WHAT SHOULD WE DO FIRST... on Catalina Island? It's a pretty common question, and one that travelers to the fabled, jutting-out-of-the-Pacific hunk o' land often ask. It's not because they haven't heard that there's plenty to do around Avalon, the burg's biggest town, or upon the surrounding ocean waters, because most people have; after all, the island has been a well-known play place for decades upon decades, thanks in large part to its largest building, the Casino.
But getting everything in that one wants to do during their short sojourn on Catalina is the challenge, a challenge that is met, early on, by querying friends who have been there: What should we do first on Catalina? There's a new package that helps with that specific worry, that you'll miss out on the important to-dos during your getaway, and it has the comforting name of "Unlimited Fun." The Santa Catalina Island Company's three-day package covers a caboodle of Catalina-themed bases, from the ocean-close zip line to history-filled tours of the Casino Building, a structure that saw whole boatloads of partying superstars back in the '20s and 1930s. Along with the Casino tour and zip-lining, the "customizable package," which kicks off at $269 per person per night, includes your way over to the island (via helicopter or boat) and a stay at the Inn at Mt. Ada, Hotel Atwater, or the Pavilion Hotel. So once you've reached Catalina, and you've check in, then what?
YOU'LL WHEEE THROUGH THE AIR... on the aforementioned zip line or venture out on a glass-bottom boat, the better to admire the ocean floor's kelpy riches, or try a ride on the Ocean Runner, or nose around the Casino, the better to hear tales of yesteryear. A dining credit worth fifty clams per night is part of the scene, and the participating eateries include the Descanso Beach Club and Avalon Grille. There are a few to-knows, given the movable parts of this deal, like the fact that a helicopter will be more for your package and such. Oh so nice to know right now? This beaut of a getaway is good through the first of March, so while people are posting icy photos from the east coast, you can post yourself on the sun-soaked sand of Avalon Harbor. We're not saying that you should expressly book the "Unlimited Fun" deal to invoke cross-coast jealousies, but if that's a delightful byproduct, then so be it.