Catalina also has some crazy birthday promotions going one, from food to trinkets to snacks – great publicity generators and ways to get people who are on the fence to commit to the trip.
Short notice planning ends up in a two hour drive from San Diego to Long Beach, as the Dana Point ferries were already full. Good thing we’re early risers and morning traffic is headed into San Diego and not outbound.
On your next birthday I HIGHLY recommend spending it with a group of others who share your special day! OK, it may not be easy, but if you can make it to SoCal then visiting Catalina Island should be on your list. Just 22 miles off the California coast, it feels like you’re a world away on this rocky island. We took advantage of the “free ferry ride on your birthday” promotion and enjoyed a full day of sunshine, testing the limits of my legs on uphill bike rides to beautiful vistas, and seeking out the many free things offered by local vendors.
The major city, Avalon, is a combination of Mediterranean (with homes built into the hillside) and Caribbean (with brightly colored homes lining the narrow streets of town) resort community. Year round population of Avalon is about 3,500 and we met a woman – 87 years old – who was born and raised there. Wow.
Waiting in line, walking down the street, eating lunch…it was easy to spot the other birthday celebrators and added to the island fun.
We didn’t see buffalo on this visit, but next time we’ll visit Two Harbors on the other end of the island for the more rugged and rural island experience.