Domestic Travel: Santa Catalina Island

Last spring break, my friend Tailour and I ventured to Santa Catalina Island for an impromptu adventure. Catalina is a Californian island located off the coast (~1 hour ferry ride depending on your location in CA). There are 2 tourist locations on the island- Avalon in the south and Two Harbors in the north. We chose to try our luck in Two Harbors, the more secluded and nature-oriented side of the island.

Our bed-and-breakfast was equipped with gorgeous ocean view rooms. It was located on one of the highest points in Two Harbors, so we could see the ocean from all our doors and windows. The vegetation was stunning as a mix of natural shrubbery, palm trees and decadent flowers coated the island. Because there was such a small local population, we could take in the peaceful and meditative surroundings with minimal distractions.

 

ACTIVITIES

1. Relaxing on the beach

The beach was small but had plenty of room for laying out some blankets, throwing on sunglasses and basking in the sun. There was also a built in volleyball net for impromptu games with other islanders/tourists. Canoeing was on our bucket list of things to do while there, however, we could not go because of high wind speeds. Yet, the gentle waves and the majestic caves laced along the shoreline would have made the canoeing trip an amazing addition to our spring break adventure.

2. Hiking

We definitely took advantage of the hiking trails all along the mountains of Two Harbors. As a not-so-seasoned hiker, I found the trail easy with breathtaking views. As the elevation slightly rose while we walked, we could see stunning portions of the island that were inaccessible. Hiking was also a great opportunity to bond as we celebrated the fact that we were able to make our senior year spring break trip a reality.

3. Cozy night life

There is one restaurant in Two Harbors called the Harbor Reef. It had a romantic and relaxing vibe as all the visitors came to eat there at dinner time. After dinner, we explored more of the island along the long trails through the valley before sunset.

Santa Catalina Island is a great location for anyone looking to travel within the U.S. on a budget. My main tip would be to figure out which side of the island (north or south) is best for you and/or your travel group. Also, look on Groupon for deals on island activities (that is where we found discounts for canoeing- thanks Tailour's mom!). Overall, the trip to Two Harbors was perfect for small group bonding and peaceful meditation and reflection.

Photo & Video source: Tailour Garbutt