With more than a two dozen properties island visitors have a wealth of accommodations options, ranging from boutique hotels to historic homes and from classic Catalina Island accommodations to some of the newest properties on the island. 

Where to stay in Avalon is just the first of many intriguing decisions to be made for your southern California staycation. Once you decide where you’ll be staying, your next step should be deciding how to get to Catalina Island. The main options include helicopter and Catalina Island passenger ferry, but private boat and private plane are also options.

Catalina Express, which offers service from Long Beach, Dana Point and San Pedro, as well as Catalina Flyer, which offers service from Newport Beach, have reduced their capacity at this time to comply with social distancing mandates. That reduced capacity has made advance reservations essential. At this time, like everywhere on Catalina Island – and the state of California – the island’s transportation providers require face coverings at all times.

Catalina Island offers myriad activities and adventures

With four days on the island, visitors will have time to roam wild, experiencing many of Catalina Island ’s activities and adventures. Most island activities providers have resumed operations and visitors will have no trouble filling their days with exciting things to do – or filling their days with nothing but relaxation.

Catalina Island’s pristine waters provide the perfect opportunity for social distancing. Paddleboards, pedal boats and kayaks lure novices and expert paddlers alike to explore the ocean environment near Avalon. Rental skiffs encourage exploration along the coastline. And scuba and snorkeling are two fascinating ways to experience the wonder underwater, in one of the most popular dive destinations in North America.

Your three nights on the island will allow for plenty of time for terrestrial pursuits as well. Spectacular scenery and unique wildlife make hiking on Catalina Island irresistible. Visit the Catalina Island Conservancy's Trailhead in Avalon for hiking permits, trail maps and information about what to expect. Mountain bike enthusiasts will find that the island provides an ideal environment for two-wheeled fun as well. Check out the Conservancy’s website for more details.

Don’t forget to spend some time soaking in the seaside charms of Avalon, which reminds many of Italy’s picturesque coastal villages. Stroll along the waterfront and take advantage of the myriad Instagram-worthy views to show off your perfect California vacation. Most of the city’s shops and boutiques have reopened, offering an opportunity to discover an array of treasures to take home. Biking in Avalon is also popular, bring your own bike or they can be rented on the island for the day. One of the most popular Avalon activities continues to be golf carts, which can be rented by the hour for a self-guided tour around town.

Reserving your chosen activities on-line before your arrival will help assure availability during these times of reduced capacity; most of the things to do on Catalina Island can be booked in advance.

Where to dine on Catalina Island

Several Avalon restaurants are offering dining on the beach, creating a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to eat – and drink – on Catalina Island’s beaches. Beach and patio dining is available for both lunch and dinner. Restaurants on Catalina Island are also offering meals to go, allowing you to plan a picnic or in-room dining. 

No matter how you spend your time here will be a welcome escape from the pressures of everyday life on the mainland.