Introducing Catalina Island
Mediterranean-flavored Catalina Island is a popular getaway for harried Angelenos, but sinks under the weight of day-trippers in summer. Stay overnight, though, and feel the ambience go from frantic to romantic. Catalina has a unique ecosystem and has gone through stints as a hangout for sea-otter poachers, smugglers and Union soldiers. It was snapped up by chewing-gum magnate William Wrigley Jr (1861–1932) in 1919, and for years he sent his Chicago Cubs baseball team here for spring training. Today most of it is owned by the Santa Catalina Island Conservancy. Commercial activity is concentrated in Avalon, small enough to be explored in an hour or two, so there’s plenty of time for hiking, swimming and touring.
The only other settlement, even tinier than Avalon, is Two Harbors in the remote backcountry, which has only a general store, a dive and kayak center, a snack bar and a lodge.
Catalina Island destination guides
Round-trip Ferry Service from Dana Point to Catalina Island
Climb aboard the ‘Catalina Express’ ferry in Dana Point and enjoy round-trip service to Catalina Island! Enjoy beautiful waterfront views on your 1.5-hour ride to Avalon, a quaint town where you can shop, dine and sightsee at your own pace.
Catalina Express Round-Trip Ferry Service: Long Beach or San Pedro to Avalon
Climb aboard the ‘Catalina Express’ ferry at either Downtown Landing in Long Beach or Catalina Sea and Air Terminal in San Pedro for round-trip service to Catalina Island. No matter where you depart from, you can expect awe-inspiring views of the Pacific Ocean on your trip.