Credit: Scott Fairchild
Credit: Scott Fairchild

Plan Your Adventure and Pack Your Bags…We’re Going to Catalina Island

Book a Trip to Catalina Island for Fresh Air, Endless Events and Open-Air Activities

I don’t know about you, but we’re ready for a vacation! This trip to Southern California’s best-kept secret is a much better option than jet-setting anywhere right now. Request some PTO, immerse yourself in nature and slip into total relaxation mode as you escape to the one and only Catalina Island. What to do Catalina Island

Hop on the Catalina Express for a 22-mile boat ride to the city of Avalon. The Catalina Express has enhanced their cleaning and travel procedures to ensure the safety of guests. Tickets are available online starting at $77 round-trip from Long Beach and San Pedro or $80 from Dana Point. For a first class experience, upgrade to the Commodore Lounge for $20 each way and receive priority check-in and boarding, comfortable seating in an intimate lounge environment and a complimentary beverage and snack. 

Once you’ve arrived in Avalon, Catalina Island has an abundance of different outdoor activities, whether you’re searching for an adrenaline rush, relaxing retreat or salty seaside excursion. You’re going to want to bring your hiking shoes and sunscreen because Catalina has remarkable hikes with show-stopping views. “Catalina Island has trails for adventurers of all levels! From short loops to the multi-day, 38.5-mile Trans-Catalina Trail, incredible views are easy to find around the Island,” says Tony Budrovich, president and CEO of Catalina Island Conservancy. “Easily accessible from Avalon, the Garden to Sky loop clocks in at 3.8 miles. Spend some time learning about different native and endemic plants at Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden before starting the hike, which begins at the top of the gardens.” 

Credit: Ernie Rodriguez

Keep your distance by booking a Catalina Island Conservancy Eco Tour where you can experience 165 miles of untouched Catalina. Reach new heights with a Zip Line Eco Tour or parasailing adventure. Take a tour of the island yourself by renting a golf cart and cruising the streets. Feeling adventurous? Kayak tours, the Catalina Aerial Adventure obstacle course and a semi-submersible submarine excursion will all get your heart pumping and offer an unforgettable experience! You’ll spot a variety of native animals in their natural habitat. 

Credit: Catalina Island

Take your mind off everyday worries and stress as you live it up and shout, “Cowabunga!” Greg Bombard, president and CEO of Catalina Express, recommends diving when visiting Catalina Island.

He says, “Catalina is rated in the diving community as a top location worldwide for snorkeling and scuba diving. The island has a natural kelp forest along the coastline that is a home to unique sea life, such as the state marine fish—the bright orange Garibaldi. There are dive shops on the island that can help you pick the right location for your dive as well as rent all the gear you need.” What to do Catalina Island

Guests can also attend a handful of exciting springtime events, such as the Lost at Sea 80’s Beach Party (May 27-28), Avalon Restaurant Week (June 3-9), and the iconic two-day Catalina Wine Mixer (June 3-4)! 

Credit: Ernie Rodriguez

And when you’re not sipping wine and grooving to the beat, open-air dining is available at the majority of the island’s restaurants. Snag a table harborside at Bluewater Grill, The Naught Fox or The M Restaurant  and enjoy an al fresco seafood meal! For ultimate privacy, rent a private beach cabana at Descanso Beach Club, which also offers al fresco dining on their white sand, beachside deck or the spacious lawn. Order the Island’s signature cocktail, the Buffalo Milk, and sip in paradise!

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Plan your trip now for unbeatable offers; save on your stay and transportation with the Boat and Hotel Packages offered by Catalina Express and a variety of hotels on Catalina Island.  From budget to luxury, newly renovated and historic hotels, there is a deal to fit every pocketbook and taste. Each package includes round-trip boat transportation on Catalina Express. Even better, several Avalon hotels offer complimentary continental breakfast and/or wine and cheese hour.  

So set your watch to island time––fresh air and a change of scenery are just what you need to recharge.

What to do Catalina Island

Photography Provided By: Ernie Rodriguez/Catalina Island Conservancy

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Taylor is a graduate from the University of Southern California with a degree in journalism. She is our Los Angeles and Orange County editor. You can find her dining at a new restaurant, in the ocean or planning her next adventure. Say hello!

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