This post is sponsored Catalina Island Company & Harbor Sands. All opinions are my own!
The hubbs and I try to make it out to a little getaway every other month. Key word, try! But it has become more challenging the last 6-ish month with busier work schedules. We resolved that perhaps a quick overnight date somewhere close by would have a bette rate of success.
I am always hesitant to spend money on accommodations anywhere close by (like LA, SD or even Palm Springs) since we only live an hour away. It is really worth the money or the inconvenience of packing?! But I quickly changed my mind last week when we visited Catalina Island! Just an hour away (via ferry or boat), this little Southern CA gem is the perfect little staycation spot. Having lived in Southern California almost all my life, I can’t believe I never made the trip out there! I really did not know what I missing out on.
Avalon is probably the more well-know area of Catalina, but we decided to visit Two Harbors. A charming rustic village that reminds me so much of tropical destinations like Hawaii. In fact, we heard there were quite a few movies shot at Two Harbors back in the 1930s due to its tropical look. There is not a lot of frill in this town, but its beauty and picteresque views wins you over immediately.
We stayed at the historic Banning House Lodge. The craftsman-style accommodations, which has views of both harbors, Isthmus Cove and Cat Harbor, and is just a shortwalk from the village. It has traditional lodge feel with a huge fireplace and mounted animal heads in the common areas. We arrived in the afternoon, just in time for their daily wine & cheese hour. So we grab a couple glasses, and a table outside with the most beautiful sunset views the harbor. With only 12 guest rooms, the Banning House Lodge books up quick. We actually struck up conversation with another couple, and they mentioned they booked their room for the entire weekend almost 2 years ago! I can’t even get myself together to book a trip 2 months in advance, let alone years!
After happy hour we walked down to town and grabbed dinner at Harbor Reef restaurant. John loved the fresh seafood. In fact, the fish he ordered was caught just 5 hours before it became his entree! It doesn’t more fresh than that!
The next day, our only agenda was…palapa! On the shore of Isthmus Cove, we had a private cabana style palapa at Harbor Sands to enjoy the day! I felt like I was in Bali. The palm trees, the cool breeze, and the delicious cocktails made up the ideal relaxation day! We took a dip in the water then back in the comforts of our palapa oasis for a nap. This was by far my most favorite part of the trip. If you’re coming to Catalina for just the day, I would really recommend renting out a palapa. It is spacious and private – ideal for just the two of us, but my whole family could comfortably lounge in there for the day! I know Jaxson would love it!
We were sad to end our trip so quickly, but already have plans to come back. Next time, we would love to scuba dive and/or take a kayak out!