What is there to see in Catalina Island California?

What is there to see in Catalina Island California - Lucy Williams Global

Avalon in Catalina Island was a new port for me and these days I do not often say that! It is located on the Californian coast near Los Angeles, USA.

We stopped there on a short 4-night cruise that started in LA, then Catalina Island, a day at sea and Ensenada in Mexico.

Four-day cruises are good taster cruises, it gives you an idea of what cruising is like. These are good for families and partying! If this is not your scene, I would suggest taking a seven-day cruise as a taster cruise.

What is there to see in Catalina Island California? - Lucy Williams Global

Catalina Island

Back to Catalina Island! As it is a small island the ship cannot dock there, so we took the tender boats to shore to Avalon.

You can also get to Catalina Island by ferry from San Pedro, Long Beach, Newport Beach or Dana Point and it takes around an hour to get there.

The island was mainly owned by William Wrigley Jr. the chewing gum company in 1919 and he developed the island for tourism. Marilyn Monroe once lived on Catalina Island before she became a famous movie star!

The island has a Mediterranean climate and the buildings are white with terracotta tiles that surround the harbour.

I would describe Avalon a cross between Santa Barbara for the beach, palm trees and sun and Skagway in Alaska for the gift shops, shop fronts, restaurants and bars!

What To See

I really enjoyed walking around, it very easy to walk as the town centre is pedestrianised.

You can hire golf carts to drive around the island or have a tour of the island. This time I just enjoyed a walk and had lunch.

If you would like to see something I would recommend a tour of the Casino or a tour of the island.

What is there to see in Catalina Island California? - Lucy Williams Global

The Casino is a landmark in Avalon, it a huge round building right on the harbour. But it is not a casino! There is no gambling there and it was named a casino using the Italian language as ‘casino’ meaning gathering place.

It was used as a cinema and ballroom by the rich in the 1930’s. Today it is a museum and if you would like to see it, book a tour as you cannot just go in. It is only open to the public at certain times of the day.

Essential Info

  • Weather: 10*C -15*C in Winter and 18*C – 22*C in Summer (I was there in November and it was 18*C)
  • Language: English
  • Currency: US Dollars
  • Recommendations: Sunglasses, flat shoes for walking and bring your camera as it beautiful.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about Catalina Island, please share on Facebook and Pinterest so your friends and family can read too. Sharing is caring!

Have you been to Catalina Island? What would you recommend doing?

Happy Travels

Love Lucy x

What is there to see in Catalina Island California USA - Lucy WIlliams Global


  1. December 7, 2017 / 7:55 am

    Haha I was reading this and thinking, hmm this sounds familiar – I completely forgot I visited Catalina years ago! ๐Ÿ˜‚ Thanks for reminding me of this place ๐Ÿ˜Š We got a tiny plane here from San Diego, it was a really special day. If I remember right thereโ€™s an awesome burger joint right on the Main Street, wish I could remember the name… ๐Ÿค”

    • December 8, 2017 / 4:25 pm

      Your trip sounds really fun! There is a burger restaurant on the Main Street, but I donโ€™t know what it was called & I was eating with a vegan that day, so burgers were out! Lol ๐Ÿ˜‚

      • December 9, 2017 / 1:11 am

        Ah eating with a vegan ๐ŸŒฑ hope the food you had was good ๐Ÿ˜Š

        • December 9, 2017 / 8:46 am

          Where we went to eat had a mix of options! So I had a nice lunch too! Lol ๐Ÿ˜‚

  2. December 8, 2017 / 6:53 pm

    I’ve lived in California my whole life and somehow I’ve never been to Catalina. Now I think I’ll have to do another cruise just to have an excuse to visit.

    • December 9, 2017 / 8:42 am

      Lol ๐Ÿ˜‚It is a beautiful little place, worth a visit!

  3. December 8, 2017 / 7:31 pm

    Your photos are absoutely gorgeous! I hadn’t heard of Catalina Island until now, but I’m planning a trip back to Cali soon so I’ll be adding this to my list, thanks for sharing!

  4. December 8, 2017 / 7:33 pm

    Catalina looks so beautiful! I would definitely visit I think I’ve heard of it in the past. At first I thought Casino meant gambling haha so thank you for clarifying. The water looks so blue and inviting.

    • December 9, 2017 / 8:44 am

      Thank you! Casino does mean gambling in English, just not in Italian & for some reason they used the Italian meaning here! It is a beautiful place to visit

  5. December 8, 2017 / 7:36 pm

    Iโ€™m from LA and have not been to Catalina since I was little even though it is so close. This definitely makes me want to visit! โค๏ธ

  6. Jenny
    December 9, 2017 / 2:44 pm

    We love Catalina Island too, spotted some fun wild animals including Bison the last time we went. Awesome photos with bright blue sky. Thank you for sharing! :)

    • December 11, 2017 / 11:44 am

      It’s beautiful isn’t it! I didn’t see any wildlife apart from seagulls!

  7. Vick
    December 9, 2017 / 3:08 pm

    I`d never heard of this place, such a charming island!!!

  8. December 10, 2017 / 12:28 am

    The island looks so beautiful, i love just walking around but golf biggys are fun too! That part reminds me of Hamilton island in Aus :)

    • December 11, 2017 / 11:47 am

      I loved it! Walking around there is very easy as parts are pedestrianised.

  9. December 10, 2017 / 8:17 pm

    This island looks very pretty! Would love to take a tour of the island to discover more.

    • December 11, 2017 / 11:51 am

      It’s lovely! That is what I will do next time I go there.

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