What’s an island getaway without a swanky place to sleep? Choices on Catalina include the Avalon Hotel, the carefully restored California Craftsman-style building that combines rich mahogany wood with Catalina’s signature tile artwork. And the hotel’s rooftop deck might just be the perfect place to relax with a glass of bubbly. Rooms at the oceanfront Snug Harbor Inn rooms come with jetted tubs and fireplaces. Hotel Metropole, named for the island’s original grand hotel (which burned in 1915), was rebuilt with sumptuous, coastal style—for an unforgettable splurge, book the 2-bedroom, 2-bath Beach House, where you can wrap yourself in soft robes and take in panoramic ocean views from your private deck.
High above Avalon, with fantastic twilight views of the harbor and Avalon Casino, there’s The Inn on Mt. Ada, housed in the original Wrigley mansion, with nice touches like ice cream available for guests in the butler’s pantry, plus appetizers, wine, and California bubbly, served every evening. For a roomier option on the island, consider renting a condo in the posh Hamilton Cove area; many units include golf carts so you can make the 5-minute drive down to Avalon—if you ever feel like budging from your chaise on your deck or by the pool. Exclusive Descanso Beach Club rents chi-chi private cabanas, plus beach valets and other spoil-me touches.
For a more remote getaway, travel to Two Harbors, north of Avalon, and Banning House Lodge, with expansive views of the Isthmus of Catalina and Catalina Harbor.