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How to Travel and Enjoy Your Stay on Catalina Island

Some see Catalina Island as nothing more than a southern California tourist day trip. Learn how you can turn a Catalina stay into a romantic or family vacation destination.


  • Step 1: Consider sight-seeing around Catalina by renting a golf cart or bicycle. Visit the Catalina Island Conservancy to rent an Eco-Tour jeep.
  • Step 2: Try ziplining. Zip Line Eco-Tour offers the chance to zipline a canyon down to the beach. Get hiking trail maps at the Catalina Island Conservancy. Enjoy your vacation.
  • FACT: Catalina's famous roaming bison herd are descendants of 14 bison brought to the island as extras for a 1924 silent Zane Grey western film.
  • Step 3: Book a campsite online at one of Two Harbors' four campgrounds if you're a nature lover. There are also cabin rentals available at Two Harbors.
  • TIP: There are also a wide variety of simple and inexpensive cabin rentals outside Avalon.
  • TIP: Consider an off-season stay. From fall to spring, there are less visitors and cheaper accommodations.
  • Step 4: Book a 1-hour boat trip through Catalina Express from Long Beach's Queen Mary dock. Or arrive sooner with the Island Express Helicopter Shuttle.
  • Step 5: Book Avalon accommodations online, ranging from luxurious accommodations like the Banning House Lodge, boutique accommodations like The Avalon, and historic accommodations like The Zane Grey Pueblo.
  • Step 6: Know that car access on Catalina Island is limited. To keep the island free of smog, many people walk, ride bikes, and drive golf carts to get around. Avalon is the largest city and Two Harbors is a camping destination.

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