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CIVR Blog: Catalina Island summer

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Catalina’s warm waters are calling.

Southern California’s recent heat wave sometimes makes it difficult to remember that fall is just around the corner, but the time available for a summer getaway is quickly running out. Fortunately, one of the best times for a Catalina summer getaway is the last time for a Catalina summer getaway.

Santa Catalina Island has seen record crowds this summer, with perfect weather and a wealth of new activities and experiences creating an irresistible combination for Southern California travel enthusiasts. Most Catalina island visitors think they’ve got to wait until fall to beat those summer crowds, but the last two weeks of August often offer a chance for a Catalina Island summer vacation without quite as many fellow travelers. Many schools are back in session beginning August 24 and for those that aren’t, parents are often making last minute preparations for when school does start. For those who can escape school obligations, Catalina Island in late summer offer the perfect respite from the mainland, with cooler temperatures, sea breezes and a carefree attitude perfect for this idyllic Island.

Catching that last wave of summer for a Catalina Island vacation is even easier, thanks to Catalina Island Vacation Rentals. CIVR will be offering an end-of-summer special offer of 50 percent off on stays between August 23 and August 27 (must reserve by August 22, certain restrictions apply).

CIVR Blog: Catalina Family Reunion

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Undersea Expedition

Undersea Expedition

Catalina Island, with its wide range of activities and easy access from the Southern California mainland is a destination for all reasons and seasons. One of the best special occasions to get away to Santa Catalina Island is a family reunion. Avalon offers a number of relaxing spots for catching up with family or bond together over an exciting new activity like parasailing, ziplining or snorkeling. Dining options run the gamut from burgers and fries for the kids to culinary creations sure to please even the pickiest foodies in the family.

Catalina Island Vacation Rentals is the perfect choice for Catalina family reunion accommodations. With quaint cottages, exclusive Hamilton Cove Villas and Avalon condos all available, CIVR offers Catalina Island family lodging options for just about any budget. All the comforts of home mean your family will be able to spend time together over a meal – and argue over who gets dish duty. As the day comes to close, your Catalina Island vacation rental will come to be your home away for home, with room for relaxing, family game night or just long talks into the wee hours.

Guest Blogger: Two Harbors Casas

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Photo credit: Let’s Play OC!

We stayed at the beautiful Casa Santa Cruz, a renovated modern rental home in Two Harbors that’s centrally located with views of both harbors seen throughout the house. It can accommodate 8 comfortably with three bedrooms (each has a view of a harbor, the master has a view of both harbors), two full restrooms, a loft with a pull-out bed and DVD player, full kitchen, dining area, a living room, and two patios. Amenities include a full washer/dryer, dishes, silverware, a BBQ, and cookware.

NOTE: There is no WIFI in the rental, however, there is free WIFI next to the restaurant.

After we played in the water all day, we picked up supplies and ingredients from their General Store to make dinner every night. They had all the tools we needed. It doesn’t get much better than this. How would you like to dine every night with a breathtaking view of Isthmus Cove from your patio?

Isthmus Cove, Two Harbors CA Catalina Island Photo by (c) LetsPlayOC.com 798

Photo credit: Let’s Play OC!

There is one restaurant, one general store, campgrounds, and a recreational center where you can rent bikes, kayaks, snorkeling, SCUBA gear, and umbrellas, etc.

What to Pack:
Sunblock,
Beach Towels (there are towels in the rental but they are white),
Groceries and ingredients (plan your meals ahead),
Music (It’s like a party house with plenty of seating throughout the house),
Bug Spray (don’t forget to apply it in the evening),
Warm clothing for nightly walks, and
Your favorite DVD’s for movie nights (they have a great selection there too).

Written by Mary Tran. Mary is a mom of two boys who blogs about family fun things in Orange County at LetsPlayOC.com. To read more about Mary’s Tips for Two Harbors and staying at Casa Santa Cruz, please visit: http://www.letsplayoc.com/2015/07/catalina-island-vacation-rental-casa-santa-cruz-two-harbors.html

Disclosure: We received a media rate. All opinions are our own.

CIVR Blog: Catalina Island family reunion

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Photos courtesy of Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce

Photos courtesy of Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce

Reconnecting with family is one of the many benefits of a vacation – and a Catalina Island family reunion can be an ideal way to reconnect with your entire family.

With its convenient location and world-wide reputation as a vacation hotspot, Santa Catalina is a destination that will inspire family members from around the country. Surrounded by natural beauty and infused with the small town charm of Avalon, Catalina Island intrigues all ages as the perfect place to get away from it all.

