When most visitors think of Catalina Island, they envision Avalon, with its extensive visitor services and iconic Catalina Casino Building. But Catalina Island attractions can be found elsewhere on the island, including the remote settlement at the island’s isthmus, Two Harbors.
Named for the two harbors that surround it, Two Harbors is bordered on the leeward side by Isthmus Cove and on the windward side by Catalina Harbor. In between is the island’s narrowest point the and the village of Two Harbors. Long a mecca for campers and boaters, Two Harbors is an ideal Catalina Island destination for a day – or three.
Ready to learn more? Here are 11 reason to visit Two Harbors
It’s easy to get there: Thanks to the Cyclone, visitors can be whisked to Two Harbors from Avalon in just about half an hour, making a day trip a convenient option. Transportation is also available via private charter – either boat or van, and from the mainland via the Catalina Express ferry.
Have a buffalo milk: Two Harbors is home to Catalina Island’s signature cocktail, a deceptively delicious concoction that was created here several decades ago.
Relaxing at Harbor Sands: One of the best things to do at Two Harbors is relax and you can kick that relaxation in high gear by renting a palapa at Harbor Sands. Complete with loungers and plenty of shade, these cabanas combine rustic with luxury to offer the ultimate way to do the beach on the leeward side of Two Harbors.
Dinner at the Harbor Reef: An island institution for generations, the Harbor Reef Restaurant offers fresh seafood and prime steaks and is a delicious destination for dinner.
Make it an overnight: From decadent vacation rentals to tent sites, Two Harbors offers accommodations for every taste and budget. The Banning House Lodge & Villas offers a bed and breakfast, a long time favorite, thanks to its spectacular views and historic ambiance, along with two vacation rental villas. You’ll also discover tent cabins at the Two Harbors campground.
Don’t miss the diving: Scuba diving at several Two Harbors dive sites is renowned by divers around the world. Guided dives and gear rental are available at the Two Harbors Dive & Recreation Center. Expect to see colorful garibaldi, dramatic kelp forests and an array of marine species.
You are going to want to paddle around: Whether you paddle a kayak or a standup paddleboard, the protected waters around Two Harbors are perfect for exploring atop the water. Kayaks and paddleboards can also be rented at the Two Harbors Dive & Recreation Center.
The snorkeling is fabulous: You don’t need to dive deep to experience the remarkable marine environment around Catalina’s isthmus, snorkeling is also a great way to explore. From the beach at Isthmus Cove, head to right to see fascinating marine life and rock formations.
It’s a great place to relax: With its laid-back atmosphere and unparalleled island ambiance, Two Harbors is an ideal destination for those looking to disconnect, unwind and really, truly relax. Grab a good book, take a nap or work on your tan – or all three.
Take a walk – or a hike: The roads, hills and trails around Two Harbors offer spectacular views and stunning seascapes as well as an intriguing sense of isolation. A favorite walk is the road out to Ballast Point on the windward side of the island. Various hikes, ranging from simple strolls to strenuous treks, are also available.
Special events: If you really need a reason, special events at Two Harbors abound, ranging from the bacchanalian Buccaneer Days to the bucolic Children’s Festival.