Discover the magnificent California destination nicknamed America’s Amalfi Coast

Welcome to California, the sunny destination nicknamed America’s Amalfi Coast! Prepare to be amazed by the natural beauty and incomparable charm of this iconic American state. Follow me on a captivating exploration of this mythical land where sun, ocean and culture come together to create an unforgettable experience.

Stunning Avalon on Santa Catalina Island

If you dreamed of discovering the Amalfi Coast but you don’t have a passport, look no further than the island of Santa Catalina, located off the coast of Orange County, California. Here, narrow Italian-inspired streets wind along steep hills, offering stunning views of the sea. With its Mediterranean climate, Avalon is an ideal destination for visits throughout the year, whether for a romantic weekend, a day trip or as part of a road trip in California.

How to Get to Avalon

You can take a fast ferry from Long Beach, San Pedro or, our favorite, the little-known beach town of Dana Point. Once in Avalon, most visitors opt to rent a golf cart to explore the town’s winding streets. But why not stroll through these streets with their European charm? Almost every point in the city offers an impressive view of the coast, something to delight photography enthusiasts.

Accommodation in Avalon

For a luxurious experience reminiscent of the opulence of the Amalfi Coast, stay at Mt Ada, an elevated retreat with just six rooms, formerly the home of the chewing gum tycoon William Wrigley Jr.. The views from the terrace alone are worth the price of a night’s stay, and a golf cart is included for easy transportation.

For modern and stylish accommodation, the Bellanca Hotel is located on the seafront, right in the city center. From the same team as the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, this boutique hotel offers free beach bikes to tour around town. Even if you’re only there for a day, stop for brunch at their restaurant, The Naughty Fox. Don’t miss their famous ahi poke nachos.

Activities and excursions

Avalon has no shortage of activities for the more adventurous. Catalina is renowned for being one of the most impressive snorkeling spots in the United States. You can also board a Humvee for an excursion to meet the island’s bison, originally introduced as extras in films.

Must-see restaurants and bars

The best culinary options in Avalon are often found on the casual side of the menu. The Lobster Trap is a must-visit spot for garlicky Rockefeller oysters, seasonal spiny lobsters and steamed artichokes, a coastal California classic.

But the ultimate cult dish, not to be missed, is Mama Mia’s Day Old Spaghetti, served at Original Antonio’s Pizzeria & Deli. This spaghetti gratin with extra sauce and cheese, accompanied by generous slices of garlic bread, is an Italian-American classic perfect for a meal together on the sunny patio overlooking the harbor.

Finally, take a detour to Luau Larry’s, where you can taste the refreshing Wiki Wacker, a rum-based cocktail served with a straw hat. Just make sure you have a designated driver to return to your accommodation safely.