Looking for a unique and adventurous way to zip into the holidays and new year? Check out the newly opened Night Zip Line experience in Santa Catalina Island, California, which spans five zip lines over three-quarters of a mile and reaches speeds of nearly 45 miles per hour.
The zip line, which is offered by tour operator Catalina Expeditions and was featured in an episode of The Bachelor Pad, opened last spring and has since become a popular attraction for thrill-seeking travelers in Southern California. The nighttime setting ratchets up the adrenaline factor even more: Imagine stepping off a platform into pitch darkness, with just a harness holding you in.
While guides are located at various lighted platforms along the route, you’ll soar solo under the night sky (though kids ages 5 to 9 and anybody under 80 pounds must ride in tandem). The second zip is the longest, at 1,100 feet, and the third is the fastest, with speeds of up to 45 miles per hour.
In recent years, zip lining has exploded in popularity and migrated from its traditional locales in Central America and Mexico to the United States. For even more thrills, some operators like Catalina Expeditions are opening up their zip lines at night.
But there's plenty of adventure in Catalina Island by day, too. For a peaceful contrast to the chaos of the holiday season, take a leisurely kayak excursion through the island's scenic coves. Or, grab a group of friends and see who can first reach the top of the 32-foot, eight-route climbing wall, which offers spectacular views of the ocean. Or pile into an all-terrain H1 Hummer, which runs on recycled vegetable oil collected from local island restaurants, for a 4-hour tour of the island's rugged Cape Canyon, where you just might spot Catalina's bison.
The Night Zip Line Experience is offered daily at 5pm and 6pm for $99 during the week and $113 during weekends, but for the most bang for your buck, consider the $199 Extreme Pass, which includes all 12 excursions and activities offered by Catalina Expeditions.