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catalina island

Postby hwiggen » Mon Jun 15, 2009 11:22 pm

Just wondering if anyone out there has been to Catalina Island off the Califorinia coast near Laguna beach.
I'm taking my wife and two kids (8 and 10) to Disney Land and an Angels game and we may spend the rest of the time at Catalina Island since the kids aren't into amusement parks.
Sounds like there's good snorkeling, kayaking and hiking on the island. Are those activities better there than on the mainland? And how are the beaches on the island?
Any info and/or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: catalina island

Postby bigh0rt » Mon Jun 15, 2009 11:24 pm

the %^&*#$ Catalina Wine Mixer...
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Re: catalina island

Postby Phatferd » Mon Jun 15, 2009 11:31 pm

I haven't been in years, but it's really small and you may run out of things to do. There are sharks all over the water so I dunno about the snorkeling. I know they have glass bottom boats and stuff. If you want things to do with the kids then I would do Newport Beach/Huntington Beach then doing Laguna Beach another night. If you're into hiking and stuff you should check out Joshua Tree which is about 1 hr away from Orange County and has hotels and campgrounds. Just google it.

Let me know if you have any questions. I have lived in Orange County my entire life which is 25 years.
You have no frame of reference, Donny. You're like a child who walks into the middle of a movie...
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Re: catalina island

Postby The Artful Dodger » Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:00 am

Catalina is actually closer to Palos Verdes than Laguna Beach. :-b I've only been to Catalina a few times and I haven't been in a while. Last time I had gone, it was many moons ago (9 years ago) on a college trip before my freshman year and we had gone camping inland while taking in some snorkeling and kayaking. Fun times. ;-D

Anyway, Catalina is accessible from a few beach cities in SoCal. Off the top of my head, Catalina Express ferry from Long Beach (and I think San Pedro) and the resort town of Dana Point down in Orange County to Catalina.

Generally, one doesn't think of diving, snorkeling, and kayaking offshore from the mainland, but Catalina is the best location to do all of those things. The one beach I do know of at Catalina is Descanso Beach next to Avalon (there are two towns there, the other is Two Harbors) and it's quite a nice one. Not necessarily ideal for surfing with some small crafts not too far off shore, but it's nice for kayaking and swimming.

If you go inland, there are nature tours where you'll see buffalo, deer, and boars. Oh, and you might also visit the site of where the Cubs spent Spring Training for many a year when William Wrigley had an interest on the island.

I don't remember much of Avalon besides it being a nice, lazy beachside town with its own historical sites, but if you're visiting Catalina, it's definitely for the outdoor activities you can do on the water and inland.
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Re: catalina island

Postby hwiggen » Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:09 am

Wow, thanks for the quick responses, guys.
From what I've seen on various websites it looks good for outdoor activities; we're looking at spending maybe three days there after a couple days of Disney type vacationing.
All opinions and advice will be much appreciated.
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Re: catalina island

Postby The Artful Dodger » Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:12 am

Yeah, I'd keep it to 2-3 days. Set one day for say, snorkeling (or if not, a nice family alternative is the submersible or the glass-bottom boat for safe underwater excursion) and another for a land excursion. Anything beyond that, I'd say is overkill.
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Re: catalina island

Postby BitterDodgerFan » Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:44 am

yea i think even 1 day might be enough. i havent been there myself, but my parents just came back from catalina, they told me the place is tiny.
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Re: catalina island

Postby Phatferd » Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:48 am

I'm telling you that it's a very small place and you will run out of things to do very quickly. I think 3 days may be a day too long.
You have no frame of reference, Donny. You're like a child who walks into the middle of a movie...
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Re: catalina island

Postby DbacksRback » Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:52 am

bigh0rt wrote:the %^&*#$ Catalina Wine Mixer...

First thing I thought of when I saw the title of the thread :-b
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Re: catalina island

Postby urbanbreez » Tue Jun 16, 2009 1:13 am

I've been there several times. It's beautiful, the water is crystal blue and the beaches are nice. You can clearly see fish all over the place from the shoreline or on the docks. It's a pristine natural enviorment. There are two beaches that I know of, one in the heart of the city and one down at the end past the Avalon theatre. I recommend renting a kayak (at the out of town beach) and taking a little tour around the island with it, not all the way around the island of course, it's far to big for that. You can totally scuba there Steven. Someone mentioned sharks, I've never heard of a tourist being attacked by a shark while doing scuba in Catalina so perhaps that guy just watched Jaws or something.

If you stay longer than two days you will probably run out of things to do, especially with kids since getting hammered at one of the bars is not likely in the cards for you. All in all, I highly recommend it. It's a little southern califonia gem but more than two days is too much time there.

Ohh, be sure to rent a golf cart and go searching for the buffalos. They have wild ones just walking around on the backside of the island. I have always wanted to see them but somehow I never have. Now that I think about it, that's pretty lame of me.

edit: may want to scratch the Kayak idea http://beach.freedomblogging.com/2008/06/23/shark-attacks-woman-on-kayak-at-catalina-knocks-her-off/
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