Catalina Island, CA | Cruise port of call | CruiseBe
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Catalina Island, CA

Catalina Island (officially Santa Catalina Island) is near the southern end of the Channel Islands off the coast of Southern California. It's technically in Los Angeles County and is a popular day trip and vacation destination for locals and tourists.

Santa Catalina is 22 miles from the mainland, despite the lyrics of the Four Preps' song:

Twenty-six miles across the sea
Santa Catalina is a-waitin' for me
Santa Catalina, the Island of Romance 
"26 Miles", The Four Preps, 1958

Catalina is a world unto itself, a distant asylum from the hustle and bustle of the rest of Southern California. 88% of the island is owned by the Catalina Conservancy which is chartered with protecting its environment.
Many visitors to the island come from cruises.Read more

Catalina Island, CA

Destination:

Catalina Island (officially Santa Catalina Island) is near the southern end of the Channel Islands off the coast of Southern California. It's technically in Los Angeles County and is a popular day trip and vacation destination for locals and tourists.

Santa Catalina is 22 miles from the mainland, despite the lyrics of the Four Preps' song:

Twenty-six miles across the sea
Santa Catalina is a-waitin' for me
Santa Catalina, the Island of Romance 
"26 Miles", The Four Preps, 1958

Catalina is a world unto itself, a distant asylum from the hustle and bustle of the rest of Southern California. 88% of the island is owned by the Catalina Conservancy which is chartered with protecting its environment.
Many visitors to the island come from cruises.
The area codes for Catalina Island are 310 and 424 (these are both shared with Los Angeles).

Cities

"City" is a relative term on Catalina - neither Avalon nor Two Harbors are particularly large. Avalon became a city in 1913 and has about 4,000 permanent residents. Two Harbors is considerably smaller with about 150 residents. Two Harbors is primarily a boaters destination, the company manages 720 moorings around the west end of the Island along with campground, restaurant, dive and recreation rentals, 12 room bed and breakfast and a general store.

  • Avalon
  • Two Harbors

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Text is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0

Catalina Island, CA: Port Information


Liners anchor offshore, and cruise travelers are transported ashore by tenders to the Green Pleasure Pier situated in the center of Avalon.

Get around Catalina Island, CA


  • Walking - Most visitors to Catalina usually do their touring on foot.
  • Bicycle - There are several bicycle rental agencies on the island. You can rent bicycles at Brown's Bikes. They have electric bikes, mountain bikes, beach cruisers, and tandems. 107 Pebbly Beach Road, 310-510-0986
  • Carts - Golf carts may also be rented on the island.

What to see in Catalina Island, CA


There are Bison on the island which were brought over for a 1920s film and left behind. Some of the island's tours will take you to see them.

  • The Casino, built in 1929 by William Wrigley Jr., is a popular landmark and tourist attraction on the western tip of the Avalon beach. It was the tallest building in Los Angeles County at its completion. It features a ballroom, movie theater, and the Catalina Island Museum. There are no gambling facilities; the term casino refers instead to a more traditional Italian definition of casino, meaning social gathering place.

What to do in Catalina Island, CA


Snorkeling and SCUBA diving

Catalina is a haven for SCUBA divers in the Los Angeles area. The main SCUBA diving site from Avalon is Casino Point, right next to the Casino building. Concrete steps have been created, so divers (and snorkelers) can step down a few steps and enter the water. Since Casino Point is north-pointing dive site, it is mostly protected from the heavy surf and waves most of the year. Casino Point is a protected area and NOTHING can be removed from the area. There is an air refill station as well as tank/weights rental right next to the entry point. Common sightings are garibaldi, bat rays, octopus, giant black sea bass, kelp bass, lobsters and horn sharks. Additional snorkeling can be done at Lovers' Cove, south of the ferry terminal. Dives are by harbormaster's permit only.
Known shipwrecks in the waters off the island include the Diosa del Mar (33.462770 N), which was sunk July 30, 1990 near Ship Rock, and the famous Su-Jac (among others) just off Casino point. The yacht Valiant burned and sank a couple of hundred yards out from Descanso Beach. It had about $75,000 worth of jewelry onboard which has never been recovered. The oldest shipwreck known on Santa Catalina Island is that of a Chinese smuggling ship off Ballast Point on the west side of the island.
Sea Trek, utilizing high tech diving helmets, allows anyone (no diving or swimming skills needed) to discover Catalina's beautiful undersea environment on a guided underwater walking tour.

