One of California’s most popular family-friendly destinations, Catalina Island has been attracting families for generations. Convenient travel, a unique island vibe and near perfect weather make this Southern California island nearly irresistible as a place to escape to with children. But while it’s always easy to please younger children, teenagers can be notoriously difficult to entertain. Not to worry – Catalina Island offers several things to do with teenagers
7 Catalina Island things to do teens will love.
Explore underwater: Catalina Island’s underwater world is renowned throughout the country for its crystal-clear waters, abundant marine life and ease of accessibility. Exploring that subsurface wonderland is an ideal activity for teens on Catalina Island. As long as your teens can swim, they can snorkel – and that’s not all. Snuba, a combination of snorkeling and scuba, is available in the summer months. Teens can also go deeper with Discover Scuba, an introduction to the popular pastime. Scuba certification courses are also available on the island.
Turn them loose: Compared to the mainland, Catalina Island is a remarkably safe destination and many parents feel comfortable letting their teens explore Avalon on their own – and teens enjoy the opportunity. Keep in mind that Avalon does have a city-imposed curfew of 10 p.m. for minors.
Go for a paddle: Teens find Catalina waters irresistible and there are plenty of ways to enjoy them. Kayaking, available at several locations around the island, is great way to get out and explore the coast. Kayaks can be rented in Avalon, in Two Harbors and at Little Harbor on the island’s windward side. Stand-up padding, also available at several Catalina Island destinations, is ideally suited for the island’s calm protected waters and most teens will enjoy this popular activity. For younger teens, pedal boats are a great option for exploring Avalon Harbor.
Ride a bike: Whether you choose to join them or let them explore on their own, riding bikes on Catalina Island is a great option for teenagers. Bikes can be rented in Avalon or bring your own. Kick up the adventure with a family mountain bike experience in Catalina Island’s rugged interior. Permits are required, visit the Catalina Island Conservancy website for more information.
Adventure: Thanks to a wealth of new experiences, Catalina Island is becoming an adventurers’ paradise and teens will be eager to get in on the excitement. Go high-octane on the Catalina Zipline EcoTour, soar above it all -- and dip your feet in the sea – on a parasail ride or challenge your climbing skills on the rock wall or Catalina Aerial Adventure. Outside of Avalon, the adventures continue. With dozens of miles of hiking trails, the protected wilderness outside of the city is just waiting to be explored. Take you teens hiking for a day or book a multi-day camping and hiking adventure that the entire family will remember forever.
Challenge: Adrenalin-fueled adventures aren’t the only ways to challenge your teens on Catalina Island. Avalon also features escape rooms, where you can compete with riddles, puzzles and brain teasers, a mini golf course that offers fun for the whole family and an arcade complete with video games, mini-bowling and more.
Reconnect: Catalina Island is an ideal destination for families with teens looking for an opportunity to reconnect and strengthen the bonds between your family. While we can’t promise that Catalina Island will eliminate those teen eyerolls and erase the ever-present angst, we can promise that time spent here will become memories that your family will cherish forever. From week-long volunteer vacations to afternoon getaways from the mainland, time spent with your teen on the island will become entwined in the unforgettable fabric of family.