Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get to the Island? What’s is the best port?
Transportation to the Island is via boat (ferry), helicopter, private plane, or private vessel. Scheduled ferry service is available on the Catalina Express out of Long Beach (most frequent departures), San Pedro, or Dana Point, and on the Catalina Flyer from Newport Beach. Helicopter service is available via Island Express, with departure points in Long Beach, San Pedro, Santa Ana, and Burbank.
Where should I stay?
Vacation rentals, hotels, and bed and breakfasts are all available in Avalon. Campsites are located throughout the Island. Two Harbors offers one inn, and two vacation rental properties. For more information on lodging options, please visit https://www.catalinachamber.com/where-to-stay-on-catalina-island.
What is there to do on the Island?
A wide variety of land and see based activities – from cultural to adventure- are available on the Island. There’s something for everyone! For more information, please visit https://www.catalinachamber.com/things-to-do/.
How do I sign up for the birthday deal? What do I get?
The “free on your birthday” deal is a program through Catalina Express. Travel for two with the purchase of one full-fare Adult ticket. For more information, please visit https://www.catalinachamber.com/specials/.
When is the best time to travel to the Island?
All four seasons offer their own appeal for travel to the Island. Spring offers exciting events and beautiful weather. The summer season is the busiest, with warm sea conditions that invite a wide variety of water activities. Fall is known as the “secret season” among locals – the temperature is still warm, but the crowds are gone. Winter is the quietest time of year on the Island – a great opportunity to get away from it all.
How can I move there?
Housing on the Island is very limited. There is a 15 year + waiting list for a full size vehicle. For information on current employment opportunities, please view current employment opportunities. For a list of local realtors, please view our list here.
What types of tours are offered?
A wide variety of land and sea tours are offered. For more information, see all of the things to do.
Should I fly into LAX or Long Beach?
Long Beach is the closest airport to the most Island departures, while LAX offers access to the area via a greater number of airlines and flights. John Wayne Airport (Orange County) offers a third option.
Are dogs allowed on the Island/boat/tours? Hotels?
Pets are allowed on Catalina Express, but they must wear a muzzle or be in a pet carrier. Pets are not allowed in certain restricted areas: Crescent Ave. between Clarissa and Metropole including paved areas on lower Sumner and lower Catalina, Avalon public beaches, on the Green Pleasure Pier and the Cabrillo Mole (boat landing). While transporting a dog through a restricted area, a leash and muzzle must be used. Some hotels, vacation rentals, and restaurants are pet friendly.
How do I get to Two Harbors from Avalon?
Access from Two Harbors to Avalon – and vice versa – is limited. The Safari Bus runs daily between both destinations. The trip is approximately 2 hours each way. Other access is via private or chartered boat. Transportation is also available via taxi.
Can I rent a golf cart for multiple days?
Golf cart rentals are by the hour only. Some vacation rentals include use of a golf cart for the duration of your stay.
Do I need a passport to travel to Catalina?
No, no passport is required – Catalina Island is part of Los Angeles County in the State of California.
Is there Uber or Lyft on the Island?
Uber and Lyft do not currently operate on the Island. A taxi service is available.
Are there lockers to store my stuff?
Lockers are available at the Cabrillo Mole (where the boats arrive) and at Descanso Beach Club. Limited lockers are also available at the Casino Point Dive Park.
How do I find out more about camping?
For more information on camping, please visit https://www.catalinachamber.com/camping.
How late do most activities run?
Activity times on the Island vary based on the time of year and weather conditions.
Is there public transportation on the Island?
Public transportation is available in Avalon through the City’s Garibaldi Bus. Busses run approximately every 20 minutes on a fixed route. The fare is $2 per person, per ride (children under 5 are free). For more information, pick up a schedule at our Visitor’s Center on the Green Pier.
Where can I access WiFi?
WiFi is available through CatalinaWifi, starting at .99 cents per day, based on the package purchased. Additionally, most hotels provide WiFi for paying guests. Complimentary wired internet access is available at the Avalon Library.
Are there electric scooter or wheelchair rentals?
Wheelchair rentals are available at Brown’s Bikes on Pebbly Beach Road. Please call for availability – 310-510-0986.
Do any hotels allow smoking?
Some properties offer designated smoking areas. Please contact your chosen lodging property for more information.
What hotels/tours are handicap accessible?
Many of our lodging properties offer handicap accessible rooms. Please contact your chosen lodging property for more information. Some tours are handicap accessible – please inquire when purchasing tickets.
Are there public showers?
Public showers are available on Casino Way. Hours vary by season – please contact our Visitor’s Center on the Green Pier for current operating hours.
What is the water/drought situation?
Catalina Island is currently in Stage 1 water conservation. Southern California Edison is encouraging all residents, businesses and visitors to the island to continue their great conservation efforts. Please help us be “water wise”.