Catalina Island

Leave all the hustle and bustle behind and return to a slower pace of life, the island life. Whether it’s your first visit or fiftieth, Catalina Island's rich storied history and unique charm keeps people coming back time and again.

About 22 miles south-southwest of Los Angeles, Catalina Island is the southernmost island of California's Channel Islands. The Island is made up of two towns, the incorporated city of Avalon on the east end, and the unincorporated village Two Harbors on the west end. The island is just 22 miles long and 8 miles across. Outside of the two towns is a rugged wilderness of majestic beauty under the stewardship of the Catalina Island Conservancy.

The island's never looked better and she's in picture perfect shape. Cruise across the beautiful Pacific Ocean from the Port of Long Beach to the magical island of Catalina. Slow down, relax and enjoy all the things you love to do. 

Catalina Island Activities

  • Explore the oceanfront shops in Avalon. 
  • Dine on local island cuisine. 
  • Tour the island’s vast interior to see wild buffalo and dramatic coastline vistas. 
  • Hike trails to hidden harbors and inlets or discover the crystal blue waters teeming with colorful fish by kayak, sailboat or snorkel.

It’s all waiting for you on Catalina. Just an hour away from Long Beach. When you’re on Island Time, you’re always having the time of your life.

Catalina Island FAQ

Here are the top 10 questions and answers about visiting Catalina Island from Long Beach, CA:

1. Is Catalina Island currently open?

Yes, Catalina Island is currently open to visitors. Passengers aboard the Catalina Express must wear face masks and follow COVID-19 precautions, as well as when in public areas on the island.

2. How do you get to Catalina Island from Long Beach?

  • Catalina Express gets you from Long Beach to the island in only an hour.  
  • Making as many as 30 trips a day, the boat gives passengers a scenic view of Southern California from the water during the convenient journey. 
  • IEX Helicopters also offers access to the island via a 15-minute ride from the Long Beach heliport.

3. Is there an airport close to Catalina Island?

  • The closest airport that will give you readily available access to Catalina Island is Long Beach’s own airport (LGB)
  • About 33 miles from the island, Long Beach Airport offers daily arrivals and departures from 12 destinations, with connections internationally.

4. How far is Catalina Island from Long Beach?

The trip from the mainland of Long Beach out to Catalina Island is 22 miles under the glorious Southern California sun.
It will take about 1 hour by boat or 15 minutes by helicopter to travel from Long Beach to the island.

catalina island faq

5. How big is Catalina Island?

Catalina is 22 miles in length and, at its widest point, 8 miles across.

6. How long do you need to explore Catalina Island?

How much time you spend on the island depends on how much you’d like to do! 

  • You can come out to Catalina for just a couple hours, enough time to fit in a hike and still have plans later in the day back in Long Beach. 
  • You can also make a day trip for the express purpose of a new adventure and easily make it back to the mainland before nightfall. 
  • You could, however, spend several days uncovering the beauty throughout the island.
hike catalina island

7. Can you stay overnight on Catalina Island?

Absolutely. There are multiple campgrounds, hotels, and bed and breakfasts, depending on the level of luxury or adventure you’re in search of. 

  • Campgrounds include the easily accessible Two Harbors and Hermit Gulch, the beachfront Little Harbor, or the more secluded Parson’s Landing and Black Jack (the latter near the island’s Mt. Orizaba and surrounded by eucalyptus and pine trees). 
  • Additionally, bus and shuttle services will get you to the various camping sites no matter if you’re looking for something close to popular tourist spots on the island or in search of a more remote location.

8. What is there to do on Catalina Island?

What isn’t there to do? 

  • Explore the island on an open-air tour in a Jeep, a Hummer, or a Segway. 
  • Get an underwater perspective of Catalina on a scuba expedition. 
  • Take to the sky while parasailing. 
  • Hike the Trans-Catalina Trail or try ziplining or paddleboarding for something truly unique and exciting.
  • There’s plenty of commercial appeal to be found, as well as tons of shopping to be done, in the Avalon section of Catalina. 
  • The island also boasts multiple spas and beaches for those visitors looking to relax and unwind.

9. What is the weather like on Catalina Island?

The weather on the island stays warm throughout the year, with a climate considered mild subtropical. The water usually hits an average of 70 degrees in August, the warmest off of California’s coast.

10. What is the history of Catalina Island?

  • Catalina Island, officially Santa Catalina Island and originally called Pimu by its first inhabitants, has seen many changes over the decades. 
  • The island has been utilized for purposes as diverse as mining for gold and filming for Hollywood. 
  • The resort area of Avalon was developed by famed chewing gum industrialist William Wrigley Jr.

No matter how you arrive, how much time you spend, or what you do once you get here, you’ll be happy to have visited Catalina Island. Pack your favorite swimsuit and plan a trip today. Click here to learn more!

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