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Catalina Island Is OPEN! Plan Your Adventure and Pack Your Bags!

Written By: Taylor Gorski
Photography Provided By: Ernie Rodriguez/Catalina Island Conservancy What to do Catalina Island

Catalina Island is the island getaway that you’re desperately seeking. While hopping on a plane and traveling to a whole other time zone isn’t the most ideal plan right now, this trip to Southern California’s best-kept secret is a much better option. Request some PTO, immerse yourself in nature and slip into total relaxation mode as you escape to the one and only 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 over the past few months to ensure the safety of guests. Some of these measures include: required masks for all staff and passengers, markings on the floor in the terminal and queuing lines for social distancing guidelines, reduced capacity on the vessels, plexiglass partitions in place for the check-in process and the frequent disinfecting of surfaces. Every evening, a trained Catalina Express crew member comes in to perform an EPA-registered electrostatic spraying—or “fogging”—throughout the vessels to kill viruses and bacteria. Tickets are available online starting at $74.50 round-trip from Long Beach and San Pedro or $76.50 from Dana Point.

Once you’ve arrived in Avalon, Catalina Island has an abundance of different outdoor activities, whether you’re searching for an adrenaline activity, 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.”

Keep your distance by booking a private 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? Hummer tours, a sealife safari 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. Jump on the Cyclone power boat for a 40-minute cruise along the Catalina coastline that takes you to the village of Two Harbors. Once there, chill out on the beach of Catalina’s west end. 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 Catalina that can help you pick the right location for your dive as well as rent all the gear you need.” 

Open-air dining is available at the majority of the restaurants on the island. Eat fresh seafood on the waterfront patio at Blue Water Grill as you take in the stunning view of the big blue. 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 new Catalina Unquarantini cocktail and sip in paradise! End your day with a splash in the ocean. What to do Catalina Island

In regards to health and safety precautions, Catalina Island is following all LA County and State of California regulations. “Catalina Island Conservancy, in particular, requires face masks for entry to its Trailhead visitor center and on Eco Tours and other transportation services, all while maintaining social distancing,” says Budrovich. Don’t forget your face mask, and be respectful of others’ space. 

“Traveling to Catalina provides an opportunity to experience a unique place while staying relatively close to home,” says Budrovich. Plan your trip now for unbeatable offers; Catalina Island Company will cover your roundtrip transportation for two when you stay mid-week at Pavilion Hotel, Hotel Atwater, Mt Ada in Avalon or Banning House Lodge in Two Harbors. If you’re having so much fun you don’t want to leave, check out this offer––stay two nights and the third night is free at participating hotels! 

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