The Aurora Hotel at Catalina Island

Breakfast at The Aurora Hotel, a boutique hotel on Catalina Island.

Here’s the second part of our weekend getaway to Catalina Island. We are up early, lounge around in bed, and are still the first to hit The Aurora Hotel’s Continental Breakfast.


We aren’t hungry, but grab some stuff before it gets picked over, stashing it in our room fridge. In the meantime, we take another walk into town. One of Avalon’s most famous landmarks is their Casino, which is really a movie theater/ballroom – not a place to gamble.

Unfortunately, it is surrounded by scaffolding.


We actually just saw an episode of Huell Howser on PBS where he gave a thorough tour of the Catalina Casino, so we don’t feel the need to go inside. Not that we even had an option. Everything is sealed shut at that hour.


Back to the hotel for some breakfast.  They have a lovely sun roof on the 3rd floor where you can sit out and enjoy a view of the ocean.  Unfortunately, they hose the entire deck down (furniture included) so our clothes get wet and we have to use the hair dryer!



…ends up becoming this…


  • Container of fat-free plain yogurt, with a tiny bit of NuStevia packet I have in my purse
  • Strawberries and grapes
  • 1/2 a crumbled lemon poppy seed muffin

After breakfast, we finish packing and check out. It is only 11am, and our ferry back isn’t until 3:45pm. The hotel holds our bags while we continue to explore the island.

There are very few automobiles on Catalina, and everyone travels via golf cart.


I already know before we arrive that I want to rent one. It’s a little pricey ($40/hour) but is totally worth it!


After our little adventure I want ice cream. There are a number of places to get frozen treats, but this one, Big Olaf’s, always has the longest lines so I know it will be good.


It is not open, though. What’s so strange about wanting ice cream before noon?! So we take another long walk, this time up to The Inn on Mt. Ada, another high point in Avalon.

On the way we pass by a pet cemetery.


It takes about 30 minutes but finally we reach the top.


We don’t go inside the Inn; it has a gate and also looks intimidating.

Back down, Big Olaf’s Ice Cream is finally open! And a line has already formed, too.


Abe gets a Root Beer Float with Frozen Yogurt (his own creation, off the menu).  And I get a kid-size scoop of Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. Both are delicious! I think this may be the only place with homemade options.  They also have amazing looking waffle cones, but my stomach doesn’t think it can handle that.

What to do for the remaining 2 hours?!

More walking along the water…


Anyone have a clue about the story behind that?!

Our feet are getting ache-y; we decide to just sit and do some reading. I want to be in the sun, so Abe and I sit across from one another.


I alternate between memorizing lines and finishing up “This Book Will Save Your Life.”


For our last hour in Avalon, we eat lunch at Cafe Metropole, recommended by by friend Mimi as a veggie-friendly option.


They also have a very cute patio area.


I order a salad with romaine lettuce, chicken, avocado, cranberries, walnuts, and tomatoes…


…and use 1/2 of the cranberry walnut dressing. It tastes very fresh and isn’t too expensive. Abe gets an egg-salad sandwich that he enjoys for only $4 (a much better option than the $12 one we see at another place).

And that is the end of our little trip! We do everything we want to do, fully explore the little city, and relax. For folks who are wondering if you can make a day trip out of going to Catalina, I say a big, enthusiastic yes!  And for a longer stay, April is the PERFECT month to go – there are still off-season deals and the weather couldn’t be more perfect.

We sleep on the ferry ride back, pick up Julius, come home, and unpack.

*Poof* Back to normal.



29 thoughts on “The Aurora Hotel at Catalina Island

  1. Juliana

    Lynn, it seems that you had a great time, love the weekend getways…I haven’t been back to Catalina Island for almost a decade 😉

  2. Evan Thomas

    That salad sounds like a great combination of flavors.
    I totally would want ice cream before noon! How odd. I think the ice cream places in Boston open at 8–God bless them

  3. Ada

    Yum, I love Big Olaf’s (they have branches in Florida too). I’m so glad you and Abe are enjoying a nice little getaway, Catalina sounds beautiful:)

  4. Kelsey

    oh i LOVE that breakfast idea!!!!

    and choc chip and mint- mmmm such good memories.


  5. luvtoeat

    Great pictures! Golf carts are so much fun to drive aren’t they? Glad you had a relaxing weekend.

  6. Kim

    I’ve had that ice cream (though mine was chocolate chip) and sat just where you sat 🙂 We also did the golf cart thing. I don’t remember the pet cemetery. That’s pretty cool! Glad you had such a great weekend 🙂 Loved the pictures!

  7. Light Delight with Tou Tou

    awesome, awesome holiday 😀 I am so happy for you , the weather is so nice!!! I like that table cloth in Cafe Metropole, its sooo cute!!!

    I pass you a happy 101 award – you seems so happy everyday 😀 please share with us your happiness secrete ;-D

  8. lowandbhold

    I’m so glad you had a good trip! You and Abe deserved it 🙂 I have a huge craving for ice cream. Yours looks delish.

  9. Mimi (Damn the Freshman 15)

    Aww, so flattered you liked my Metropole suggestion! I had this beet-squash salad and it was really good.

    I was on that Putt-Putt course too! My boyfriend was a bit drunk (hehe, fraternity formal)…and still beat me, but it made for a lot of amusing conversation.

    We were wondering if Olaf’s was any good, but never tried it.

    1. Lynn at The Actors Diet Post author

      overall, i liked it but i was a lot more into the first part of it (and i did NOT get that ending)

  10. Veggielady4life

    Day 2 sounds nice and relaxing… and I agree with you about the ice cream before noon… 100% normal! 🙂

    Hope your audition went well on Monday!

  11. Jessie

    I’m so glad you had a good time, Lynn! Catalina looks lovely at this time of the year – perfect for exploring and soaking up some sun.

    (I have no idea about that jailed crutch??)

  12. Chelsea Ward

    Man, it’s been eons since I’ve been to Catalina Island. Your post has affirmed that I need to add it to my California Summer Bucket List 2010.

    Now that you’re finishing up “This Book Will Save Your Life,” what are your thoughts? Takes some shocking turns, huh? Especially regarding the protagonist’s son and the sink hole.

    1. Lynn at The Actors Diet Post author

      i have to admit i was a lot more into the beginning of the book and was disappointed with the weird ass ending!

  13. Wendy Lee

    I used to have an ice cream store. Take it from me…it is never too early in the day or too late in the evening for ice cream!

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