Avalon - Things To Do : Catalina Express

Avalon - Things To Do

Couple walking on the Green Pleasure PierAvalon is the most visited tourist destination on the island. It is a world apart from the frenzy of the mainland cities of Southern California. With very few cars, visitors are likely to see the sights of Avalon from a golf cart, a boat or on foot. Avalon is clean, safe and offers the quintessential beach town, laid back, but chock full of places to eat, drink and shop.

While in Avalon, visitors enjoy many activities among swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, golfing, hiking, biking, zip lining, shopping, strolling the museum and art galleries, a day at a spa, guided sightseeing tours or renting golf carts to explore the city on their own.

Visitors come to the Island to enjoy numerous and varied events throughout the year including music, art and athletic events. See the calendar of events to find out what’s of interest to you.

Inland Catalina contains a wealth of natural and cultural resources, unique animals, plants and archaeological resources found nowhere else on earth. Avalon is the gateway to the beautiful interior of Catalina Island. Guided tours will provide you with the history along with amazing views of the undeveloped outback of the Island. 

Book an Activity or Tour

Sightseeing & Activity Tours

Tour companies in Avalon provide an array of land and water activities, sightseeing options, expeditions, coastal tours, interior drives and more. Reservations can be made in advance.

Book an Activity or Tour
 

Land Activities

Amusement

Bring the family and enjoy some Island Bowling, or try out your arcade skills at Tree Palms Avalon Arcade. Day or night, there is something for everyone with thrills, competition, prizes, sports, food and drink.


Three Palms Avalon Arcade  |  310.510.0967

Bicycling

Tour Avalon on a bicycle. Hourly, half-day and full day rentals are available.

Browns Bikes  |  310.510.0986
Catalina Auto & Bike Rental  |  310.510.0111
Catalina Electric Bike Tours  |  310.510.2221
Catalina Tours  |  310.510.0211
Bike Catalina  |  310.913.1028

Catalina Island Museum

The Ada Blanche Wrigley Schreiner Building, located in the heart of Avalon is open to the public. Their Museum's mission is to collect, preserve and promote the culture and history of Santa Catalina Island and to bring unique exhibitions to Catalina.

Catalina Island Museum  |  310.510.2414
 
Dining

Visitors seeking out seafood, Mexican, Italian or American cuisine won’t have to look far. The city of Avalon has over 30 restaurants and most are conveniently located within walking distance from hotels and the boats. Whether you crave casual, beachfront dining or something more formal, the Island offers a little something for everyone from burgers and hot dogs to steak and lobster. The foodie scene in Avalon is constantly growing by leaps and bounds. There are new restaurants, new chefs, new dishes, new wines to taste and new craft beers to savor.

Dining Options
 
Escape Room

Join Catalina Room Escape and race to solve clues, crack codes, and uncover secret passages. You have one goal: work together to escape the pirate ship in under an hour. Admission includes photos, prizes, and access to a cell phone charging station. Do you have what it takes to beat the Catalina Pirate Challenge, and join our crew? 

Catalina Room Escape  |  310.510.ARRR (2777)

Golf

Tee off on one of the West Coast’s oldest golf courses. The unique 9-hole, 2,100-yard layout is easy to walk and can be played in about two hours. Or you can play the 2nd set of tees for an enjoyable 18-hole play. This course offers not only beautiful vistas but is great for golfers of all levels of expertise.

Catalina Island Golf Course  |  310.510.0530

For nearly 40 years the Golf Gardens Miniature Golf has been a beloved 18-hole course for both visitors and locals alike. The classic mini-golf course can be played in about an hour and is the perfect afternoon activity for all ages.

Golf Gardens Miniature Golf  |  800.322.3434

Golf Cart Rentals

If you enjoy being your own guide, rent a golf cart. Avalon's unique transportation of choice is a great way to see the picturesque city as you sightsee at your own pace and get around as the locals do. Hourly rentals available where you can set your own course or follow the map provided.

