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A Guide to Shopping, Sipping, and Sightseeing on Catalina Islands

Welcome to Day Tripping, a feature that highlights Cali's coolest outside-of-LA shopping destinations.

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Back in the day, the City of Avalon was buzzing with Tinseltown's biggest names (Charlie Chaplin, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, to name a few) thanks to Catalina Island's ridiculously picturesque views and pristine greenery—which remain pretty much the same as Catalina's Old Hollywood days, thanks to strict environmental protection. It's why most of the island's staycation-worthy activity is centered in Avalon, which is just 22 miles off Cali's coast.

Although the island town's quaint shopping stretch is hardly a coastal cousin of Rodeo Drive (this is why we're leaving the mainland, remember?), its multimillion-dollar retail and real estate makeover will unveil even more beach-minded options this summer. Before the new additions attract more shoppers by the boatload, let's take a moment to truly appreciate Catalina's small-town charm.

In addition to its majorly revamped Island Spa Catalina, see a few more of the island's visit-worthy stops below, from one of the only spots in Cali where beach boozing is legal to a stylish surf-happy boutique and more.

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1. CSC Boardshop

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Run-of-the-mill souvenir and beachwear shops are a dime a dozen on Avalon, but your best bet for channeling your bohemian beach bum is at CSC Boardshop. Here, find stylish, surf-happy labels like Roxy, Vans, and RVCA alongside new edgy-gypsy brand Amuse Society and more. Also in the house: those "F**n' Catalina Wine Mixer" tees and caps.

2. Island Spa Catalina

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163 Crescent Avenue
Avalon, CA 90704
If your travels have left you weary, book an R&R sesh at this superior rejuvenation haven, which recently underwent a major makeover. Located in the historic El Canto building, this spa houses a cafe, boutique, pool and jacuzzi, eucalyptus-infused steam rooms, and a luxe menu of massage, beauty, and skincare services for women and men.

3. Pavilion Hotel

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(877) 778-8322
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Those seeking to turn their day trip into an overnight stay may want to check into this beachfront hotel, which is just 14 steps away from the shore. Guests enjoy free daily wine and cheese tastings, a European breakfast, and endless lounging at the hotel's tropical courtyard. The hotel's also offering a host of dreamy getaway packages, from the pampering Island Spa Package to the easy-breezy Helicopter Package.

4. Island Express Helicopters

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1175 Queens Highway
Long Beach, CA 90802
Unlike our other coastal day trips, this one requires a wheel-less method of transport. From the Ports of San Pedro or Long Beach, hop on the Catalina Express ferry, a one-hour shuttle via sea ($74.50 round-trip); they'll even give you a free lift on your birthday). Time-pressed travelers can upgrade their ride with the Island Express Helicopter (pictured), a quick 15-minute flight with Insta-worthy views of Avalon. They're currently running winter specials; through March 18th, round-trip flights are $225 to $250 from Long Beach. Birthday folks also score 20% off their ride. Optional: Playing the Jurassic Park theme song in your head.

5. Bay Of The Seven Moons

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205 Crescent Avenue
Avalon, CA 90704
(310) 510-1450
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Accoutrement aficionados should pencil in a stop at this home decor and jewelry boutique. In addition to stocking globally-sourced art, the shop offers vibrant turquoise rings, beaded necklaces, Swarovski sparklers, and more.

6. Catalina Pottery Bath & Body

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225 Crescent Avenue
Avalon, CA 90704
(310) 510-1937
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Bring home the island breeze in fragrance form at this vintage pottery boutique, which also stocks handmade soaps, lotions, candles, and more in a variety of scents. Although the bath and body products are crafted on the mainland, the shop's colorful Catalina pottery was made right on the island from 1927 to 1937.

7. The Steamer Trunk

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121 Sumner Avenue
Avalon, CA 90704
For non-cheesy souvenirs, head to this charming gift and accessories boutique. Pick up handmade jewelry from Spain, cute stationery, home decor, and colorful squares of Catalina tile, and more beach-minded goods.

8. Descanso Beach Club

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St Catherine Way
Avalon, CA 90704
(310) 510-7410
Visit Website
One of Cali's only legal spots to booze it up on the beach is at the majorly-revamped Descanso Beach Club, where you can sip on Avalon's signature "Buffalo Milk" cocktail inspired by the island's resident bison. (They were brought to Catalina to "work" as extras for the 1924 silent film, The Vanishing American, and haven't left since). The coastal hangout also offers cabana and event space rentals, ziplining, snorkeling, and beachfront massages, among other amenities; its soon-to-open Fresh cafe will offer an espresso and juice bar, freshly-made ice cream, crepes, and more.

