Getting Around When You Get Here: Transportation on Catalina Island

The journey to Catalina Island is all part of the adventure, but getting around once you get here is fun too. While Avalon, the island’s only city, can be easily navigated on foot, if you are staying longer than a day or plan to explore the rest of the island, you’ll need to know how to get around. Here’s a few Catalina Island transportation tips to make your vacation even easier.

11 Things You Need To Know About Getting Around on Catalina Island

Walking: If you’re staying in Avalon for a few days or just exploring for an afternoon, your best mode of transportation may be walking. The city’s quaint streets and picturesque waterfront are ideal for a stroll and most destinations and attractions are easily accessible by foot – especially if you are wearing comfortable shoes.

Bring wheeled luggage: Those pedestrian-friendly streets mean wheeled luggage is essential. Hauling your gear is a lot easier if you’ve got wheels.

Baggage service: Don’t feel like dealing with your bags, wheels or not? Avalon Blue Line Baggage offers pick up and delivery service of luggage and scuba gear. They also offer baggage storage and lockers at the Cabrillo Mole, where the Catalina Island ferry arrives.

Taxi service: The Avalon Taxi Service operates seven-passenger demand-response taxi service throughout Avalon, just call 310-510-0025. The service is available from 7 a.m. seven days a week.

Don’t count on Uber or Lyft: While ride-sharing services are increasing popular on the mainland, they do not operate on the island, so don’t count using their services while you are here.

Garibaldi bus: Operated by the City of Avalon, the Garibaldi Public Bus offers a fixed route bus service from the Cabrillo Mole to Casino Way and along Avalon Canyon road to the Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Garden. The Token Transit App – download it to the phone -- offers a full schedule and route as well as an easy way to pay the $2 bus fare.  

Descanso Beach shuttle: With dining and cocktails as well as activities like kayaking, zip-lining and a rock wall, one of Avalon’s most popular attractions is Descanso Beach. While many people choose to stroll along the waterfront to get to Descanso Beach, a shuttle service is also available from Avalon. The free shuttle is offered seasonally, and visitors can pick up the shuttle in front the Via Casino Arch.  

Golf carts: It doesn’t take long for visitors to realize that golf carts – officially known as “autoettes” in Avalon – are the preferred method of transportation in the city. While full-size vehicles are strictly regulated in the city, each residence is allowed one autoette. Visitors can rent a golf cart hourly, but they are not available for overnight rental, although some vacation rentals offer them as an amenity to their guests.

Ride a bike: Wheeled transportation is popular on the island whether you are looking for a family-friendly ride along the shoreline or a high-octane trek into the interior. Bring your own bikes (check with your transportation provider for requirements) or rent a bike once you get here.

For the differently abled: If you need assistance getting around, call the City of Avalon’s transit office before you arrive at 310-510-0081 for information about various accessibility programs. Dial A Ride, available for seniors age 55 and older provides reduced cost taxi service and Avalon Access is a complimentary paratransit service. Both programs require pre-approval. Once here, if needed, wheelchairs can be rented from Brown’s Bikes.

Access to the Interior: Want to get out of town? The Catalina Conservancy’s Wildlands Express Shuttle offers scheduled bus service to the Airport in the Sky and to Little Harbor. Going further afield? The Catalina Island Company’s Safari Bus will take you from Avalon to Two Harbors with stops at several points in between – for a quicker option, the Cyclone offers high-speed boat transportation from Avalon to Two Harbors. Private interior shuttles are also available via Catalina Transportation Services.