Catalina getaway

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Descanso Beach Club

Like the rest of Catalina the Descanso Beach Club seems tailor-made for sunny relaxation.

Dave Lauridsen

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Southern California's Catalina Island, with its remarkable variety of landscapes, views, activities, and fleeting, beguiling moments, is one of the most romantic spots in the West. You can shop, snack, and dangle your toes in the sea in the charming harbor town of Avalon; bounce over the rugged backcountry on a Jeep Eco-Tour; visit with the fish on a semisubmersible tour of Avalon Bay's marine preserve; and much more. Best of all, it's just 22 miles from the mainland ― an easy, one-hour ferry ride from Long Beach, Dana Point, and San Pedro.

GETTING THERE

Catalina Express provides daily ferry service year-round from ports at Long Beach, Dana Point, and San Pedro. The trip lasts about an hour (from Long Beach and San Pedro $57 round-trip, $44 ages 2-11, $4 ages 1 and under; from Dana Point $59 round-trip, $46 ages 2-11, $4 ages 1 and under; 800/429-4601). Island Express Helicopters will fly you to Catalina in 15 minutes from Long Beach or San Pedro ($152 round-trip; 800/228-2566).

 

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