The Complete Guide to Visiting Beautiful Catalina Island in California


Catalina Island is one of California’s most amazing offshore destinations, and here’s how to experience all that this seaside community has to offer.

The Channel Islands of California are a fantastic destination for beach lovers. While the Channel Islands are home to eight entertainment islands, Catalina Island should be at the top of any vacationer’s must-see list.

The southernmost island of California’s Channel Islands, Catalina Island is a sunny paradise bursting with adventure and spectacular activities for vacationers of all ages. Visitors can fly through the trees on a zipline tour, board a submarine to observe underwater life, and eat at a variety of delicious restaurants on this beautiful and action-packed island!

Getting to Catalina Island

While some visitors can sail or fly on private boats and planes, the island also offers passenger ferries like the Catalina Flyer. For an additional fee, guests can bring surfboards, bikes, or pets, but always be sure to check ahead to stay on top of the rules and regulations.

Catalina Flyer ferry schedule

  • Depart Newport Beach at 9:00 a.m.
  • Arrival at Catalina Island at 10:15 a.m.
  • Departure from Catalina Island at 4.30 p.m.
  • Arrival at Newport Beach at 5:45 p.m.

Catalina Flyer ticket prices for one way and round trip

  • Adult: $ 70, $ 35
  • Senior ticket (60+ years): $ 65, $ 32.50
  • Child ticket (3-12 years): $ 53, $ 26.50
  • Infant ticket (under 3 years old): $ 6, $ 3

RELATED: Do you like kayaking? Then the Channel Islands National Park is the place for you

What to do on Catalina Island

Eco-friendly zipline tour

Adrenaline seekers will have a blast on the Zip Line Eco Tour, where guests can fly six hundred feet above the trees at a staggering thirty-five miles an hour! As ziplines jump from row to row, trained guides will share their in-depth knowledge of California’s fascinating wildlife and terrain.

  • Hours: 9:20 a.m. – 4:20 p.m.
  • Price: $ 129 per person
  • Duration: two hours, plus twenty minutes before the experiment to complete the security documents

Catalina Falconry Experience

During the Catalina Falconry Experience, visitors may have the chance to experience true falcon country on their outstretched (and gloved) hand! Meet trained hawks and raptor professionals in this exciting and unique activity for the whole family.

  • Hours: Saturday and Sunday at 9.45 a.m. and 11.45 a.m.
  • Price : Adults: – $ 89, children (7-11 years old), seniors (55 years old and over), veterans and active military members – $ 79
  • Duration: 75 minutes
  • To note: Participants must be 7 years of age or older

Underwater expedition

During this exciting and inspiring experience, guests have the opportunity to gaze from their own personal porthole into the depths of the Pacific Ocean. Kids will love watching friendly fish friends swim on this quick swim beneath the waves. The Underwater Submarine Expedition is ideal for families with children of all ages.

  • Price : Adults – $ 39.95, children (2-11 years), seniors (55 years and over), veterans and serving military members – $ 37.95
  • Duration: 45 minutes
  • To note: animals are not allowed on board

Catalina Aerial Adventure

Discover a unique hybrid of ziplining and hiking in this unusual activity in the trees. Part obstacle course and sporting playground, Catalina’s aerial adventure is ideal for people looking for a little exercise and unobstructed views of the landscape while on vacation on the island. by Catalina.

  • Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (last ascent)
  • Price : Spring and winter – from $ 49.95 per person, summer and fall – from $ 59.95 per person

RELATED: Channel Islands National Park is California’s most exotic offshore destination

What to eat

Descanso Beach Club

Just past the Catalina Casino, Descanso Beach Club has a casual beachfront restaurant with good snacks and cabin rentals.

  • Address: 1 St Catherine Way, Avalon, CA 90704, United States

Avalon grille

With tasty California coastal cuisines, Avalon Grille offers craft beer and wine to complement a hearty dinner.

  • Address: 423 Crescent Ave, Avalon, CA 90704, United States

Harbor reef restaurant

Harbor Reef Restaurant is a great place for casual island dining in the West End, near Banning House Lodge.

  • Address: Catalina Isthmus, Two Harbors, CA 90704, USA
  • Advice: Check out the nearby patio lounge and bar to listen to live music on an outdoor patio – a great place to grab a bite to eat and a refreshing drink

Where to stay

While Catalina Island is full of things to see and do, there are also a variety of hotels and guesthouses available for guests looking to rest.

Pavilion Hotel

A relaxed resort style hotel near the beach with a relaxed atmosphere. The Pavilion Hotel is ideal for those who wish to stay close to shopping and other activities.

  • Price : On average at $ 300 per night
  • Arrival and departure times: 4:00 p.m. and 11:00 a.m.
  • Approvals: Wireless

Banning House Lodge

A comfortable bed & breakfast with a bit of history, the Banning House Lodge offers stunning views of Catalina Island. Our fully furnished vacation chalets, Villa Santa Cruz and Villa Santa Rosa, offer island seclusion with all the comforts of home.

  • Price : Average $ 350 per night
  • Arrival and departure times: 4:00 p.m. and 11:00 a.m.
  • Approvals: free breakfast delivered to rooms, beach and sea gear for hire, free wine and cheese in the evening
  • Advice: discover their fully furnished cottages, Villa Santa Cruz and Villa Santa Rosa
  • To note: no internet access

Catalina Island also has some great campgrounds and amenities for travelers who want to add more nature to their experience! Learn more about camping here.

In conclusion, Catalina Island is a fantastic start, middle, or end to a California vacation. Whether guests want to soar above the trees on a zipline, catch a hawk on their hand, or simply eat, drink and relax by the fascinating waters of the Pacific Ocean, Catalina Island should be a part of vacation for all island lovers!

FOLLOWING: You don’t necessarily need a passport to see a pink sand beach, there is one in California.

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