Quickie to Catalina
How about a quickie to Catalina, California? Never been there? It’s time to go. The summer crowds have subsided, making this place a welcomed escape.
Catalina is about an hour away from Los Angeles, Long Beach or Laguna, providing an inexpensive getaway for those on a budget or pressed for time. Think of Balboa, minus the cars. I enjoy the fact that 88 percent of the island is a nature preserve, making it a real haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Camping, hiking, kayaking, bicycling and parasailing are only a few of the ways you can butch your brawn in this unspoiled terrain.
It’s comforting to note that we also saw a number of other gay couples while were there, so the word must be out. Palm Springs has it charm, but I prefer a coastal town where I can indulge in surf or turf.
For those of you wanting to splurge a bit, there are a number of fine hotels and restaurants from which to choose. Our favorite for romance is the heralded Ristorante Villa Portofino, right on the boardwalk (111 Crescent Ave.). Choose from a number of succulent dishes that combine flavor and innovation. Top it off with a stay at their Villa Portofino Hotel, where you can romance your sweetie by the fireplace as twilight casts its cobalt hue.
For a casual, scenic lunch head over to The Landing (El Canto Market Place), which features fresh salads, gourmet pizzas and seafood all served on their deck overlooking Avalon Bay. After a day of seaside adventure nothing hits the spot like one of their very local brews.
Or, after a romantic walk on Pebbly Beach, you can stop in for a bite at Buffalo Nickel Restaurant. It’s secluded from the hectic golf cart traffic of the main drag and they’re known for their buffalo burgers and solid Mexican food (57 Pebbly Beach Rd.).