Catalina Island is part of the Channel Islands of California located about 30 miles off the coast of Long Beach in Los Angeles County.
Areas of Catalina can feel like a far-away tropical escape, yet its proximity is close enough to visit and enjoy activities in a single afternoon, day trip, or weekend getaway.
Catalina Island is known for its natural beauty, wildlife, scuba diving and Mt. Orizaba, its highest peak.
The Island has two main area's- Two Harbors to the north and the city of Avalon to the south.
Two Harbors is a small unincorporated island village located about 18 miles from the city of Avalon.
Avalon, the only city on Catalina with it's beachfront shops and restaurants attract millions of visitors, and the Island is also a popular stop for cruise ships.
Getting to Catalina Island
The best way to get to the Island is high speed ferry boat. There are regularly scheduled passenger ferries available from Long Beach, San Pedro, Newport Beach and Dana Point.
A ferry ride depending upon your departure location will take from 1 hour, to about 1 hour-15min. This is a great option because it’s not just transportation, you get to cruise on the ocean, enjoy the waves- maybe sip a cool beverage. It’s part of the experience.
You can also Helicopter over to Catalina Island which is about a 15 min ride. Service to Catalina Island from Orange County, Long Beach, San Pedro, and Burbank, are available through different carriers.
Catalina Island offers a mild subtropical climate with warm year-round temperatures averaging around 70 F degrees. Winters are usually mild.
Spring and Fall are the best times to visit Catalina. If you don’t mind heat and humidity Summer may work for you too.
January is the wettest month. Coastal high fog is common during summer, but usually burns off by the afternoon. Precipitation and rain average approximately 12 inches per year.
Things to do in Avalon
There are a number of excursions and tours available. Some popular choices include land tours, ocean tours, camping and shopping.
In the city of Avalon, where most tourists congregate, here are some activities you can do in one day:
From high above Descanso Beach Club you'll enjoy the rush as you zigzag down and across the canyon’s five ziplines while enjoying spectacular views.
Descanso Beach Club
Catalina's premiere beachside restaurant and bar set on a private beach. It's definitely the hot spot on Avalon. Food, Drink and Live Music. Chaise lounges and private cabanas rentals are available.
Glass Bottom Boat or Nautilus Submarine
Enjoy a close up view of ocean life via a glass bottom boat or submarine. Not only do you get to see marine life- the boat or submarine ride is pretty awesome in itself.
Catalina Casino-Avalon Theatre Tour
The landmark Art Deco building is not actually a gambling hall. The Catalina Casino gets its name from the Italian language term casino, meaning a "gathering place".
The venue hosts major events, including the popular Catalina Island Jazz Festival.
Things to do in Two Harbors
Two Harbors activities include mountain biking, kayaking, snorkeling and just exploring nature. The vibe is definitely a little more chill than Avalon.
No matter which side of the Island you choose, Catalina has fun and adventure for everyone and is a perfect getaway for Southern California residents.