8 Best Things to Do on Catalina Island

Catalina Island, a gem off the coast of California, is a paradise that beckons with adventure, relaxation, and scenic beauty. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, a nature lover, or simply in need of a peaceful retreat, this island has something for everyone. Here, we’ll dive into the 8 best things to do on Catalina Island, ensuring your visit is nothing short of magical.

Discover the Charm of Avalon

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Avalon, the island’s only city, is more than just a gateway to your Catalina adventure—it’s a destination in its own right. Strolling along the waterfront promenade, you’ll be greeted by colorful buildings, cozy cafes, and the iconic Casino Building. It’s not a gambling house, but a cultural center housing a movie theatre and a ballroom. The ambiance is reminiscent of a Mediterranean village, making it a perfect spot to soak up the local culture and history.

Embrace Adventure with the Zip Line Eco Tour

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For the adrenaline junkies, the Zip Line Eco Tour offers an unforgettable experience. Soaring above canyons and through tree canopies at speeds up to 35 mph, this tour not only gets your heart racing but also offers unparalleled views of the island. It’s an exhilarating way to see Catalina from a different perspective.

Dive into the Underwater World

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Catalina Island is a sanctuary for marine life, and there’s no better way to explore this underwater realm than by snorkeling or scuba diving. The waters around the island are crystal clear, offering visibility up to 100 feet on a good day. Whether you’re marveling at the kelp forests, colorful fish, or perhaps the occasional sea lion, the ocean here is teeming with life, waiting to be explored.

Hit the Trails

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For those who find solace in nature, hiking on Catalina Island is a must. With over 165 miles of trails, the island offers hikes for all skill levels. From leisurely walks to challenging treks, the trails wind through lush landscapes, offering breathtaking views of the island and the Pacific Ocean. The Trans-Catalina Trail is a highlight, spanning the island and showcasing its diverse ecosystems.

Relax at Descanso Beach Club

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Seeking a bit of luxury? Descanso Beach Club is your oasis. This private beach club offers the perfect blend of relaxation and recreation. Rent a cabana, sip on a cocktail, and dip your toes in the sand. If you’re feeling adventurous, there are water sports rentals available. The club is a slice of paradise where you can unwind and soak up the island sun.

Explore the Interior on a Safari

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The Catalina Island Conservancy offers an Eco Tour that takes you into the heart of the island’s wild interior. You’ll explore in an open-air vehicle, making stops to admire the stunning vistas and learn about the island’s unique flora and fauna. Keep your eyes peeled for the Catalina Island fox and the American bison, which roam freely in this protected habitat.

Go on a Culinary Adventure

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Catalina Island might be small, but it’s mighty when it comes to culinary delights. The island boasts a variety of dining options, from casual eateries to upscale restaurants. Fresh seafood is a staple here, and there’s nothing quite like enjoying a meal with a view of the ocean. Don’t forget to try the local specialty, Catalina’s famous buffalo milk cocktail!

Catch a Fish or Two

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Fishing is a popular pastime on Catalina Island. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a novice, there’s a fishing adventure waiting for you. Charter a boat for a deep-sea fishing expedition, or simply cast a line from the pier. The waters around Catalina are home to a wide variety of fish, making for an exciting and rewarding fishing experience.


Catalina Island is a place of wonder, offering a plethora of activities that cater to every interest and age group. Whether you’re here for the adventure, the scenery, or the tranquility, this island promises an escape like no other. So, pack your bags, and set sail for Catalina. Adventure awaits!


Q: How do I get to Catalina Island?

A: Catalina Island is accessible via ferry, private boat, or helicopter. Ferries depart from several locations in Southern California, including Long Beach and Dana Point.

Q: What’s the best time to visit Catalina Island?

A: Catalina Island is a year-round destination, but the best weather is typically from April to October. The summer months are the busiest, so consider visiting in the shoulder seasons (spring or fall) for a more relaxed experience.

Q: Do I need a car on Catalina Island?

A: Not really. Avalon is easily walkable, and there are shuttle services, taxis, and bike rentals available. If you plan to explore beyond Avalon, consider joining a tour or renting a golf cart.

Q: Are there any camping options on Catalina Island?

A: Yes, Catalina Island offers several campgrounds and backcountry campsites for those looking to immerse themselves in nature. Reservations are recommended, especially during peak season.

Q: Can I see the bison in the wild?

A: Yes, the American bison can often be seen in the island’s interior. The best way to safely observe these majestic animals is on a guided tour with the Catalina Island Conservancy.

Victorine Jardine, a M.Sc. Part 1 student with 3 years of content writing experience, is a specialist in Health (Weight Loss, Fat Burn Food etc.), Astrology and pets topics. With a deep love for animals, Jardine also provides informative content on pet care, behavior, and the bond between humans and their furry companions. Know the enchanting worlds of zodiac signs and pets through Victorine Jardine's engaging writing.

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