Flying to Catalina for Lunch

Flying to Catalina for Lunch

Jason Daniel Shaw

AIRPORT IN THE SKY – CATALINA

One of the benefits of living in southern California and being a pilot is the various options that you have for a lunch flight.  Probably my favorite is Catalina because of the beautiful views, spectacular location of the airport and the amazing tri-tip.  Although it is a short 25-minute flight from Santa Monica, it feels like you have been transformed to a far away destination.  An island in the Pacific.  

Catalina Airport in the SKy

AIRPORT IN THE SKY – CATALINA

There is a restaurant and a small gift shop at the airport – Airport in the Sky – that serves some great food.  My favorite is the tri-tip sandwich.  Or you can try the buffalo burger.  You can sit out on the patio and you may see some of the local wildlife, such as an old fox that has no fear of people and a love for the food the restaurant serves. Although, you are not allowed to feed him.  There are also hummingbirds that feed on the flowers that line the patio.  If these don’t get you excited, maybe the chance to see a herd of buffalo will.  I have seen them on various occasions but none were as memorable as the time that I found myself immersed amongst the herd.  

GoPro Fusion 360 Catalina

WHAT TO DO AT CATALINA’S AIRPORT IN THE SKY

There is a trail that circles the airport that you can hike on your own (takes about an hour depending on your pace).  If you want to venture outside of the airport area, you need a permit, as the surrounding lands are all part of the conservancy.  From the airport, you can get a shuttle in one direction to Avalon (the main city on the island) or Two Harbors (the sailors’ paradise) in the other direction. If you plan to go down and back the same day, make sure to arrive early as it is a 45+ min ride depending on which direction you are going.  For the more adventurous, you can get a permit and hike the island.  There are many secluded beaches that you can stop at and camp. People will also get a permit and mountain bike down to Avalon (all downhill) and take the shuttle back. Whatever you do, make sure to visit the spectacular island just off of our coast.  

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