Cartopia Cart Rental  |  310.510.0369
Island Rentals  |  310.510.1456
Catalina Auto & Bike Rental  |  310.510.0111

Hiking/Camping

Hundreds of miles of trails crisscross the Island. Those interested in day hikes, or even shorter walks through the countryside, can follow loop trails that will give them a glimpse of the back country where you might see bison and the elusive Island fox.

For a challenge, try the Garden to Sky Hike, which starts at the Wrigley Memorial & Botanical Garden, for a spectacular view of both sides of the island. Free hiking permits are required for extended treks into the interior. Pick up your hiking permit at the Conservancy Trailhead, 708 Crescent Ave., Avalon.

Catalina has numerous endemic plants, unique wildlife and dramatic vistas and the new Trans Catalina Trail, a 38.5 mile trail that traverses the entire Island, is a great way to see rustic areas of the Island that can be reached by foot.

Camping accommodations are found in Avalon at Hermit Gulch, the interior at Blackjack, on the "back side" is Little Harbor and at Two Harbors at the Little Fisherman's Campground. The ultimate in primitive camping is Parsons Landing at the West End

Expert advice on hikes and trails is available for Catalina Island Conservancy, the private land trust that protects nearly 88% of the Island, including 50 miles of unspoiled beaches and secluded coves.

Catalina Island Conservancy  |  310.510.1421 
For more information about camping & cabins
More Info

Packing Tips and guidelines for campers
More Info

Massage & Spa

Escape from the stresses of daily life by relaxing in a calm and peaceful atmosphere. Catalina Island is an exceptional place to enjoy massages, facials, and spa treatments, many of which are Island inspired.

The Spa at Catalina  |  310.510.9255
A Touch of Heaven  |  310.510.1633
Catalina Sea Spa  |  310.510.8920
Island Breeze Day Spa Salon  |  310.510.7242
Avalon Massage Therapy  |  310.510.0454
Island Spa Catalina  |  310.510.7300

Movie Theatre

Located inside the historic Casino building and restored to its original grandeur, the art deco masterpiece offers movies nightly at 6:30 pm in a majestic setting. First run features change every Friday.

Avalon Theater  |  310.510.0179

Shopping

Strolling along quaint streets of Avalon, you'll find a wide variety of shops that offer everything from resort-style clothing to unique gift items. Wandering from shop to shop is a great way to get acquainted with the town and find that perfect souvenir. You can find pottery, jewelry, candy, art, ceramics, gourmet foods, seashells, nautical charms, tile, and the resort necessities such as sunglasses, swimming suits, beauty supplies, books, groceries and more.

Take a sneak peek at these Avalon Shops:
Two's Company
Buoys and Gulls Sportswear
Ciao Baci

Zip Line Eco Tour

Experience Zip Line Eco Tour, which has five zip lines and takes riders from the hilltops to 60 feet above sea level at Descanso Beach.

Zip Line Eco Tour  |  877.626.1496

Interior Tour

Explore the Island by a bus or a Jeep on a variety of tour options that will take you into the interior. You can get the inside scoop on the Island's history and you may even stumble upon some of the Island's local inhabitants such as bison or Island fox.

Catalina Adventure Tours  |  877.510.2888
Catalina Island Conservancy  |  310.510.1445
Catalina Island Company  |  877.778.8322
Journey Catalina Tours  |  310.510.0342

Water Activities

Beaches

Avalon’s beachfront is lined with South Beach, Middle Beach and Step Beach—all are conveniently located in the center of town and within easy walking distance of hotels, restaurants, shopping, and land activities. If you venture a little further through town past the casino you will come to The Descanso Beach Club, located just beyond the Casino Building. It is the perfect place to enjoy the sun, lounge on the beach, snorkel, kayak, cruise around on a stand-up paddleboard, or swim in the crystal clear water. With cabanas and lounge chairs available, you get the ultimate beach relaxation. Restrooms, outdoor showers, dressing rooms and chair/umbrella rentals are available. This private beach also offers a seaside bar and restaurant so you can dine and enjoy a cocktail with your feet in the sand.

