Catalina Island Vacations- What You Need to Know

Catalina IslandCatalina Island - Flickr

A lot can be said about taking great vacations, as it allows people to relax, decompress, and get away from their busy lives for a few days. As far as holiday getaways go, Catalina Island Vacations are among the best ideas to consider especially for those who like to explore the wonders of coastal California. Catalina Island has been likened to a wonderful paradise that welcomes those who seek refuge from the hustle and bustle of big city life.

Catalina Island is 22 miles from the Southern California coast. You can take a boat ride that will get you there in about an hour. Below are bits of important information that you should know if you are planning on taking a vacation on Catalina Island.


When is the Best Time to Go?

Due to the prevailing weather conditions in the Island, the best time to go would be during Spring or Fall. Summer days are mostly overcast until noon, and sometimes even much later so you will not be able to appreciate the full effect of Catalina, especially from a boat. Winters also pose a problem since the island is usually plagued by storms, which cause the ride to be annoyingly bumpy and generally unpleasant.


Things to Do in Catalina

Below are some of the things you can look forward to when vacationing in Catalina.


The Landing Bar and GrillThe Landing Bar and Grill

One of the best things about booking Catalina Island Vacations is that you get to have an incredible dining experience as the island is home to some of the best places to eat on the West Coast. More importantly, you get to have a taste of global cuisine as many restaurants in the area feature dishes from all over the world.



Here are some of the best places to dine when in Catalina:

  1. The Landing Bar and Grill- Located in the historic El Encanto Marketplace, this place is perfect for casual dinners and drinks with friends or family. The menu at the Landing Bar is also quite impressive as it offers anything from gourmet pizza to authentic Mexican cuisine.

  2. Big Olaf's of Catalina- This place is mostly known for its excellent cold-treats which can be best enjoyed after a day of cruising along the California coastline.

Sport Fishing

Catalina Fishing Catalina Fishing - Flytime

Those with an affinity to fishing would be delighted to know that Catalina Island is one of the best spots for Sport Fishing. Whether you are a novice or an experienced fisher, there are shops all around the island that offer lessons as well as the necessary gear. Another fun fishing expedition isi to take a nightime cruise that uses searchlights to light up the waters and coax flying fish to to leap out of the waters right in front of you. You'll actually see the "wings" on these fish.


Helicopter Tours

Island Express Helicopters- Catalina is certainly a wonderful place, but it is nothing short of magical when viewed a few hundred meters above sea level. The helicopter tours are wildly popular as they provide quite a unique experience for tourists, especially those who like the idea of flying over a vast expanse of clear waters and fantastic land views.



Catalina LobsterCatalina Lobster

Some of the best views of Catalina are found several feel underwater, which is why it is a good idea to put diving as one of the activities when visiting the island. The clear blue waters as well as the exotic marine life are reason enough to take the plunge. Some popular dive areas are: Farnsworth Banks, Ship Rock, Italian Gardens, Blue Cavern Point and Eagle Rock.



Vacations are never complete without visiting the local gift shop for souvenirs to bring back to family and friends at home. Many shops at Catalina offer novelty items as well as other goods that will make for excellent gifts. There are numerous boutiques and shops offering works of art, candy, beach goodies, clothing, and more along Avalon's walkway. You'll definitely be able to find a new treasure to take home as a souvenir.


For those who are not fond of going underwater or taking an air tour, they can still enjoy Catalina by choosing the camping package. Included in the camping packages are fun activities that are as relaxing as they are exhilarating.


Bicycling is a great way to get around the island. You can take guided cycling tours that last 2 -3 hours that will show you best areas of Catalina. These tours include mountain bike rides and scenic electric bike tours.


Catalina is a wonderful relaxing town ripe for romantic getaways or family fun. Take a day trip or spend a week and discover Catalina's treasures.



Official Catalina Island Website

Catalina Express Daily - Trips to Catalina

Catalina Island Map Catalina Island Map © Google Maps