2 California Coastal Towns You Need to Visit : Catalina Express

2 California Coastal Towns You Need to Visit

Catalina coastline

Southern California is no stranger to incredible getaway spots. If you’re looking to get out of the city and experience a mini-retreat, Avalon and Two Harbors are some of the best California Coastal towns you can visit. At these getaway spots, you can avoid the crowds and participate in some truly unique activities.

Avalon – Fun and Adventurous

Many people in Southern California go to Catalina Island as a place of refreshment. There’s no question that the Island is the best escape from the commotion of city life. Surrounded by glistening waters and beautiful sunny days, Catalina Island is a fast track to ultimate relaxation. Within Catalina Island is the quaint coastal town of Avalon. Since its inception in 1913, Avalon has become a paradise to residents and visitors.

Avalon provides a diverse amount of activities that satisfy the desires of every type of vacationer.  Adventure vacationers can fly from Descanso Canyon to Descanso Beach Club on a zip line at speeds approaching 35 mph. Foodies can enjoy breathtaking views while they try delicious eateries. Families can enjoy a plethora of water activities, such as ocean kayaking or Semi-Submarine excursions. Couples can enjoy a special moment with one another on a romantic beach dinner. The wide range of island activities are unparalleled and broadly relatable to all types of people.

There are many great places to stay in Avalon. Located in the heart of this coastal town, a variety of hotels offer specialized amenities and are within walking distance of many amazing shops and restaurants. If you’re not in the mood to be outdoors, Avalon has many fantastic places for indoor entertainment, such as spas, Three Palms Avalon Arcade, escape rooms and the Catalina Casino.

Avalon is a coastal town that will hold your interest for days. If you’re looking for a town with plenty of great places to eat, fun activities and shopping, Avalon is the place to go.

Two Harbors – Calm and Outdoorsy

Contrasted with Avalon, Two Harbors is a small, rustic village that is the nature enthusiast’s dream. This is more of a quiet area. Simply put, Two Harbors is an outdoor paradise. 

There are many enjoyable activities you can do within the quiet town of Two Harbors. Visitors love kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, renting bikes and simply relaxing on the beach under the palapas. Fisherman even love coming to Two Harbors to fish for larger sports fish like white sea bass and yellowtail. 

One of the best reasons people go to Two Harbors is for the island camping experience. The campgrounds are a short distance away from the center of town, but most campers utilize Gear Haul, an affordable service that will transport your equipment to the campsite for you. Also running near the campgrounds are some magnificent hiking trails. From Two Harbors, hikers can traverse through some of the best hiking in California.

Two Harbors has one hotel, the Banning House Lodge. It is a historic 12-room bed and breakfast with gorgeous views and a serene setting. There are also Catalina Camping Cabins for visitors who prefer a more rustic, intimate experience. If you have your own boat, you can even enjoy an unforgettable boating vacation at the Catalina moorings.

As far as night life goes, Two Harbors is home to Harbor Reef Restaurant, a place beloved by all Catalina Island visitors and locals. Two Harbors also has an annual Wine Festival and a Microbrew Festival. The Wine Festival is in June, and it sells out within 5 minutes of tickets being released. It’s wildly popular and visiting boaters love trying the delicious tastings. Microbrew Fest is in September, and it’s one the best places to enjoy great beer tastings in a setting that is not nearly as hectic as other brewing events. Two Harbors is also home to the infamous Buffalo Milk. This signature alcoholic drink contains vodka, Kahlua, crème de cacao, milk and fresh bananas, all blended with ice and topped with whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg. Another popular event is Buccaneers Weekend, a hilarious experience in the first week of October when everyone dresses up like pirates and celebrates the pirate life together.

All-in-all, if you want to go shopping and experience many restaurants, go to Avalon. If you just want to be in nature 24/7 and enjoy quaint experiences, Two Harbors is your place.

Visit Catalina Island and experience these dream California coastal towns today by making a reservation on board Catalina Express!

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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.