My parents came to town for the long weekend, so we decided to visit Santa Catalina Island, which we had never been to before. The adventure started with a trip to Porto’s Bakery in Buena Park. Apparently, this location is pretty new and has been open about three months now. We got some potato balls, cheese rolls, guava and cheese rolls, and chocolate croissants. My parents loved them all.
Then it was off to the Cabazon Outlets in the desert, where a lot of people had come to enjoy the heat and the shopping experience during the holiday. Parking was a hassle but we finally made it into the mall and picked up some much needed supplies.
We headed to Long Beach where we boarded the ferry to the island. The ride took about an hour. Unfortunately, the passengers behind us got seasick and spent the entire time barfing into plastic bags.
The first thing we did when we got to the island was rent a golf cart to tour the sights. Everyone goes around in golf carts there; very few cars are allowed in. The views from the top of the mountains were amazing, and it felt like we’d come to a small island off the coast of Greece or Italy.
At the botanical garden, we explored all the plants that are native to the island. The Wrigley Memorial was also there, and we hiked the short path to the top. It was hot and dry, but the ocean breeze helped.
When we got back to town, I had one of the best hot dogs I’ve ever had in my life. Granted, I don’t eat a lot of them, but still it was pretty good. Unfortunately, the Casino was closed for the holiday, which was a bummer because apparently that’s the highlight of the island.
After getting dinner at Ristorante Villa Portofino, we took a stroll through the town before catching the late night ferry back to Long Beach. Since most of the other tourists had gone back to the mainland by that time, it was pretty quiet and peaceful on the island.
Overall, it was a great day trip, although next time, it would be fun to go hiking and camping there. The water was clear, blue, and beautiful. At night, it got chilly — thank God I packed layers! I would definitely go back to do the other activities there.