Glass-bottom boats

For those who don't want to snorkel or dive, there are many alternatives to viewing the underwater life - semi-submarine ride and glass-bottom boat rides. Tickets can be purchased from Catalina Discovery Tours in Avalon. Other unique attractions to Catalina Island are the Semi-Submarines there design is unique and allows visitors to see the underwater life, sitting 5 feet underwater, day and night. These custom-built vessels are operated by Discovery Tours "Ocean Expeditions" or Adventure Tours.

Tours

Classic to Catalina Island are the interior trips that take you to see the Bison that make part of Catalina Island their home. Other tours offered by Discovery Tours include Avalon Scenic Tour and Casino Tour.

  • Catalina Zip Line Eco Tour, #1 Descanso Canyon Rd (At Descanso Beach Club), toll-free: +1 800-626-1496. Seasonal. New Catalina Zip Line Eco Tour: Comprises of 5 separate zip lines starting in the mountains about Avalon and ending at Descanso Beach. Speeds of over 45 MPH are reached at heights of over 300ft above Descanso Canyon. At each station, your hosts will give you a presentation on some of the unique and interesting aspects of Catalina Island, its wildlife, history, and the areas you are passing through. Tour takes about 2 hours. A new 32 ft climbing wall was installed in the summer of 2011. It features 8 climbing routes and a high tech auto-belay system. 

Boating

Catalina is home to many yacht clubs: Catalina Island Yacht Club is headquartered in Avalon Bay and Isthmus Yacht Club is headquartered in the 1864 Union Army Barracks at Two Harbors. Many mainland yacht clubs maintain Catalina stations.

  • 4th Of July Yacht Club at 4th Of July Cove (island-based club)
  • Balboa Island Yacht Club has club facilities at Whites Landing
  • Balboa Yacht Club has club facilities at Hen Rock
  • Blue Water Cruising Club at Big Geiger Cove
  • California Yacht Club in Catalina Harbor(Cat Harbor) at Ballast Point—may close due to lease increases
  • Catalina Island Yacht Club at Avalon (island-based club)
  • Del Rey Yacht Club in Catalina Harbor (Cat Harbor)—may close due to lease increases.
  • Fourth of July Yacht Club at Fourth of July Cove
  • Isthmus Yacht Club at Two Harbors (island-based club)
  • King Harbor Yacht Club (gave up lease on historic beach location in Isthmus, now have smaller land parcel in Two Harbors.
  • Los Angeles Yacht Club at Howlands Landing
  • Newport Harbor Yacht Club has club facilities at Moonstone Cove
  • Offshore Cruising Club at Little Geiger
  • San Diego Yacht Club has club facilities at Long Point
  • West End Cruising Club (virtual web yacht club based in Two Harbors. Run by Santa Catalina Island Company)

What to eat and drink in Catalina Island, CA


Catalina Island is a non-chain paradise. There are no Pizza Huts, McDonald's, Carl's Jr., Burger King, Starbucks, Taco Bell, none of them. If you want to escape all of the "chain restaurants" this is your place. All of the local restaurants are great themselves.
  • The Sandtrap, 501 Avalon Canyon Road, Avalon, CA 90704 (The Sandtrap is located across the street from the Catalina Island Golf Course just minutes from the hustle and bustle of downtown Avalon. Take a short walk today to enjoy our great food and relaxing patio dining. From Downtown Area Travel away from the Green Pier on Catalina Street · Right on Tremont · Left On Avalon Canyon Road · Past City Hall & Fire Station and Opposite the Golf Course.), ☎ (310) 510-2505. 8 am-9 pm. Authentic American and Mexican cuisine, an abundant selection of beer, wines and mixed cocktails at great prices. Enjoy a relaxed atmosphere with both indoor and outdoor patio dining experiences. Kids, pets and large parties are welcome.

Shopping in Catalina Island, CA


There are lots of lovely jewelry stores, fashion boutiques, souvenir shops, art galleries, and other shopping venues. Most of them are located on or adjacent to Crescent Avenue in Avalon.

Safety in Catalina Island, CA


Catalina Island is safe. However, you should always use your common sense like in any other part of our planet.
Nature is the main danger. Be careful with rattlesnakes, bison, oak.

Language spoken in Catalina Island, CA


English is the official language.

LOCAL TIME

9:17 am
September 15, 2019
America/Los_Angeles

CURRENT WEATHER

21.97 °C / 71.546 °F
overcast clouds
Mon

20.97 °C/70 °F
broken clouds
Tue

20.96 °C/70 °F
sky is clear
Wed

21.33 °C/70 °F
sky is clear
Thu

20.56 °C/69 °F
sky is clear

LOCAL CURRENCY

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