Here’s one for the bucket list: spend a week or weekend on Santa Catalina Island, just off the Orange County coast. Now’s the time to visit after an $11 million revitalization, including renovations at the 71-room, two-story Pavilion Hotel; a makeover for Descanso Beach Club, a new Zip Line Eco Tour and a Sea Trek Underwater Adventure (guests walk along the sea floor using innovative diving helmets); and GPS walking tours of Avalon. “Santa Catalina Island has been a favorite getaway destination for generations of visitors since the late 1800s,” says Brad Wilson of the resort developer Santa Catalina Island Company. “We hope these renovations will appeal to past visitors as well as a new generation of families, adventure seekers, and people wanting a departure from the hurried pace of life on the mainland.” How to get there? Go to visitcatalinaisland.com for options.
Run Away, Bride
Caterer, band, guest list—who needs it? Take advantage of Calistoga Ranch’s elopement package this summer. The resort was built as a collection of luxury lodges, each featuring outdoor spaces that mirror the indoor ones—e.g., outdoor living rooms with fireplaces and private hot tubs, outdoor baths with rain showers; several even have trees sprouting through the decks. The package is priced at $5,000 (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) or $3,395 (Monday through Thursday) and available for two to 10 guests. It includes a ceremony venue overlooking the private lake or the resort’s own vineyard; a minister and a photographer; flowers; a sparkling wine toast; wedding cake; and hair and makeup for the bride. calistogaranch.com
Hawaiian Airlines is adding a daily nonstop flight to Maui from Oakland starting June 17. Flight 23 will depart Oakland at 12:20 p.m. and arrive in Maui at 2:20 p.m. Returning Flight 24 will depart Maui at 9:35 p.m. and arrive in Oakland the following morning at 5:30 a.m. The route runs through September 6.
Sausalito resident Coco Hall and her posse have recently returned from three weeks in Africa, including a stint in Amboseli, Kenya, where they spent some time with a herd of 300 elephants, as well as time at the baby elephant orphanage of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (sheldrickwildlifetrust.org). Dedicated to stopping illegal (and legal) ivory sales and poaching, Hall also works with such groups as elephantvoices.org. To read more on her experiences go to Marin Travels with Purpose.
Mimi Towle has been the editor of Marin Magazine for over a decade. She lived with her family in Sycamore Park and Strawberry and thoroughly enjoyed raising two daughters in the mayhem of Marin’s youth sports; soccer, swim, volleyball, ballet, hip hop, gymnastics and many many hours spent at Miwok Stables. Her community involvements include volunteering at her daughter’s schools, coaching soccer and volleyball (glorified snack mom), being on the board of both Richardson Bay Audubon Center. Currently residing on a floating home in Sausalito, she enjoys all water activity, including learning how to steer a 6-person canoe for the Tamalpais Outrigger Canoe Club. Born and raised in Hawaii, her fondness for the islands has on occasion made its way into the pages of the magazine.