Descanso Beach Club  |  877.778.8322

Boating

Be your own guide and drive the boats yourself for sightseeing, fishing, snorkeling, and scuba diving up and down Catalina’s coastline. Motorboats, kayaks, pedal boats, paddleboards, as well as fishing tackle rentals are also available. 

Joe’s Rent-A-Boat  |  310.510.0455

Fishing

Fishing is allowed on the Green Pleasure Pier, and on the mole. You can also rent a skiff and explore the many caves and coastline. There are also numerous sport fishing charters available with local guides. The waters are filled with a variety of fish: seabass, halibut, tuna, and marlin in the fall.

Afishinado Charters  |  888.613.7770
Joe’s Rent-A-Boat  |  310.510.0455
Adam's Memory Maker Charters  |  310.592.5988

Kayaking

There is no better way to get up close and personal with Catalina’s coastline than to rent a Kayak and explore or take one of the many guided excursions available. You can glide past magnificent cliffs, pull up onto secluded beaches or venture into natural sea caves. Great for mid-morning/afternoon, pack a lunch or rent snorkel gear and head down the coast.

Joe’s Rent-A-Boat  |  310.510.0455
Descanso Beach Ocean Sports  |  310.510.1226
Wet Spot Rentals  |  310.510.2229
Catalina Tours  |  310.510.0211

Parasailing

Catch a bird’s eye view of Catalina by taking a cruise on a parasail. Fly solo or share the thrill with another on a doubles flight.

Island Water Charters  |  310.510.9280
Parasail Catalina  |  310.510.1777

Scuba Diving

Catalina is considered a premier dive destination in California, with access from shore and by boat. In addition to the abundant kelp forests and sea life-including coral, Garibaldi, lobster, common octopus, barracuda and white sea bass there are shipwrecks to explore. The Island has several dive shops, in both Avalon and Two Harbors, each of which serves beginners to advanced divers.

Download important packing tips and guidelines for divers traveling on Catalina Express. Tips For Divers
Catalina Divers Supply  |  310.510.0330
Dive Catalina  |  310.510.8558
Two Harbors Dive & Recreation Center  |  310.510.4272

Snorkeling

Snorkeling is one of the easiest and most exciting ways to experience the natural beauty held within the waters directly around Catalina Island. Snorkeling on Catalina Island is some of the best anywhere from Lover’s Cove Marine Preserve to Descanso Beach to the Casino Point. Snorkelers come face to face with hundreds of species of fish and invertebrates that call these waters home. Several places offer gear rentals and guided tours.

Catalina Tours  |  310.510.0211
Joe’s Rent-A-Boat  |  310.510.0455
Catalina Divers Supply  |  310.510.0330
Descanso Beach Ocean Sports  |  310.510.1226
Snorkeling Catalina  |  877.510.3175
Wet Spot Rentals  |  310.510.2229

Snuba

A bridge between Snorkeling and Scuba diving, this new activity allows you to breathe underwater without all the heavy equipment used in diving. A great new way to explore the ocean floor!

Catalina Divers Supply  |  310.510.0330

Stand-Up Paddle Boards

Glide across the water as you paddle by the beach and coastline.

Descanso Beach Ocean Sports  |  310.510.1226
Wet Spot Rentals  |  310.510.2229
Joe’s Rent-A-Boat  |  310.510.0455

 

  1. About Avalon
  2. About Two Harbors
  3. Events / News
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Happy couple walking down Green Pleasure Pier

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Daily Boat Trips To Catalina Island

Discover paradise on Catalina Island with daily ferry trips to and from the island. More than one million travelers choose Catalina Island as their getaway each year and Catalina Express' large fleet of boats make the trip in about an hour, operating every day, year round from three mainland ports - Long Beach, San Pedro and Dana Point.

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