Want to do something really special to celebrate your birthday or surprise a family member on theirs? How about starting with a free boat ride to Catalina and adding a birthday hotel package with champagne and lots of additional free gifts and discounts from Avalon establishments?
Just 22 miles across the Pacific from Long Beach, Catalina is the island paradise immortalized in The Four Prep’s 1950s hit, “26 miles across the sea… Santa Catalina is a-waitin’ for me…” Set against rugged hills, you arrive in the small town of Avalon with its quaint shops, hotels and eateries overlooking the boats and yachts bobbing in the harbor’s blue waters. Just beyond its signature Casino is a beautiful private beach with public access edged by pristine waters and ideal for swimming. And that is just the beginning.
The free birthday ride promotion was introduced four years ago by Catalina Express which operates eight boats including four high-speed catamarans that can make the trip to Avalon from Long Beach, San Pedro or Dana Point in about an hour. Over the past four years, the company’s promotion has grown into a major Birthday Island celebration with numerous attractions, restaurants, hotels and other merchants hopping aboard with a variety of discounts and free gifts which must be claimed on your birthday.
Buffalo Nickel, one of Avalon’s best Mexican restaurants, is offering a free meal with free shuttle service to and from the restaurant. Lloyds of Avalon is has a free scoop of ice cream plus a free 1/4 pound of salt water taffy with the purchase of one pound and half off any iced coffee drink or smoothie with one purchased. Among participating hotels, Vista del Mar is providing with your stay a complimentary bottle of champagne or wine, celebratory balloons, continental breakfast, milk and cookies each evening plus 10% off at Avalon’s best retail stores and a free gift.
With Catallac Tours, you can party at a 50% discount aboard a power catamaran custom-built in 2012 for touring and party charters around Catalina. Golf Gardens Mini Golf is offering a free game, and Three Palms Avalon Arcade provides a free game of bowling, Discounts are offered by several spas for Swedish massages, a massage in a private beachside cabana, couple’s massage, a Detox Body Wrap, and facials.
Sightseeing options include a free 30-minute walking tour of the famed landmark Casino to visit the historic Art Deco murals and classic 1929 pipe organ inside the Avalon Theatre and world-famous ballroom. You and up to four friends can also experience Avalon in a new way with a smart phone-guided scavenger hunt designed by Urban Adventure Quest. The fun includes solving clues and challenges all around the town at a 25% team discount for one of three adventures—Walking Quest, Electric Bike Quest or Golf Cart Quest (bike and golf cart rentals are not included). You just need one smart phone per team.
To sign up for your Birthday Pass, go to Catalina Express and register. Fill out all the details and receive your instructions and confirmations online. You can also download the complete menu of Birthday Island offers. If you prefer, you may also call Catalina Express at 800-429-4601.
Photos of the boat, Avalon harbor, and Miniature Golf courtesy of Catalina Express
Photo of Island Spa Catalina courtesy of Island Spa Catalina