Day Trip to Catalina
Southern California residents need not look any further for the perfect destination for a weekend, or even one day trip to Catalina Island. The high speed ferries from Long Beach, Newport Beach and Dana Point can get you across the channel in as little as sixty minutes!
Once you arrive at the quaint and picturesque island town of Avalon you can choose from a variety of activities, attractions, access to beautiful beaches and dive locations, as well as a beautiful downtown boardwalk with shops, cafes and restaurants to unwind after an afternoon exploring the natural beauty of Catalina.
A day trip to Catalina is very feasible, just drop your car at the secured parking structure beside the ferry terminal, and enjoy a day of care free fun snorkeling, kayaking, or just lounging on one of the most famous beaches in southern California.
Things to do in Avalon
As small as this island town of under four thousand residents is, there are plenty of exciting things to do in Avalon. With protected marine estuaries to snorkel and dive in, boat rentals to explore near by coves, beautiful beaches for sun bathing and swimming in the ocean, and plenty of night attractions as well, such as the single cinema movie theatre at the casino, and several well known pubs, clubs and world class restaurants with spectacular island coastal views.
Rent a golf cart for the day and go see even more of the local attractions such as the Wrigley Memorial Botanical Gardens, the Wrigley mansion (now called the Inn at Mt Ada), or visit the little bit more secluded Descanso Beach and club.
There are a wide range of hotels in Avalon to accommodate everything from the weekend warrior coming to release some steam and enjoy the resort-like night life of Avalon, the serious nature enthusiast, or the love-struck couple looking for a romantic island escape.
Affordable Marine Science Camps on Catalina for Schools
Catalina island offers the most memorable and inspiring outdoor education experiences for schools and private academic groups. The island is one of the largest privately owned and operated nature conservation in the world, and is home to many species not found anywhere else in the world, such as the island fox.
Bringing your school group to Catalina Island gives them the chance to be completely immersed in the world of natural science, where they can discover a personal love for the environment through hands on involvement.
People whom have attended camp at Catalina Island frequently mention it as one of, if not the most memorable and life-changing academic event of their youth.
Mountain and Sea Adventures (MSA) offers school groups the opportunity to come to Catalina Island for five day, four day, three day or even two day programs for schools on a very strict budget. MSA is committed to keeping prices affordable while providing the highest quality marine science camps on Catalina Island.
Family Camps and Group Retreats to Catalina
Bringing your family to Catalina for a short two or three day adventurous program is an awesome way to enjoy quality time together, while enjoying one of the most beautiful and valuable resources in California and making memories you’ll cherish for a lifetime.
Check out our family camp program information for in depth details on all that our family camp and group retreats to Catalina have to offer!
Campgrounds on Catalina Island
Catalina island is an outdoor enthusiasts dream come true. You can access a wide variety of campgrounds. Stay at Hermit Gulch, just outside of Avalon and accessible to all the conveniences that the city has to offer. Or explore the rustic and extremely remote west end, like Parsons Landing, where facilities are at their most basic!
Two Harbors is a nice compromise between too rustic and too urban. Located at the isthmus, the island paradise village of Two Harbors has a population of less than three hundred people, with one restaurant/bar, a general store, fishing and dive shop and a visitors center. The campground is just outside the village, a short walking distance, and has it’s own beach called little fisherman’s cove at the foot of the campground.
Summer camp on Catalina Island is the highlight of all those whom attend. The magic of Catalina comes alive the most during this season, when kids and teens form bands and explore the natural beauty of all the various coves, beaches, trails and valleys that the island has to offer.
Every summer MSA hosts four to six weeks of summer camp on Catalina Island aboard the 112 foot marine research vessel, The Wilderness Explorer. Exploring the best snorkeling locations around the island, surf spots and remote coves to play and learn in.
Mountain Biking and Backpacking Catalina
Mountain biking on Catalina Island is possible, you can either bring your own bike or rent one in either Two Harbors or Avalon. Anyone can ride within city limits of Avalon and two Harbors, but if you want to get out into the interior of the island on the many beautiful trails you will need a permit, which is available to members of the Catalina Island Conservancy.
Backpackers will require a permit, as well, which is easily available at the visitors center at Two Harbors, the Island Plaza in Avalon, or at Hermit Gulch Campground. You should be aware there are not electrical hook ups at any of the campsites and the Catalina Island Conservancy enforces strict fire precautions.
Catalina Island has more to offer to such a wide demographic of people than possible anywhere else in California. You are sure to find what you were looking for the moment you arrive, and can enjoy the comfort of being on a remote island paradise, yet without really having to leave town!