Catalina Island restaurants range from burger stands to fine cuisine and offer something for every palate, whether you are looking for a quick bite with the kids or a spot for a decadent dinner re-connecting with long-lost cousins. Activities on Catalina Island also offer something for everyone, from scuba diving to glass bottom boat rides and parasailing to culinary walking tours.

An ideal option for accommodations for your Catalina Island family reunion is vacation rentals. With full kitchens and homes that sleep up to 10, renting an Avalon home, condo or a Hamilton Cove villa provides a cost effective, convenient way to stay. Catalina Island Vacation Rentals reservation staff are happy to help determine the perfect option for you and your family.

CIVR Blog: Certificate of Excellence Award

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certificate of excellent - tripadvisor

Living and working on Catalina Island is privilege that none of us take for granted. Surrounded by the sea and shaded by Santa Catalina’s stunning hillsides, we’re enveloped by natural beauty in a way that no one else on earth is. Avalon’s quaint streets and scenic waterfront are part of our everyday life and the many activities on Catalina are something we get to enjoy every day.

Working at Catalina Island Vacation Rentals provides its own series of benefits. Every day, we get to make vacation dreams come true. Our guests arrive excited and eager and go home relaxed and refreshed, renewed by a Southern California island paradise. We love hearing about how much fun they’ve had and how much we were able to help them.

Thanks to the enthusiasm of those guests, the Hamilton Cove Villas on Catalina Island that we manage have recently been awarded a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor. As the world’s leading hotel review site, millions of people around the world rely on TripAdvisor for vacation travel advice. While we’re proud of this award, we’re even more proud of the experiences that inspired the reviews. Knowing that we’ve been a part of creating wonderful vacation memories makes our jobs even more rewarding.

CIVR Blog: Two Harbors, Catalina Island

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Casa-Santa-Rosa,-Two-Harbors

Most visitors to Catalina Island experience only a tiny portion of this Southern California resort destination. For the vast majority, Avalon is the only vision of this Channel Island that they will see – and while this quaint village has many charms, it’s only in exploring the rest of the island that Santa Catalina truly reveals herself.

Besides Avalon, the most visited portion of the island is Two Harbors, the picturesque community located near the West End of Catalina Island. So named because of the twin harbors that create the isthmus of Catalina, Two Harbors is an adventures’ nirvana. While you can get a glimpse of remote outpost on either a bus or boat tour, the only way to truly experience the isthmus is to spend a few days soaking up its unique atmosphere. With less than 200 year round residents, Two Harbors is arguably the remote and isolated community in Los Angeles County. During the winter, that makes it an ideal destination for those looking to get away from it all. In the summer – and when the weather makes it feel like summer – the population at the isthmus swells to several thousand, with boaters, campers  and adventurers all eager to relax and enjoy hiking, snorkeling, mountain biking, scuba diving, kayaking, stand-up paddling and much more.

CIVR Blog: Catalina Island gift certificates

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The gift of Catalina Island will last a lifetime. Photo Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce

The gift of Catalina Island will last a lifetime. Photo Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce

The gift of Catalina Island can be one that lasts a lifetime. Cherished memories are born here. Time spent exploring Catalina’s interior, relaxing on its beaches and strolling its charming streets is a gift that will be remembered forever.

There are many ways to give the gift of Catalina Island, but one of the most effective is by giving the gift of Catalina Island Vacation Rentals. Gift certificates are available in any amount, so you can either contribute to a weekend getaway or, if you’re feeling particularly magnanimous, you can give a yearly getaway for the entire family. Whether you are looking for a romantic gift for that special someone or an ideal present for a family, a gift certificate from Catalina Island Vacation Rentals will let you outshine Santa.

Catalina Island Vacation Rentals offers a wide range of Catalina Island accommodations, including Hamilton Cove Villas, Avalon homes and cottages, Two Harbors casas and Avalon condos. Properties are available for every Catalina getaway, from cozy cottages for two to expansive vacation homes that sleep up to 12. Click here for more information about how you can give a holiday gift that will last a lifetime.

Guest Blogger: A Stay at Hamilton Cove

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Hamilton Cove Villas are one option for a longer stay on Catalina Island.

Hamilton Cove Villas are one option for a longer stay on Catalina Island.

by Sherel Purcell

On a recent trip to Catalina Island, 22 miles off the coast of Los Angeles and an hour via the Catalina Express ferry (free trip on your birthday!) we stayed at a Catalina Island Vacation Rental property. The huge, two-story, two-bedroom, two-bath villa overlooked beautiful Hamilton Cove.

