I hadn’t been to Catalina Island in a long time and decided it was time to take a trip to get in some photos. Catalina Island is a really popular day trip destination for the Southern California crowd. It’s like a mini tropical island but just off the coast of Southern California and one of my favorite places.
Catalina Island is definitely a unique place. It changed hands a bunch of times until the Wrigley chewing gum family took over in the early 1900’s and shaped it into what it is today. If you want to go there the most popular way is on a ferry like the Catalina Flyer in Newport Beach or Catalina Express which has service from Long Beach, San Pedro and Dana Point. You can also get there by helicopter, boat, and plans charters. There are very few cars on the island and there aren’t any available to rent. A lot of the cars are odd little mini-trucks I’ve never seen anywhere else. To get around you can rent golf carts, bicycles, or go on a vehicle tour.
One of my Huntington Beach California pier photos was licensed by Travel Channel for an article titled “Best Budget Beaches”. Good stuff. Southern California can be ultra expensive but there are also some reasonable options.
Huntington Beach pier is awesome and, well, free. Get there early enough and catch the sunrise over Orange County. During the day it’s crowded so it’s a great time for people watching and especially checking out the surfers by the pier. Head to the end of the pier and grab some food at Ruby’s Diner. Ruby’s is a 1940’s style diner with some good classic burger and shake grub. At night there is almost always an amazing beach sunset. Head down the road to one of my favorite places, El Ranchito Mexican restaurant, and get some great fish tacos and Cadillac margaritas. Wander South on Pacific Coast Highway and check out Newport Beach, Laguna Beach and some of the other great oceanfront beach cities.
Some new Newport Beach California photos are available to buy as prints at my Photoshelter website and some are available to license as stock photos at my Getty Images portfolio. These images are from early 2010 and include Newport Pier, Balboa Peninsula, Dory Fishing Fleet Market, Balboa Fun Zone, Balboa Island Ferry, Balboa Peninsula, The Wedge, Newport Jetty, Balboa Peninsula, Balboa Market, and a lot of familiar Newport Beach sights.
I found out a few things have changed since I took these photos. The famous old Balboa Market has been torn down and is now a parking lot. I was able to capture a few images while it was still standing including the Balboa Market Sign. And the Balboa Fun Zone bumper cars, carousel and some other attractions no longer exist and have been replaced by the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum.