#Ridewithme to #Catalina: 5 things you may want to know before planning your #daytrip to the #CatalinaIsland

I was in Catalina for the first time about a couple of years ago to celebrate a friend's birthday and was totally unprepared for the shock that was Catalina! Please don't misunderstand me, I had a completely different picture of the island in my mind than what it actually turned out to be, so the shock. My advise to anybody would be to research the place well before going there, so you know exactly what you are getting into! Here are the five things I wish I knew about Catalina before going there:

1. It was way too crowded!

I went to Catalina in early September and it was too crowded for my taste. Later, a friend told me that the island is visited by almost a million tourists every year! So, if you are looking to get away from the world, Catalina is not your place because you'll run into the whole world there! However, if you want to just chill out with your gang of friends and are looking for an exciting tourist spot buzzing with people from all over, Catalina is your place! Later I read somewhere that Two Harbors, the other enclave of Catalina, is much more low key with very clean water and visibility of up to 100 feet.

Approaching Catalina Island by ferry, catalinaexpress, foggy day. Image©sourcingstyle.com

Approaching Catalina Island by ferry, catalinaexpress, foggy day. Image©sourcingstyle.com

Catalina Island Harbor, foggy day in Catalina. Image©sourcingstyle.com

Catalina Island Harbor, foggy day in Catalina. Image©sourcingstyle.com

2. Watch out for the dolphins!

You probably already figured out how to get there. With the Catalina Express (www.catalinaexpress.com), you can jump onto a ferry any time of the day, but don't just sit inside the boat-you'll miss the dolphins! Get out there on the deck and be ready with your camera-you might just capture the next National Geographic photo if the dolphins decide to show up! I actually saw dolphins jump out of water and it was the first time in my life I saw them--no pictures, I just stood there and watched them transfixed!

Boat trip to Catalina, waiting for the dolphins. Image©sourcingstyle.com

Boat trip to Catalina, waiting for the dolphins. Image©sourcingstyle.com

3. Watch out for your hat!

My new hat blew away in the ocean when I was standing on the deck looking out for the dolphins! You need to be extremely careful about your belongings especially your camera, iPhone etc, lest the wind blows them away into the ocean!

Boat to Catalina, ferry ride to Catalina, the US flag blowing in the wind. Image©sourcingstyle.com

Boat to Catalina, ferry ride to Catalina, the US flag blowing in the wind. Image©sourcingstyle.com

4. Pretty hats but no great places to eat :(

I found a pretty replacement hat all right, but my friend who is vegan and has food allergies couldn't really find anything wholesome to eat. It could also be that we were not so familiar with the eating places there but we walked up and down the main street facing the beach twice and hardly found anything that she could eat. PS: My new hat I got at the island was gorgeous and for $19, a good deal.

My new hat for $19 was quite a deal, pretty hats, summer hats. Image©sourcingstyle.com

My new hat for $19 was quite a deal, pretty hats, summer hats. Image©sourcingstyle.com

5. Boat tour to see flora and fauna not worth it!

We paid for a guided boat tour to see the flora and fauna on the ocean floor but personally it did not move me. I would have much rather enjoyed deep sea diving or snorkeling to experience the ocean life. What I really enjoyed was the breathtaking sunset in so many beautiful colors--it was awe-inspiring.

Catalina Island, sunset time. Image©sourcingstyle.com

Catalina Island, sunset time. Image©sourcingstyle.com

Catalina Island, sunset time, beautiful colors of the sunset. Image©sourcingstyle.com

Catalina Island, sunset time, beautiful colors of the sunset. Image©sourcingstyle.com

So if you are planning to go to Catalina, it's a good idea to do an in-depth research about the island you want to visit, the food and the expected number of people at the time you want to visit, the weather and all the activities you want to do while on vacation. Enjoy Catalina the right way! Have fun!