Sunny Southern California – Santa Monica & Beautiful Catalina

Santa Monica is a coastal city west of downtown Los Angeles. Santa Monica Beach is fringed by Palisades Park, with views over the Pacific Ocean.
Save the cash for the Theme Parks, lets get your air and accommodations cheap!
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Santa Monica Pier is home to the Pacific Park amusement park, historic Looff Hippodrome Carousel and Santa Monica Pier Aquarium.
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Next to the pier is Muscle Beach, an outdoor gym established in the 1930s. In the city center, Bergamot Station houses several art galleries.

Located just west of Downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica beach is an iconic example of the famed Southern California beaches.

With few Los Angeles beach options offering both large expanses of beach, bike trails and nearby activities,

Santa Monica Beach has exactly what you’re looking for.

Tourists and visitors come to the Santa Monica State Beach because it:

Is large, at 3.5 miles in length,

Has a maintained, soft sand beach,

Within walking distance to popular hotels, shops and restaurants,

and offers a variety of activities and attractions,

Santa Monica an iconic beach in Southern California.

THE SANTA MONICA PIER

THE SANTA MONICA PIER

We also went north to Malibu Beach, Simply Breathtaking.

HEADING NORTH TO MALIBU

MALIBU BEACH

Malibu is a city west of Los Angeles, California. It’s known for its celebrity homes and beaches, including wide and sandy Zuma Beach. To the east is Malibu Lagoon State Beach, known as Surfrider Beach for its waves.

Nearby is the Spanish Revival–style Adamson House, with local history displays in its Malibu Lagoon Museum. Inland, trails weave through canyons, waterfalls and grasslands in the Santa Monica Mountains.

HEADING NORTH TO ZUMA

POINT DUME BEACH

Point Dume has over one mile of ocean frontage with 34 acres of sand. It is surrounded by headlands, cliffs, rocky coves, and vast beach access. Amenities include restrooms, showers, restaurants, 373 parking spaces, and a hiking trail. Popular activities include swimming, diving, surfing, fishing, and scuba diving.

ZUMA BEACH

Zuma Beach is a county beach located at 30000 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California.

One of the largest and most popular beaches in Los Angeles County, California, Zuma is known for its long, wide sands and excellent surf.

NICHOLAS CANYON BEACH

Nicholas Canyon County Beach is a long beach in western Malibu that is run by Los Angeles County. Surfers call this beach Point Zero or Zeros for the waves that break on the boulder-strewn point below the parking lot where San Nicolas Canyon meets the shore.

The sandy beach is north of this point.

 

DISCOUNTED TOURS AND ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA

 

Best Time to Go

The most popular time to go to Santa Monica is summer, but the beach can get so crowded on summer weekends that you might have a hard time seeing the sand from all the people standing on it. May and June are also prone to gloomy, foggy days when the sun never shines

During our stay the first week we chilled on Santa Monica Beach and The Santa Monica Pier.

Venice Beach is just a stone’s throw south and a must see experience while in the area.

Venice was just a five minute bike ride south, the side walk shopping was amazing with food stands to many to mention, we were never hungry.

 A hurry up and do nothing attitude overwhelmed the entire process, everyone must experience this at least once in their lives.

 The beaches were fantastic. Remember Baywatch in the 80s. You are there and can feel it.

The Following week we took a one hour drive that took two hours to San Diego. We didn’t mind, it was a pretty drive.

OUR GOAL WAS TO SWIM WITH THE DOLPHINS

WHERE TO SWIM WITH THE DOLPHINS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

So much fun, the kids loved it. San Diego is like being in Dallas with mountains and an ocean.  Then Disney…. I used to be a stick in the mud when it came to oversized money pits, but unlike Florida this was quite achievable. By this I mean, you feel like you are not swallowed up by the size. I actually had a great time.

DISNEYLAND TICKETS HERE

DISNEYLAND TICKETS HERE

GRUMMAN’S CHINESSE THEATER TICKETS HERE

GRUMMAN’S CHINESSE THEATER TICKETS HERE

Universal Studios Hollywood.

This is the latest accepted revision, reviewed on 2 January 2020. Universal Studios Hollywood is a film studio and theme park in theSan Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County, California. … It is one of the oldest and most famous Hollywood film studios still in use.

