Catalina Island is a rocky island getaway, whose 22-mile (35-kilometer) distance from the coast of LA often feels like 22,000. The ferry ride from Long Beach, Dana Point, San Pedro or Newport Beach takes about an hour, and the minute you step off the boat in the island’s only incorporated town, Avalon, you’ll feel like you’ve left the country. The Mediterranean-esque island offers a blissful breather from LA’s constant flurry. Stay for a day or a week – your goal is to slow down and take advantage of the island’s tranquil pace.
Shopping in Avalon’s small boutiques, dining in a seaside restaurant and admiring the harbor, dotted with shiny white yachts, can fill up a morning or afternoon. Then, throw on your swimsuit for some snorkeling, rent a bike to see more of the island or try your luck with a fishing pole. Golf, Segway-rental, scuba diving, kayaking, camping, hiking and parasailing are also available.