Thinking of visiting Avalon on Catalina Island? Great news, paradise is just a ferry ride away! Picture swaying palm trees, crystal-clear waters, and jaw-dropping sunrises. If I were coming to Catalina for the first time, I’d want to know all my options. Here is a short, concise guide to everything this gem has to offer.

Getting to Catalina Island

Alright, let’s start with the basics—how to get here without losing your mind. You’ve got two main options: ferries and helicopters. Yep, you read that right—helicopters!

Ferries
Think of Catalina Express and Catalina Flyer as your trusty steeds, ready to whisk you away from Long Beach, San Pedro, Newport Beach, or Dana Point. The ferry ride is part of the adventure. Imagine spotting dolphins, maybe even a whale, as you sip on a beverage and pretzels and the salty sea breeze messes up your hair in the best way possible.

Helicopters
For those who want to arrive in style (or just really hate boats), IEX Helicopters offer a quick, scenic flight from San Pedro or Long Beach. It’s like flying in your own personal bubble of luxury, with aerial views that will make your Instagram followers green with envy.

Where to Stay

Next up: Which town to stay in and kick off your shoes? Catalina Island offers two main choices—Avalon or Two Harbors.

Avalon
This is the island’s buzzing heart. If you love being in the center of action with shops, restaurants, and nightlife just a short walk away, Avalon is your spot. Hotels like Zane Grey Pueblo and Hotel Atwater blend comfort with a dash of history.

Two Harbors
On the flip side, if you’re looking for peace and quiet, Two Harbors is calling your name. It’s like Avalon’s chill, nature-loving cousin. Think rustic charm, with options like boat anchorage (for those lucky enough), a historic B&B, and even campgrounds.

Avalon Must-See Attractions

So, you’ve arrived and settled in. What’s next? Time to explore!

Catalina Casino
Don’t let the name fool you—this isn’t a gambling joint. It’s a dazzling piece of Art Deco architecture with a rich history. Tour the grand ballroom, catch a movie in the iconic theater, or just stand outside and marvel at its grandeur.

Descanso Beach Club
If lounging by the beach with a cocktail in hand sounds like your idea of heaven, Descanso Beach Club is your spot. Rent a cabana, dip your toes in the Pacific, and pretend you are in Fiji (water may or may not be a tad bit colder than Fiji. You have been warned).

Two Harbors
If you chose to stay in Avalon you can still day trip here. A short boat ride or a scenic bus ride, Two Harbors is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. Kayak, hike, or just enjoy the pristine beaches without the crowds. A quieter port for sure, but worth a visit.

Now Lets Talk Relaxation

Catalina Sea Spa: Welcome to the Peak of Pampering!

At Catalina Sea Spa, it’s no surprise you’ll be treated like royalty. Think deep tissue massages, blissful facial and foot massages, and a zen atmosphere that’ll make your stress melt away faster than ice cream in July. After a day of island adventures, come recharge with us. Trust me, you’ll leave feeling like a brand-new person, ready to conquer the world (or at least the rest of your vacay)! Click Here If you want to know more about our service.

Outdoor Activities

Catalina Island isn’t just about relaxing, especially during the summer season—there’s a world of adventure waiting for you.

Hiking Trails
From easy walks to the challenging Trans-Catalina Trail, there’s something for every level of hiker. The views? Absolutely breathtaking. Just remember to bring water and a camera!

Water Activities
Dive into snorkeling, kayaking, paddleboarding, and even parasailing. The waters around Catalina are teeming with marine life. It’s like swimming in an aquarium.

Land Activities
For the thrill-seekers, ziplining is a must. Feel the rush as you soar above the island’s rugged landscape or for the water version try parasailing, equally thrilling. Prefer to keep your feet on the ground? Rent a golf cart or an e-bike and explore Avalon at your own pace.

Dining and Nightlife

After all that exploring, you’re going to need some fuel. Catalina Island’s dining scene won’t disappoint. There are several culinary options for fine dining and many casual, family-oriented eats.

Top Restaurants
From casual beachside eateries to upscale dining, Avalon has it all. Try the local seafood—it’s as fresh as it gets. Check out what’s being hoisted up onto the scales on the green pier and then follow that fish! It will be going to just a handful of restaurants, and it will be worth your effort.

Nightlife Options
The fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. Avalon has a vibrant nightlife with bars, live music, and special events. Whether you want to dance the night away or enjoy a quiet drink, there’s something for everyone.

Tips for First-Time Visitors

Here are some insider tips to make your visit smooth sailing.

Best Times to Visit
Spring and fall are perfect—mild weather and fewer crowds. But honestly, Catalina is a year-round destination.

Packing Essentials
Comfortable shoes are a must. Bring layers, because island weather can be unpredictable. Don’t forget your swimsuit, sunscreen, and a good book for those lazy beach days.

Local Etiquette and Safety
Islanders are friendly folks. Smile, say hello, and respect the natural beauty around you. Safety-wise, just use common sense. Stick to marked trails and don’t feed the wildlife.

Hidden Gems and Insider Tips

Alright, time for some local secrets

Off-the-Beaten-Path Spots
Check out the Wrigley Memorial and Botanic Garden. It’s a peaceful oasis with stunning views and unique flora. Also, the Airport in the Sky—yep, an airport on a mountaintop! It’s a great spot for lunch and offers a different perspective of the island.

Local Recommendations
Chat with the locals. They’ll point you to the best spots to eat, the locals beaches, and the most scenic trails.

So there you have it—your ultimate guide to Catalina Island. From the bustling streets of Avalon to the tranquil shores of Two Harbors, this island has something for you. Pack your bags, bring your sense of adventure, and get ready to fall in love with Catalina. Trust me, your first visit won’t be your last.