Catalina Island

Catalina Island
The adventure to Catalina Island begins with the boat trip, an hour and a half cruise across the Pacific that is available from most of the harbors in Southern California. On this day we left from Dana Point Harbor to start our 26 mile journey across the sea.

The newer and larger boats get you there a lot faster and most of the time it is smooth sailing, keeping the sea sickness at a minimum. However, just to be sure we loaded up on the Dramamine.

About 30 minutes out of port, we were treated to a visit from a pod of dolphins about 100 strong. A few were jumping the wakes of the boat so the Captain slowed us down to watch them frolic for a few minutes.

Catalina Dolphin jumping Catalina Dolphins following

On a typical cloudy morning in California we couldn’t see Catalina from the shore so it was a thrill when we first spotted land as the sun starting peek out of the haze. On a clear day you can see Catalina from most coastal cities in Orange County.

Catalina-Water view of casinoCatalina-Coming to Harbor 4Catalina coming into harbor 5

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Dana Point Harbor

Dana Point is a city located in southern Orange County  with a population of about 33,000 as of the 2010 census.    Besides being one of few harbors along the Orange County coast, it is also a popular surfing destination with Doheny State Park at the south side of the harbor jetties.

Now a thriving harbor with a vast array of boats, it also contains a replica of the tall ship the Pilgrim.

DP-Boats
DP-Boats 2
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Piers Part 2. Oceanside Pier 2014

Oceanside Pier
One of the longest piers in California, Oceanside Pier spams 1,954 feet.  At the end of Pier Way Street in Oceanside, California, this wooden pier was built in 1888 but suffered damage from a storm in 1890. Rebuilt in 1893 it still stands strong in the Pacific and is host to hundreds of thousands of visitors a year.
I think 100,000 of them were on the pier on January 1st, 2014 where the pier treated us to a great sunset.

Sunset 2014
 
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California Piers

Seal Beach Pier
Spanning 1,865 feet, the Seal Beach Pier with its multiple wooden planks is home to Ruby’s Diner on the end and also hosts a lifeguard tower. The 2nd largest wooden pier in California is perfect for a leisurely stroll but has many benches if you just want to relax and enjoy the view. The pier is located at the end of Main Street in Seal Beach.

Main Street is home to many restaurants and shops, so once you earned your calories walking on the pier, you can meander over and get yourself a great meal or vice versa.

You don’t need a fishing license to fish from the pier or if you prefer, watch the fisherman bring in their catches.

Seal Beach Pier right
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Hotel Del Coronado and Coronado Island

Coronado Building
For the last excursion during the holidays 2013, we went to Coronado Island and Hotel Del Coronado. With a population of about 24,000, Coronado lies on a peninsula connected to the mainland by a 10-mile isthmus called the Silver Strand. Close to downtown San Diego, the lengthy Coronado bridge will also take you to the island. Enjoy the beautiful views of the harbor from the bridge as you are driving over, but drivers take a peek only once in awhile, it’s a long way down.

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