9. Wrigley Memorial & Botanical Garden

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1402 Avalon Cyn Rd
Avalon, CA 90704
(310) 510-2897
Visit Website
Instagram-worthy shots await at this approximately 38-acre botanical garden dedicated to former island owner (and famed chewing gum maker) William Wrigley, Jr. From here, hikers can access the Garden to Sky Trail, which offers breathtaking views of both sides of the island. (Photo: via)

1. CSC Boardshop

Avalon, CA 90704
Run-of-the-mill souvenir and beachwear shops are a dime a dozen on Avalon, but your best bet for channeling your bohemian beach bum is at CSC Boardshop. Here, find stylish, surf-happy labels like Roxy, Vans, and RVCA alongside new edgy-gypsy brand Amuse Society and more. Also in the house: those "F**n' Catalina Wine Mixer" tees and caps.

2. Island Spa Catalina

163 Crescent Avenue, Avalon, CA 90704
If your travels have left you weary, book an R&R sesh at this superior rejuvenation haven, which recently underwent a major makeover. Located in the historic El Canto building, this spa houses a cafe, boutique, pool and jacuzzi, eucalyptus-infused steam rooms, and a luxe menu of massage, beauty, and skincare services for women and men.
163 Crescent Avenue
Avalon, CA 90704

3. Pavilion Hotel

Avalon, CA 90704
Those seeking to turn their day trip into an overnight stay may want to check into this beachfront hotel, which is just 14 steps away from the shore. Guests enjoy free daily wine and cheese tastings, a European breakfast, and endless lounging at the hotel's tropical courtyard. The hotel's also offering a host of dreamy getaway packages, from the pampering Island Spa Package to the easy-breezy Helicopter Package.

4. Island Express Helicopters

1175 Queens Highway, Long Beach, CA 90802
Unlike our other coastal day trips, this one requires a wheel-less method of transport. From the Ports of San Pedro or Long Beach, hop on the Catalina Express ferry, a one-hour shuttle via sea ($74.50 round-trip); they'll even give you a free lift on your birthday). Time-pressed travelers can upgrade their ride with the Island Express Helicopter (pictured), a quick 15-minute flight with Insta-worthy views of Avalon. They're currently running winter specials; through March 18th, round-trip flights are $225 to $250 from Long Beach. Birthday folks also score 20% off their ride. Optional: Playing the Jurassic Park theme song in your head.
1175 Queens Highway
Long Beach, CA 90802

5. Bay Of The Seven Moons

205 Crescent Avenue, Avalon, CA 90704
Accoutrement aficionados should pencil in a stop at this home decor and jewelry boutique. In addition to stocking globally-sourced art, the shop offers vibrant turquoise rings, beaded necklaces, Swarovski sparklers, and more.
205 Crescent Avenue
Avalon, CA 90704

6. Catalina Pottery Bath & Body

225 Crescent Avenue, Avalon, CA 90704
Bring home the island breeze in fragrance form at this vintage pottery boutique, which also stocks handmade soaps, lotions, candles, and more in a variety of scents. Although the bath and body products are crafted on the mainland, the shop's colorful Catalina pottery was made right on the island from 1927 to 1937.
225 Crescent Avenue
Avalon, CA 90704

7. The Steamer Trunk

121 Sumner Avenue, Avalon, CA 90704
For non-cheesy souvenirs, head to this charming gift and accessories boutique. Pick up handmade jewelry from Spain, cute stationery, home decor, and colorful squares of Catalina tile, and more beach-minded goods.
121 Sumner Avenue
Avalon, CA 90704

8. Descanso Beach Club

St Catherine Way, Avalon, CA 90704
One of Cali's only legal spots to booze it up on the beach is at the majorly-revamped Descanso Beach Club, where you can sip on Avalon's signature "Buffalo Milk" cocktail inspired by the island's resident bison. (They were brought to Catalina to "work" as extras for the 1924 silent film, The Vanishing American, and haven't left since). The coastal hangout also offers cabana and event space rentals, ziplining, snorkeling, and beachfront massages, among other amenities; its soon-to-open Fresh cafe will offer an espresso and juice bar, freshly-made ice cream, crepes, and more.
St Catherine Way
Avalon, CA 90704

9. Wrigley Memorial & Botanical Garden

1402 Avalon Cyn Rd, Avalon, CA 90704
Instagram-worthy shots await at this approximately 38-acre botanical garden dedicated to former island owner (and famed chewing gum maker) William Wrigley, Jr. From here, hikers can access the Garden to Sky Trail, which offers breathtaking views of both sides of the island. (Photo: via)
1402 Avalon Cyn Rd
Avalon, CA 90704