The sandy beach was well-equipped with volleyball nets, basketball hoops, a swing set and picnic tables with barbeques.  Further up the hill, a perfectly heated pool and hot tub, croquet lawn, elaborate mini golf course and tennis courts provided extra leisure activities.
As well as being an extremely peaceful and beautiful location, an additional benefit of staying in Hamilton Cove is that it included a motorized golf cart to make the 1.5-mile scenic trip into the main town of Avalon.

Although our rental was completely outfitted with a large, open-concept contemporary kitchen and dining room, we headed for the Bluewater Restaurant right on the waterfront in the center of town. We did however, enjoy breakfast on our sunny patio overlooking the ocean.

The Bluewater is THE place to eat on Catalina especially for seafood lovers and those into creative appetizers. Reservations are recommended as it fills up with locals and visitors alike dropping in for afternoon drinks and staying for dinner.

On our drive into town, we passed the new zipline operated by Catalina Island Zip Line Eco Tour. Perched on a cliff, the zip line provides thrill seekers with unparalleled views of the Palos Verdes Peninsula and Long Beach from heights of 600 feet above sea level.

Closer to town, we passed the local cinema (the movie changes once a week) housed in an art deco rotunda – the famous Catalina Casino, which is also the home of the Catalina Island Museum containing 8,000 years of human settlement history.

Two other attractions deserve special mention: Jeep Eco Tours are a hair-raising way to explore the surrounding mountains while supporting the conservation efforts of the Catalina Island Conservancy, which protects 88 percent of Catalina Island, including more than 62 miles of deserted beaches.

Underwater, Catalina Ocean Expeditions allow visitors to come face-to-face with Catalina’s abundant marine life in their semi-submersible boats.

 

CIVR Blog: 3 Tips for A Great Catalina Island Vacation

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Hamilton Cove Villas are one option for a longer stay on Catalina Island.

Hamilton Cove Villas are one option for a longer stay on Catalina Island.

Three tips for a week on Catalina Island

Spending a week or more vacationing on Catalina Island provides an ideal opportunity to relax, recharge and discover all that this island paradise has to offer. While your vacation priorities are up to you and your family, here are our top three tips for getting the most out of your week in this Southern California vacation hot spot.

Be flexible: if you’re vacationing on the island for a week or more, you’ve got enough time to explore Catalina on your own terms. Don’t try to schedule every moment, let your vacation have enough room for spontaneity and unexpected discoveries. Whether it’s getting back for another meal at that great restaurant or stopping to spend more time hiking that trail you saw from the tour bus, your Catalina experience will benefit from flexibility.

Get out of town: While Avalon’s quaint streets and picturesque harbor attract more than a million visitors a year, Catalina Island has a wealth of intriguing discoveries just waiting to be revealed. Fascinating history, spectacular vistas, unique hikes and flora and fauna found nowhere else on earth are yours to discover when you take the time to explore Catalina Island’s interior. Take a tour, rent a bike or hike the Trans-Catalina trail – however you choose to discover Catalina Island, the time it takes to experience the world outside of Avalon is well worth the investment.

Stay the way the locals do: When you spend a week or more on Catalina Island, you want the chance to live island life like the locals do. Separate bedrooms, fully-equipped kitchens and an array of entertainment options from televisions to board games will give you the chance to be at home while you’re away from home. Catalina Island Vacation Rentals has Avalon condos, cottages and homes as well as Hamilton Cove villas that allow you to relax and unwind.

CIVR Blog: Adventures at Two Harbors

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Isthmus Cove at Two Harbors on the Island's West End.

Isthmus Cove at Two Harbors on the Island’s West End.

Catalina Island travelers looking for an experience off the beaten path can find just what they are looking for at Two Harbors, at Santa Catalina’s West End. A beautiful pair of bays creates the isthmus and gives the community its name. Isthmus Harbor, on the island’s lee side; and Cat Harbor, on the island’s windward side, both invite exploration, with hiking trails and walking paths, calm waters perfect for paddling and a wealth of marine life. Two Harbors, CA beckons travelers both those looking for adventure and those eager for relaxation.

Catalina Island is one of the top spots in North America for scuba diving and Two Harbors sports several beautiful dive spots in the many coves on the front side of the island. Those spots are also spectacular for snorkelers with amber kelp forests, curious fish and crystal clear waters. Above water adventures are prevalent at the isthmus, including kayaking, stand-up paddling and big game fishing. Not ready to get wet? The hiking around the West End is some of the best on the island, with dirt roads, hiking paths and the Trans-Catalina Trail all beckoning to be explored. Sound a little too strenuous? Relax with a good book and soak up the rays – or just take in the beautiful views.

Catalina Island Vacation Rentals offers Two Harbors travelers the perfect Isthmus lodging option with two luxurious casas.