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 Catalina Island

Beautiful Avalon Harbor, Catalina

Catalina, California Information
Contributed by
Nancy Norris

Language and Currency
What is Catalina Like?
What is the Weather Like?
Where Does the Ship Dock?
Where is the Shopping?
What is There to Buy?
What is There To Do?
Is There Anything of a “Don’t Miss Quality?
Are There Any Great Restaurants or Bars?

Catalina, California Port Reviews

Language and Currency

English is spoken in Catalina and the currency is the US Dollar.

What is Catalina like?

The View of Catalina From an Arriving Tender

It’s hard to believe that this little island oasis, only 22 miles off the coast of Los Angeles is actually part of LA County. The clean air, crystal clear waters and absence of traffic make this a perfect escape from the fast-paced, congested and hectic lifestyle of living in the city. Santa Catalina, or just Catalina as it is now known, is an island with secluded coves, a lush landscape of oak, cactus and sage, surrounded by an ocean abundant with sea life. Residents enjoy a quiet, serene life where the pace of living is unhurried and laid-back. Visitors are not allowed to drive cars. Even most residents use golf carts, bicycles or their feet to get around. In fact, there is not one traffic light on the entire island. Most activity centers around the crescent shaped bay of Avalon, a quaint town where many streets are pedestrian walkways, resplendent with benches, historic tiles and commanding views of the bay.

What is the weather like?

Weather in Catalina is pleasant and mild year round. It seldom reaches 80°F in the summer and rarely dips below 50° in the winter.

Where does the ship dock?

Ships tender in Avalon Bay and a very short tender ride drops you right in the heart of the town. If you are staying in town, everything is within walking distance of the tender pier. If you wish to explore the island rent a golf cart ($30 and hour), or grab a trolley ($1.50 one way). The Avalon Trolly has 2 routes that run continuously around the island making frequent stops along the way.

Where is the shopping?

Downtown Avalon, Catalina During Rush Hour

Boutiques and galleries line Crescent Avenue, the main street in Avalon, and the pedestrian side streets that branch off the main road.

What is there to buy?

Shopping in Catalina is like a treasure hunt. There are no great buys or deals, but there are numerous small family owned shops where you will find an eclectic array of interesting and unusual items. Everything from fine art to reproductions of historic pottery, from classic crafts to one-of-a-kind clothing and accessories, can be found. Unique collectibles, books and the requisite souvenirs round out the shopping experience.

What is there to do?

Avalon Harbor and Avalon's Famous Casino

Although Catalina is a quiet island there are plenty of things to do. For a relaxing and enjoyable day, I would suggest you rent a golf cart or a tandem bicycle and explore Avalon at your own pace. Stop for lunch at one of the seaside restaurants, followed by an afternoon of shopping, or, weather permitting, relaxing on the beach. If you are looking for an excursion, take a submarine or glass bottom boat ride. Still looking for something else to do? Play a round of golf, visit the botanical gardens, rent a kayak, go snorkeling or deep sea fishing.

Is there anything of “Don’t Miss” quality?

Catalina’s main attraction is as an oasis to escape the monotony and stress of everyday life. There are no “don’t miss” or “must do’s” on the island, it is a place to relax and recharge the batteries.

Are there any great restaurants or bars?

I can’t recommend any “greats”. Do you know any?

Things To Do in Mexico

 Port Reviews

  • Andrew Groves, Travis Chapman,

    Although this was our most overcast day of the trip, the Mediterranean-inspired charm of Catalina still shone through. We visited a couple of the (very) touristy shops along more

    18 users found this review helpful.
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