The allure of Southern California’s island paradise is always irresistible, but work and school schedules have made summer vacation and weekend getaways the most popular time to visit Catalina Island.

2020 has changed all that. 

Between distance learning and working remotely, families are free, like never before, to be where they want to be rather than where they have to be. And for many families, where they want to be is Catalina Island. Spectacular scenery, a welcoming community and a safe environment make the island an ideal destination at any time, but during these uncertain times it can be the perfect place to bring the family for isolation.

Here is everything you need to know about bringing your family to Catalina Island for distance learning and remote working.

Choose your accommodations

For healthy families, the island offers a wealth of lodging options, but if you are going to stay for an extended period, a vacation rental on Catalina Island may be an ideal choice for accommodations. All the comforts of home, including full kitchens, separate living areas and, frequently, additional amenities like laundry facilities and a golf cart, make Avalon vacation rentals ideal a great option for families. Many Catalina Island hotels also may be able to offer larger suites, family rooms and discounts for extended stays. 

Plan your packing

Even though this will be a “working” escape, you can plan to bring everything you would normally pack for a trip to Catalina Island. In the late summer and fall, the weather will be warm, but you may be glad you packed a sweatshirt or light jacket in the evenings. Be sure to bring beach towels and bathing suits for your down time – what is the point of isolating on an island if you don’t have the time to enjoy the island? Once you are here, you’ll discover services on Catalina Island are widely available and much of what you’ll need for your stay is just a short stroll away. Avalon’s Vons grocery store is well supplied, and our hardware store can fulfill many other needs. The island also has a pharmacy, dentist, church services, a hospital and routine medical care.

Working from your home away from home

Once your family is situated on the island, take a little time to explore and enjoy your new surroundings before it’s time get to down to business. Catalina Island abounds with adventures and activities, most of which are currently available. Explore the shops, peruse the boutiques, and familiarize yourself and your family with where you’ll be staying.

While the island’s intriguing surroundings may be calling, you will want to emphasize to your kids – and yourself – that there’s work to be done. Before your children’s school starts set up a space for them to work that’s (relatively) distraction free. Make sure you have the computer capabilities needed before that first virtual school bell.

Give yourself the same opportunity for success by developing an office space in your new living quarters. If your work team asks about the great scenery in the background, just let them know it is a custom Zoom background.

Don’t miss the opportunity to learn about Catalina Island while you’re here

Catalina Island itself offers a wealth of opportunities to learn. Take time to explore the Nature Center at Avalon Canyon and the Wrigley Memorial and Botanic Gardens to showcase geology, natural history and botany. Catalina Island’s World War II history abounds in Avalon and the Catalina Island Museum’s online exhibits are available until the museum reopens. You’ll also discover native history at several sites, including at the Airport in the Sky. Snorkeling and scuba provide the perfect opportunity to make oceanography and marine biology intriguing educational pursuits. As for physical education? Golf, mini golf, ziplining, aerial adventure course, kayaking, hiking and bicycling are just a few of the Catalina Island activities that will get your student – and you – up and moving.

Travel responsibly

Catalina Island is one of the most alluring destinations in North America, but it is also isolated and has limited medical resources. If you suspect you have been exposed to Covid-19 or know you have it, you should stay home and avoid bringing the virus to the island. Once you are here, please keep in mind that while they very much appreciate your business, Avalon’s workforce is dedicated to keeping the community safe and healthy. You will be greeted much more warmly if you wear a mask and social distance – both of which are mandated by the State of California and common courtesy.

We look forward to welcoming you to Catalina Island, your home away from home.