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS TICKETS HERE

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS TICKETS HERE

 

LA BREA TAR PITS TICKETS HERE

La Brea Tar Pits are a group of tar pits around which Hancock Park was formed in urban Los Angeles. Natural asphalt has seeped up from the ground in this area for tens of thousands of years. The tar is often covered with dust, leaves, or water. Over many centuries, the tar preserved the bones of trapped animals.

LA BREA TAR PITS TICKETS HERE

STOP BY BAYWATCH’S FAMOUS TOWER 23

ANOTHER MUST DURING YOU’RE STAY IN SOUTHERN, SUNNY CALIFORNIA, IS A TRIP TO CATALINA… NEXT VISIT IN THE LA AREA WE WILL BE SPENDING 1/2 THE TRIP IN CATALINA.

-THERES NOTHING LIKE IT-

Catalina Island, California

 

Catalina’s  History

Back in 1542 Native Americans were discovered  living on the island, they referred to the island as Pimu and they referred to themselves as Pimungans (or Pimuvit). In 1542 Capt Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sailed his Spanish galleon to the shores of what he named and began a massive exploration of the island. Then in 1602 the 24th on November

In 1542 the Pimungans greeted the Spanish galleon that bore the explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo to their shores. Thus began the start of the Spanish discovery of the island.  In 1602, on November 24th,  St. Catherine’s Day eve,  Spanish explorer, Sebastian Viscaino, sighted the island and gave it her name as we call her today Santa Catalina in honor of Saint Catherine.

In the 1900s Catalina was owned by William Wrigley Jr of the popular chewing gum brand Wrigleys. He then began renovation of the island turning it into a resort destination naming the area Avalon. He also brought The Chicago Cubs baseball team there for spring training (which he also owned) at the time. 1921 thru 1951.

Hollywood also became interested in the island and used it as a highly desired shooting location. Funny story back in the 20s 14 Bison were brought to the island and left there on completion of the movie. Today at last count a herd of about 150 bison roam the island’s interior. In the 1970’s Late in Wrigley’s he dedicated 88% of the island to Catalina Island Conservancy. Today that 88% is still wild, untamed territory

Sea Serpents in Catalina?  Looks to be the case…..

tolemour

Sea Serpents are comply know as Oar Fish they can grow to 50ft long. They live deep in the water and are rarely seen on the surface. This little guy is only 18ft long he was found by a snorkeler off the coast in the waters that separate Long Beach to Catalina on October 16, 2013.

Catalina Today

 Catalina Island is a popular vacation spot year ’round. Getting there couldn’t be easier. Its a short 15 minute flight from the mainland or a one hour boat ride from many spots on the coast. There are endless options in Avalon to enjoy and Two Harbors on the back side of the island is a boater paradise and a more relaxed feel, with campsites and access to nature..

The Two Harbors  -On the Back Side of the Island-

Avalon

Catalina’s weather is amazing “perfect climate.”  year round.. 75 degree average  in the summer. and on average  65 degrees in the winter. They have 12 inches of rain per year with roughly 300 days of sunshine. If you would like to visit both locations while you are there you can take the island bus that makes two trips daily, take one of the many water transports or a simple taxi ride through the jungle.

How to get to Catalina

As you can see on the map above there are many ferry options from the mainland. My youngest son and I took the Catalina Express out of Long Island. Here are a few images of what to expect along the way.

How to Fly to Catalina

Take a Helicopter to Catalina Island

This is a great option for those of us that may get a little sea sick on boat rides. Not only is it quicker the views you will get from the mainland and approaching Catalina are absolutely breath taking. For the luckiest of us we may even get to enjoy some sea life, dolphins, seals snd an occasional whale or two

Island Express has service from  Long Beach and San Pedro departing from thier own heliports. and Demand Charter Service I can be contracted from John Wayne Airport in Orange County and Bob Hope Airport in Burbank. 

Get More Information or Reserve Boat Seats or Helicopter Here

transportation to Catalina

Best Route To Get There Fast – Best Priced Flights From Most Major CitiesTo Long Beach  From There Simply Ferry Or Take The 15 min Helicopter Ride            Click Here For Flight Info

Where to stay in Catalina

Here are some established safe bets Fir Hotel Bookings

Free Wifi.   Free Parking

Things to do On Catalina Island

Well it depends on how adventures of a person you are. If you enjoy sitting on a park bench feeding the seagulls then skip the next few recommendations. 

