Catalina Express: Catalina Island Travel Blog : Catalina Express

Catalina Express Blog

Father and son happily enjoying their time at the Avalon Arcade

Planning a family vacation on Catalina

With lives full of work, school and the numerous after school activities, many families don’t have time to just be together. Leave the paperwork and homework behind this Spring Break and reconnect on Catalina, where “Island Time” is the way of life. Here are some activities that will keep the kids (and the kids at heart) entertained for your next family vacation.

Happy couple sitting on a beach

8 Romantic Things to do on Catalina Island

Romance is always in the air on Catalina Island. With beautiful beaches where you can find sea glass and experience the most incredible sunrises, and delectable restaurants to share exquisite meals and conversations, Catalina has many romantic treasures for everyone to experience. Here are 8 romantic things to do on Catalina Island:  

Catalina Casino and Avalon Harbor

17 Catalina Island resolutions for 2017

New Year’s is the time to set resolutions to make a difference in your life. In honor of 2017, here are 17 resolutions for the upcoming year, all of which you can do on Santa Catalina Island.


Box lunch including a panini and salad

4 places to find lunch on the cheap in Avalon

Do cheap eats exist on Catalina Island? Surprisingly enough, they do. You can get a street taco for a buck, a meatloaf sandwich with soup for $6.50 or a juicy, jumbo burger for $5. Avalon has a lot of great places to have lunch, but cheap-and-easy spots are few and far between. So we're making it simple. Here's a list of a few of our favorite places to go when we're on a tight budget.


Aerial view of Two Harbors

Get away from it all at Two Harbors, on the quiet side of the island

I'd heard about the hike to Ballast Point for years. "It's steep," friends said, "but the view is worth it." They were right on both counts.

Ballast Point rises above Two Harbors, a small settlement about 20 miles northwest of Avalon. Summer and fall are perfect times to visit Two Harbors; catch a Catalina Express boat leaving San Pedro in the morning and return in the late afternoon or early evening.

Wooden sign pointing people to the Garden in the Sky Summit.

The Garden-to-Sky Hike: A perfect island adventure

We were walking up a steep dirt road that wound around the rugged hills behind Avalon. It was mid-morning and a misty fog bank separated Catalina from the mainland, masking our view of the sea. But as we climbed, the hazy clouds lifted and the sun broke through, warming the air and glittering on the water below.

1950s Green Pier postcard

Have I got a deal for you - a screaming green pier for just $5

You know that bright greenish-blue color that jumps out at you when you look at the Avalon Pleasure Pier? I'm told that some people like it so well that they have the hardware store mix up batches of it for their do-it-yourself projects. They call it Pier Green. I think it looks pretty cool from the water, and from the land, too. But I can't imagine living in a house that color.  Or trying to sleep in a bedroom painted that shade.

Kids on Boat

Five things your kids should do in Catalina before they grow up

Winter or summer, Catalina Island is jam-packed with fun activities to keep kids excited and busy -- for a day, a weekend or a week. If it happens to be the off-season, so much the better: hotel prices are down, the crowds have thinned out and your odds of seeing whales on the trip from the mainland to the island have increased.

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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.

Escape To Catalina Island

Leave the hustle and bustle of the "mainland" behind. Catalina Island is the perfect place to take a break from the demands of daily life. With so many activities to choose from, your visit to Catalina Island can be adventure-packed or filled with rest and relaxation. With its year round Mediterranean climate, it's the ideal place to enjoy ocean air and sunshine.