A hallmark stop on most 3- and 4-night Baja cruises from Los Angeles is Catalina Island. One of the Channel Islands of California, this idyllic escape is a favorite getaway spot for Angelinos looking to unwind away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. With its romantic Mediterranean charm, scenic hiking trails, beautiful sailboat-studded bays and pretty golden beaches, Catalina Island is the perfect spot to slip into a vacation state of mind.
Visit the lovely Wrigley Memorial and Botanic Gardens, which encompass nearly 38 acres of indigenous Cali plants including Catalina cherry, agave, aloe, cedar, island scrub oak and yucca. Or fill an afternoon with glamor at the Art Deco-era Catalina Casino in Avalon, built in 1929 to host big bands and Hollywood’s biggest stars and buzziest socialites. Or find your center during a paddle boarding session along the deep blue waters of Descanso Beach, located just past the casino.
Ensenada is another favorite destination on 3- and 4-night Baja cruises from Los Angeles, though you can also sail there on 5-night Mexican Riviera cruises that include a stop in Ensenada, Mexico. Located less than 70 miles south of the border, Ensenada beckons with world-class dining, whale-watching, harborside shopping and beautiful beaches.
If you love wine, head to one of the city’s bodegas for a guided Mexican wine tasting. While grapes aren’t native to Mexico, wine — and pretty good wine, at that — has been produced here since the 17th century. If you prefer something a little stronger, add a tequila or mezcal tasting session to your itinerary. Food is one of Ensenada’s main selling points, so make sure you come with an appetite. Savor fresh-caught seafood at a local spot near the harbor — fish tacos are among the most popular dishes in Ensenada, but the city also serves up great ceviche tostadas.
With its fine white-sand beaches, impressive limestone arches, windswept cliffs and lively seaside villages, Cabo is a West Coast chart-topper — and it’s a regular stop on 5-night Mexican Riviera cruises. There’s plenty to see and do in the resort towns along the beach, but to truly get to know this famous vacation spot, spend your time exploring its natural beauty.
Join a boat tour and watch for dolphins beneath the crystal-clear waves, or snorkel below El Arco, a jagged rock formation that’s made Cabo’s Land’s End beach famous. You can also feed your craving for adrenaline on a lightning-fast banana-boat ride, a jet ski session or parasailing adventure that yields wow-worthy views of the sea and land. While you’re having fun out on the water, keep an eye out for sea lions, seals and whales. If you prefer adventures on land, try teeing off at of Cabo’s famous golf courses or pick up some speed on an off-road adventure in Wild Canyon.