Getting Around Catalina
Avalon, Catalina Island’s main town, is only one-square mile in size and everything is within easy walking distance. In fact walking is the preferred mode of transportation.
Avalon is the only city in California authorized by the state legislature to regulate the number and size of vehicles allowed to drive on city streets. Currently, there is a 25-year waiting list to own a car on the island. But visitors don’t need a car in Avalon; it’s easy to navigate by foot. The picturesque harbor that nestles Avalon provides a good excuse to slow down the pace and enjoy the view.
Hotel Shuttles & Taxis
When you arrive on the island many hotels provide a courtesy shuttle while other hotels provide free baggage service. The baggage service can collect your bags from the ferry dock and deliver them to your hotel or pick them up at your hotel and deliver them to the ferry dock. Be sure to ask when you make reservations. Taxi service is available to all locations in Avalon, and cabs meet each arriving boat. There is a taxi stand at the end of Crescent Ave by US Bank.
Public Bus and Beach Shuttle
There is a public bus “The Garibaldi” serving the city of Avalon on a fixed bus route from the Cabrillo Mole (where the boat comes in) to Casino Way and up the canyon to the Wrigley Memorial and Botanic Garden. The bus is $2 per ride and children under 5 are free. (As of 11/1/20, the bus is operating on weekends only.) The Catalina Island Company offers free shuttle transportation to Descanso Beach in the summer months, including a stop at the Catalina Casino, on a regular daily basis. The bus departs from the Via Casino arch at the beginning of Casino Way, across from Island Spa Catalina.
To enjoy the hills above the town, do what the locals do and drive a golf cart. Golf cart rentals are abundant in town and you can easily explore the mountain terrain around Avalon in an hour or so.
Bicycles and Sightseeing Tours
You can also rent a bicycle to go exploring or take a sightseeing tour in a comfortable motor coach or open-air tram.
Shoreboats are available in both Avalon and Two Harbors and provide a way for boaters to come ashore. Catalina Coastal Tours offers Shoreboat and Water Taxi Service in Avalon and the Two Harbors Harbor Department provides Shoreboat service in Two Harbors..
Getting into the Interior, to Airport in the Sky and to Two Harbors
If you want to venture beyond Avalon, shuttle bus service or charter taxi van service is also available from Avalon to the Airport-in-the-Sky, Two Harbors, and the interior campgrounds. For campers, the Catalina Island Conservancy offers the Wildlands Express. The Catalina Island Company offers the Cyclone boat which operates daily during the summer months, taking visitors between Avalon and Two Harbors, along the scenic Catalina Island coastline.
Outdoor enthusiasts are welcome to explore Catalina Island on foot. Hiking and biking permits are required. Permits and trail maps are available at the new Conservancy Trailhead Center, 708 Crescent Avenue in Avalon or call 310-510-2595.