Oh hiiii Catalina Island – the easy, “I’m busy” quick-fix to a paradise escape. If you’re a California resident and can’t get to the South France for a weekend, I recommend this little Channel Island. It’s the first island I visited as a kid, and coming back as adult was just as fun. We spent a short 48 hours in Catalina Island — enough to getaway and rejuvenate. A quick ferry ride, Catalina Island is only 75 minutes from Los Angeles. The heart of Catalina is Avalon, California — a one-by-one mile radius of beach, sun and celebration. Check out my favorite things to do in Catalina Island, and follow all of my places on BUENA.
In this Post:
- How to Get to Catalina Island / Catalina Island Express Details
- Photos to Plan your Trip
- Where to Stay
- Cute/ Adventurous Activities
- Best Restaurants in Catalina Island
- Other California Destinations for your Next Weekend Trip!
- Check out My Printable Beach Vacation Packing List for Women & Men
The Best Things to Do in Catalina Island
Is your biggest fear heights or a fear of drowning? You’ll be perfectly safe parasailing in Catalina Island — however, there is a sense of thrill and adventure. Have your own James Bond moment.
Are we in the South of France? Kayaking in Catalina was a great way to stay active and cool off with a view. We did the kayak tour to Moro Rock. If you’re really up for a challenge, you can sign up for a kayak & camping trip and see the entire island by kayak.
Psss… follow me on Instagram and check out my CALIFORNIA highlights.
3. Look out points in Avalon
One of the best things to do in Catalina Island is to enjoy the view! You can do a quick 15 minute walk to get to this view point, or do a more aggressive 35 minute hike to the view point.
Look out point in Avalon, Catalina Island
Directions to the look out point:
Walk past the pier towards Island Spa ,to the right is a staircase.
Take the staircase — you’ll get a beautiful view, but that’s not it!
Continue left through the stairs passing homes. You’ll end up on Hill Street.
Walk through Hill Street until you hit a road. Turn right and allow it to weave left.
Walk up the road towards the Chimes Tower. Again, no the view point!
Continue past it, past another set with trees framing the view. You’ll finally hit flat ground that is clearly a viewpoint.
Grab some photos! Enjoy.
4. Island Resort & Spa
For total relaxation, sign up for a massage or facial at the Island Resort & Spa.
Catalina Island Spa, Photo via Visit Catalina Island
5. Go for a swim!
If you want to go to Catalina Island and do absolutely nothing, get your feet wet and enjoy the view, you can do that too.
How to Get to Catalina Island: The Catalina Express
The ferry schedule and fares change seasonally, but you can get a round trip ticket for about $75 from Long Beach, Dana Point, and San Pedro. Parking at the ferry ports is $17/ day. You’re allowed two pieces of luggage up to 50 lbs each bag. 23”x23”x37” Maximum Bag Dimension. One Carry-On to be Stowed at the Seat.
Purchase tickets via Catalina Express.
Catalina Island Restaurants
I liked the Avalon Grille Catalina Island for steak and lava cake. I also recommend a hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant for the salsa verde carne burrito — The Sandtrap.
There’s no shortage of food, all-you-can-drink, and shopping on the beach strip.
Where to Stay
We stayed at the Pavillon Hotel in Avalon, courtesy of Visit Catalina & the Voyager’s Club.
I loved that the hotel is on the water, has fire pits, super friendly staff, and that the breakfast is included. Not to mention, we all loved the complimentary wine & cheese happy hour from 4:30 to 6 PM!
It’s a five minute walk from the ferry port, and hotel staff can meet you there to assist you with your luggage.
It’s fun! It’s easy, accessible and a piece of paradise. Definitely underrated and a delight. Enjoy your next trip to Catalina Island.
Other Places & Experiences in California
California Winter Weekend Trips:
10 Photos of Big Pine North Fork, Inyo National Forest | California Hike
Tahoe Ski Escape: Winter in Squaw Valley, California (Photos)
3 California Winter Weekend Trips to Swim, Ski & Eat (Photos
California Winter: Ski, Surf, and Avocado (Photos)
Yeti Life: Learn to Ski in Mountain High (Photos)
5 Tips for a Dockweiler Beach Bonfire, Los Angeles
California Vacation Spots for the Spring:
16 California Road Trip Ideas from a California Girl (Photos)
Unplug: Goodbye Technology, Hello Yosemite National Park
Walker Canyon Lake Elsinore, California Super Bloom
5 Tips to Hiking to THE Potato Chip Rock, San Diego (Photos)
How to Get to the Hollywood Sign, Los Angeles, California
Big Sur Road Trip
California’s Folk Wine Country: Must See in Paso Robles (Photos)
Thanks for sharing this post. Brought back memories from when I use to go when I was younger. I always liked watching the fish on the glass bottom boats. Fun memories. Thanks for bringing them back for a few. :)
Beautiful picture and nice article ! I never heard of Catalina Island before but now I want to go there, how crazy is that ?
This is one of the best travel blog, All the tips and pictures are great motivation for all the travel lovers. I always visit your site and find all the new update info about travel, which is much effective for a traveler. Catalina Island is one of the most beautiful places, but everyone does not know how to properly enjoy there. Those 5 things will, makes there tour more adventure fully.
Catalina Island is a beautiful place and a major tourist destination
Amazing! Sounds like a lot of fun! By the way, I love your white top :)
This is so helpful. It’s certainly gave me some extra ideas for my upcoming trip x
Indeed a great place to get away!
Wow, Catalina is so beautiful! You should check out Friendly Nomad. You have something in common.
Oh wow, you’ve convinced me! We almost went a couple of years ago but weren’t sure whether it would be worth the trip, but it looks worth it for the kayaking alone!
Did you try the parasailing? Is it terrifying?
I did the parasailing and it was fun! I’m not too afraid of heights, but I am afraid of drowning; but I was totally fine!
Amazing post! Catalina is wonderful! Thanks for sharing!
Thank you! I love Catalina! I recommend it!
nice blog post!
Your photos are lovely! For some reason the photos remind me of seaside European towns. I was surprised to read it’s actually in California. :)
I Love The way you Live your Life And Inspire Other People That don’t Be Afraid Of out side world and communities. Thanks A Lot For this Kind Of information And inspiration. ! I am New in Travel Blogging I hope You will Give me Some Tips.
Starting from the Everest base camp trek to the Annapurna Circuit hiking, the heritage statue of Buddha to the traditional culture of the local people, river rafting to exploring the wildlife, Nepal Tourism is all about rejuvenating amidst the beauty of the lakes captivated by the hills.
Catalina looks like the perfect weekend getaway spot. <3
Wow great photo with all those parachutists in the background thanks for sharing.
Those lookout pints look absolutely breathtaking!
Very nice post! I really love your photos!
A very lovely places, I Can’t imagine that Catalina has a beautiful places like this.
i love your photo i will add it to my bookmark to get more updates. :)
Heya…all the pics are magical!!! Please do share more awesome pics like above!!!
I really enjoyed your Blog….!!!!
thanks for sharing. really nice and very useful
Catalina Island looks nice. I will look it up.
First off, the photos look astoundingly surreal and out of this world! It’s like the sceneries were only captured to be viewed on a movie screen! The beautiful art of nature plus great photography equals these masterpieces! Thank you for sharing these beautiful places with us even though it’s only through virtual but you made us inspired and motivated to work our asses off to even just visit one out of these many wonderful places!
I loved the post, it’s amazing! Thank you for sharing