As a thrill seeker you must  experience the Zip Line Eco Tour, or try diving under the supervision of the island boat tour. Shopping, soaking in the spectacular views or a trip to the spa may not cause risk to your well being, its all there for you with no judgmental  attitude.  Perhaps you love golf, hiking, biking,  or museums.  If thrill seeking is not in the cards and you love the water, then many fishing opportunities await you. along with scuba diving options,, jet ski rentals, parasailing, or even paddle boarding. 

Zip Line Tours

 

 

Get Tickets Now.  This Event sell Out Fast

Glass Bottom Boat Tours Tickets Here

 

Another Actiivitiey You May want To Get Advanced Tickets.  Here

Flying Fish Tour. Speed Boat

 

Fills Up Fast But Not Urgent For Advanced Ticket Purchase

Stay dry with a  Hummer or Jeep tour, Camping at one of the island’s numerous campgrounds

Hummer and Jeep Tours

Make Reservations, Secure dates,  Get tickets

 

Camping Reservations Secure Dates

 

 

Everything is within walking distance or a short cab ride The list of things to do is plentiful so easy to book

Did you bring the Family

Adiious Theme Parks  Say Hello to Catalina, Amazing and out of the ordinary. When it comes to family entertainment, Catalina Island has the right blend of authentic activities and beautiful scenery to satisfy kids, kids-at-heart and anyone in between.

For a relaxed pace, check out Avalon’s popular and eclectic shopping, relax on one of our beaches or plan a trip to the spa! Many of the Catalina Island tours offer a view of the island from the comfort of a jeep, boat or Hummer!

Shopping

 

Beaches

 

 

Spa  Get Info.       Make Reservation

 

Catalina Island Day Trip from Los Angeles with Avalon Tour

DAY TRIPS FROM THE MAINLAND 

If you are staying on the island or perhaps vacationing on one of the beautiful Souther California Beaches, or perhaps you have friends on the mainland that wish to come visit while you are in town. may we suggest a day trip to Catalina

Stroll around the Wrigley Memorial & Botanical Gardens

A beautiful ode to the island’s famous founding father.It’s about a 30-minute moderate hike from the beach (you can also get up to it by renting a bike, or via golf cart—more on that in a bit), and once you’re there you’ll be immersed in a 37-acre botanical garden focused on plants endemic to California and the Channel Islands, and a tower overlook built from quarried rocks culled from the island itself.

A classic burger-and-drinks shack—with the best fries you’ll ever have.Just one trip to Luau Larry’s explains why all of them look so ecstatic: It’s because they’ve all gotten their Wiki Wacked by ordering a heavily-alcoholic drink of the same name.

Rent A Golf Cart. Most Visitors Keep Them the Entire Stay!

The best way to see a large percentage of Avalon—and get a great view.In about two hours you can get up and over the top of town for beautiful views, check out some of the historical structures on the island

Celebrate the Island’s Centennial at the Catalina Island Museum

 

A well-curated museum that explores the island’s intriguing history.Catalina Island Museum dives deep into a fascinating history that touches on Natalie Wood’s suspicious death and Wrigley’s vision for a vacation utopia.An outdoors person’s prime reason to visit.

 

The last few days we just kicked back at the Wyndham Santa Monica, Pier and Beach.

 

There are many Hotels in the Santa Monica and the Venice Beach area. The locals complain when the temperature rises above 85 degrees. We visited from June 6th 2019 to June 13th, not one  day over 76 degrees. Great weather! Yes! But our brains were in the mindset of swimming, running around half dressed and trying to stay cool. It was 96 in Dallas when we got on the plane. 

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA

HOTELS IN SANTA MONICA

HOTELS IN SANTA MONICA

VRBO VACATION RENTALS SANTA MONICA

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS TICKETS HERE

LA BREA TAR PITS TICKETS HERE

GRUMMAN’S CHINESSE THEATER TICKETS HERE

WHERE TO SWIM WITH THE DOLPHINS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

DISNEYLAND TICKETS HERE

 

CATALINA, CALIFORNIA

 

Catalina Island Day Trip from Los Angeles with Avalon Tour

CATALINA,  CALIFORNIA VACATION RENTALS

Rent A Golf Cart. Most Visitors Keep Them the Entire Stay!

 

DISCOUNTED TOURS AND ACTIVITIES CATALINA ISLE CA

CATALINA HOTELS AGODA

 

CATALINA BOOKING.COM

Happy Travels!

Chris

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