Sometimes referred to as “the best kept secret of California,” Catalina Island is truly the perfect location for families to relax and reconnect — whether you choose to lounge all day at the beach, or join in on exciting adventures. Located just 22 miles off the coast of Southern California, Catalina Island is just one ferry ride away. Departures are scheduled throughout the day from Long Beach, San Pedro, and Dana Point. Much like an airplane, everyone reacts differently to boat rides. Come prepared with anti-nausea remedies to avoid anyone starting the day off on the wrong foot. During the boat ride, you might have the chance to spot some marine life, so try to catch a window seat if you can. In just about one hour, you will arrive at the beautiful sandy beaches of Avalon Harbor and the only tough decision will be deciding what to do first.
You won’t see very many vehicles around the island since almost everything is walking distance. Come prepared with a stroller if there are little ones in the family that may have difficulties walking around all day. In addition to biking or walking, many people use a golf cart for transportation around the island. Golf carts can be rented at convenient locations along Crescent Avenue. Just like a car, state law requires car seats for children under 6 and they are available when renting a golf cart. Check out the website https://www.visitcatalinaisland.com/activities-adventures/rentals/golf-carts for child car seat regulations before you go!
Catalina Island is full of activities suitable for the entire family. Visit one of the playgrounds on the island (perfect for those full of energy after a boat ride) or head to the beach to scout out the perfect spot for a kayak rental. You could also spend some quality family time at the award winning Catalina Miniature Golf Gardens, just one block from the beach. If you are looking for something more adventurous, check out the Zip Line Eco Tour, gliding up to 30 mph through the hills of Avalon and Descanso Canyon or a Eco Jeep Tour exploring the wilderness of Catalina Island. For adventures right on the water, the Undersea Expedition allows you to get face-to-face with the wildlife in the ocean in a semi-submersible vessel. Check out Descanso Beach Club and its scenic private beach access with relaxing lounge chairs and cabanas for rental.
Although the name might sound deceiving, the Catalina Casino is not a gambling hall, but rather gets its name from the Italian word “casino” meaning gathering place. That is exactly what the Catalina Casino is! Complete with a ballroom and theater, it is a popular venue for events and weddings. Tours are available daily, but subject to events at the casino.
You’ll be sure to work up an appetite, and lucky for you, Catalina Island has no shortage of restaurants and eateries from casual walk-up windows, to fine dining. Many of the locals recommend The Sand Trap or The Buffalo Nickel. Don’t forget to grab a scoop of homemade ice cream at Scoops on Crescent Avenue, a 2018 Taste Around Avalon Winner.
Forget something at home? No need to stress – Avalon has some corner markets and a Vons Supermarket located on Metropole Avenue, so you can quickly pick up what you left at home. Next time you’re searching the map for the next family getaway, think of Catalina Island, where any day can be a memorable beach day.
Catalina Island Field Trip Packages –