Catalina Island, CA

Travel Guide
Catalina Island featuring a bay or harbor and a coastal town

A popular escape from the streets of Los Angeles, this island’s laid-back atmosphere and crystal-clear waters make it seem a world away from the busy city. 

Relax, snorkel and swim, or experience adventures such as diving in a mini submarine and zip-lining, all on Catalina Island, just 22 miles (35 kilometers) off the Coast of Los Angeles.

Step off the ferry and onto the streets of Avalon, the main city, and head straight to the beach or stroll through the art galleries and souvenir shops. Catalina was developed in the late 19th century and features quaint old hotels and a gorgeous art deco casino.

Dive or snorkel right off the pier or hop aboard a glass-bottom boat to gaze at local marine life. Organize a dive in a mini submarine to see octopuses, sharks and all kinds of fish, or for more action go parasailing or rent a Jet Ski.

Catalina Island can get crowded in the high season, so to explore further afield rent a golf cart, available at a few places near the pier.

If you’d like to go hiking and see some local wildlife, head inland for great views and the chance to spot island foxes, eagles or bison. Drop into the Nature Center at Avalon Canyon or the Santa Catalina Island Interpretive Center to learn more about the island’s wildlife and geography.

Fly high above the forest canopy on the Cataline Zip Line, one of the island’s most exciting attractions, and enjoy sweeping views of the coastline.

Back in Avalon, brush up on your local history at the Catalina Island Museum, check out the city’s video-game arcade, play mini golf, or tackle the rock climbing wall. For a great night out, head to the art deco Catalina Casino. Despite its name, this is not a gambling establishment. Instead, you’ll find an old-time theater and a ballroom that hosts plays, concerts and festivals.

The Catalina Island Ferry leaves from the mainland at Long Beach, San Pedro and Dana Point.

Where to stay in Catalina Island

Hotel Atwater
Hotel Atwater
3 out of 5
125 Sumner Ave, Avalon, CA
The price is $135 per night from Nov 15 to Nov 15
Located in the heart of Avalon, this golf hotel is steps from Avalon Pier and Catalina Island Museum. Catalina Casino is 0.4 mi (0.7 km) away.
4.3/5 Excellent! (971 reviews)
"Comfortable beds, nice lobby, central location in Avalon"

Reviewed on Oct 13, 2021

Hotel Atwater
Hotel St. Lauren
Hotel St. Lauren
2.5 out of 5
231 Beacon Street, Avalon, CA
Fully refundable
The price is $199 per night from Oct 21 to Oct 21
Situated by the ocean, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Catalina Island Museum, Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau, and Avalon Pier. ...
3.6/5 Good! (1,043 reviews)
"close to everything, Clean, Friendly, Easy ck in"

Reviewed on Oct 14, 2021

Hotel St. Lauren
Holiday Inn Resort Catalina Island, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Resort Catalina Island, an IHG Hotel
3 out of 5
888 Country Club Dr, Avalon, CA
The price is $169 per night from Oct 31 to Oct 31
Situated near the beach, this spa hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Catalina Island Medical Center, Catalina Island Golf Course, and Catalina Island Chamber ...
3.9/5 Very Good! (771 reviews)
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Reviewed on Oct 17, 2021

Holiday Inn Resort Catalina Island, an IHG Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Charming Family Home, 3 Blocks to Beach, Restaurants and Shops, WIFI - 359 Catal
Charming Family Home, 3 Blocks to Beach, Restaurants and Shops, WIFI - 359 Catal
Avalon, CA
Situated by the sea, this historic vacation home is within a 10-minute walk of Catalina Island Medical Center, Avalon Pier, and Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce ...
4.9/5 Exceptional! (15 reviews)
Perfect cottage for families.
"The location close to Vons and the excellently equipped kitchen made this a great place for family dinners."

Reviewed on Mar 8, 2020

Charming Family Home, 3 Blocks to Beach, Restaurants and Shops, WIFI - 359 Catal
Amazing Luxury ocean front Hamilton Cove Villa  w/brand new golf cart
Amazing Luxury ocean front Hamilton Cove Villa w/brand new golf cart
Avalon, CA
Situated by the ocean, this villa is within 1 mi (2 km) of Hamilton Beach, Catalina Casino, and Catalina Island Museum. Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce and ...
4.9/5 Exceptional! (135 reviews)
Included Golf Cart was Fabulous for Ladies Weekend
"Very nice unit in Hamilton Cove and the addition of the golf cart was gold. Getting two and from Avalon for restaurants and shopping on our ladies weekend was super fun and easy in the really nice, covered, electric golf cart provided with the unit. Hamilton Cove has a little rocky beach which was ..."

Reviewed on Oct 6, 2021

Amazing Luxury ocean front Hamilton Cove Villa w/brand new golf cart
Classic Catalina Cottage, 2.5 Blocks to Beach & Shops, WIFI - 319 Clemente
Classic Catalina Cottage, 2.5 Blocks to Beach & Shops, WIFI - 319 Clemente
Avalon, CA
Situated by the sea, this historic vacation home is within a 10-minute walk of Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau, Avalon Pier, and Catalina ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (21 reviews)
Love Catalina and this cute home!
"This VRBO listing was great! Listing and pictures are truly how it is. Had everything we needed for our trip as described in the listing. The only reason I gave it a 4 is that directly outside is a Stop sign and in Catalina people drive golf carts so you hear the stopping and going of the golf carts ..."

Reviewed on Jul 16, 2021

Classic Catalina Cottage, 2.5 Blocks to Beach & Shops, WIFI - 319 Clemente
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Catalina Island

Top things to do in Catalina Island

Cities near Catalina Island