Catalina Island, just 22 miles off the coast of Southern California, has long been a favorite Hollywood getaway. Stars like Charlie Chaplin, Frank Sinatra, Natalie Wood and John Wayne vacationed here, and a young woman named Norma Jean Baker, who’d become far better known as Marilyn Monroe, lived here with her first husband. The island, accessible by ferry or a 15-minute helicopter flight, has updated its Descanso Beach Club and launched a new spa and Catalina Aerial Adventure; it features both beachfront and ocean-view meeting venues that can accommodate up to 1,000 guests.
I’ve been spending a lot of time experimenting with sea salt lately. Grilling fish with Meyer-lemon infused salt, adding a pinch of rosemary salt to pinto beans, making a vinaigrette with a smoked sea salt, sprinkling fruit or popcorn with dashes of this or that. A few weeks ago I took the Sea Salt Workshop at the Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes. Held the first Saturday of every month, at a cost of $70 per person, the workshops are led by the resort’s chefs.
From ski resorts to wineries, a NASCAR racetrack and state-of-the-art convention centers, the Inland Empire offers meeting planners a variety of venues for groups of all sizes
The wraparound windows at The Lobster restaurant offer one of the most iconic views in all of Southern California: the Pacific Ocean and the historic Santa Monica Pier with its illuminated Ferris wheel. Now with a refurbished and contemporary redesign, the view from inside is pretty stellar, too. There are several options for group dining, from a private enclosed terrace that seats 50, an inside private dining room for up to 100, or a buyout of the entire restaurant, which accommodates 220 guests for a standing reception.
Harrah’s Resort, in southern California recently revealed a shakeup in their leadership team. Janet Beronio, regional president and general manager, will retire this month. In her place, Darrell Pilant—currently the vice president and assistant general manager—will step in as the new general manager.