees, bright blue water, and colorful buildings make this little island a drool-worthy escape. It looks just like the south of France!

 You can hike rolling green hills to see native bison and even take a zipline tour around the island! The vibrant blue water is the perfect place to see colorful fish and dolphins while you kayak and snorkel. There are also tons of cute boutiques, adorable coffee shops, and restaurants with amazing wine.

Getting to Catalina Island is fast and pretty affordable. You can take a ferry boat from several locations in southern California. A round trip ferry ticket costs about $74.50. 

Besides the beautiful sights, Catalina Island has quite an interesting history. It used to be a part of the Spanish empire and served as a hot spot for smugglers and pirates to hide their contraband.

Whether you’re the adventurous type or just want to lounge on the beach with a glass of wine, this island has everything you need for an amazing vacay.

The main city Avalon is the place to be. You can visit the Tour Plaza for fun activities like zip-lining and kayaking, where to find the best hiking spots, a glass-bottom boat tour, and where to see the island’s bison!

They even have the famous Catalina Wine Mixer from the movie Step Brothers. Yes, it’s a real thing. Sipping rosé while watching boats sail through the harbor sounds dreamy. Don’t forget your swimsuit! 

Catalina Island

How to Get There: Newport Beach, Dana Point, and Long Beach all have ferries to Catalina Island.

Price: An adult round-trip ferry ticket costs $74.50. 

Why you should go: This beautiful California island looks like the south of France! You can zipline, hike, and take a glass-bottom boat tour in beautiful, lush surroundings.

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