Catalina Parte Dos


Go to Catalina on your birthday. Seriously. It’s like a mecca for birthdays! This year I spent my birthday on Catalina Island and it was probably one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had, and not just because of all the free services and gifts! Almost exactly four years ago I visited the charming city of Avalon on Santa Catalina Island (or just Catalina for short), which is part of the Channel Islands of California, and now I’m back for some birthday celebrating!

I was fortunate that my birthday fell on a Saturday this year and that I have awesome friends willing to spend all day with me on the island! We boarded the Catalina Express ferry in Long Beach early Saturday morning, but be sure to book your reservation in advance especially for the free birthday ticket! It’s about an hour and a half ferry ride to Avalon and take precautions if you are prone to sea sickness like myself. I definitely felt better sitting outside with the fresh air than inside, but it was pretty chilly to sit outside so bring a jacket! Those Pacific Ocean breezes are cold but it was a gorgeous view of the water on the upper deck!


Me and my beautiful friend Sara (isn’t her hair the best!) The ferry is free round trip on your birthday! And you get a nifty birthday ribbon that garners you free swag all day on the island!

It was a perfect sunny 80 degree day when we hopped off the ferry onto the dock. We had a couple hours until our zip lining appointment so we decided to wander around town and enjoy the deep blue water we don’t often get to see back in Los Angeles. Avalon is a charming seaside town and perfect for a day trip or a weekend getaway.


The Catalina Casino in the background is the most notably icon of the island. It contains a movie theater, ballroom and museum but has never been a gambling casino. The term “casino” means “gathering place” in Italian.


Catalina Island is a beautiful retreat just off the coast of California and still within Los Angeles County, but it feels more like I’m in the Caribbean!

The Zip Line Eco Tour is about a 20 minute walk from where the ferry drops you off so make sure to allow time to walk to Descanso Beach Club where the tour begins. The tour includes five zip lines descending through Descanso Canyon with gorgeous views of the hills and city of Avalon and the ocean! It’s about a two hour tour and rates start at $99, and it is worth every penny! Our guides, Denny and Brandy, were very personable and knowledgeable on zip lines and the history of Catalina. They kept us entertained and laughing! We had an amazing time! I would 100% do this zip line tour again!


Our breathtaking view of Avalon below on the bus ride up to the zip lines!


Zip lining was the highlight of our day trip to Catalina Island!


The first zip line! If you are afraid the views are a great distraction!


Hello, gorgeous Catalina! The zip line is at least worth it for these epic views! Plus it’s a thrilling ride!


What amazing friends I have to join me on my birthday for this adventure! And to pose for pics in these wonderfully attractive (but necessary for good safety!) helmets. 🙂


Each of the five zip lines is a little different. Some are faster, or longer or steeper.


Best birthday! This girl loves adventures!


Our awesome guides explaining the photo op on the last line.

Kayla Zip Lining

Here is my photo taken by the motion censored camera from the final zip line!

We were famished after our zip lining adventure and had already scoped out Bluewater Grill for lunch because we wanted to dine on the water! I ordered my island go-to, fish n’ chips, and it was delicious! After lunch we walked around the town and bought souvenir sweatshirts and I got free ice cream for my birthday!

We caught our ferry back in the evening and had an incredible day in Avalon! I highly recommend taking a trip to Catalina, especially on your birthday, if you are looking for a nice getaway from Los Angeles. I can’t wait to go back and explore even more of the island and hopefully gain the courage to snorkel in that cold Pacific water! 😉


Our lunch destination, Bluewater Grill.


We were treated to perfect weather for our day trip to Catalina!


Kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling and parasailing are other awesome activities to do on the island!


This dog is the best!


Watching salt water taffy being made is mesmerizing. This sweet shop offered me free ice cream for my birthday! Woot woot!


Be sure to wear your birthday ribbon all day so that stores know it’s your birthday! (Also I’m sporting my new souvenir sweatshirt!)


Our ferry arriving to take us to the mainland. Farewell, Catalina! Until next time!

One Comment on “Catalina Parte Dos

  1. Pingback: My 2015 in Review! | Wherever Life Takes Me

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