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Catalina Island, California

Catalina Island, California

Catalina Island, California is a beautiful and unique destination located off the coast of Los Angeles. It is a popular tourist destination due to its stunning beaches, crystal clear waters, and diverse wildlife. The island is home to a variety of activities, including snorkeling, kayaking, and fishing. There are also plenty of hiking trails, as well as a variety of restaurants and shops. The island is also home to the Catalina Island Conservancy, which works to protect the island's natural beauty and wildlife. Visitors can also take a tour of the island's historic sites, such as the Catalina Casino and the Wrigley Memorial & Botanical Garden. With its stunning scenery and diverse activities, Catalina Island is a great destination for a relaxing getaway.

What to do in Catalina Island, California Cruise Port

Catalina Island, California is known for its stunning natural beauty and its wide range of activities. Visitors can explore the island's rugged terrain on foot, by bike, or by boat. There are plenty of opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and fishing. The island also offers a variety of cultural attractions, including art galleries, museums, and live music venues. For those looking for a more relaxed experience, there are plenty of restaurants, cafes, and shops to explore. No matter what type of experience you are looking for, Catalina Island has something for everyone.
Hiking

Hiking

Hiking is another popular activity for cruise passengers visiting Catalina Island, California. The island is home to a variety of trails, ranging from easy to challenging, with stunning views of the ocean and the surrounding landscape. There are several guided hikes available, which provide an experienced guide to help you explore the island's trails and learn about the local flora and fauna.

Get Active

Get Active

This might not be the most popular option, given you’re on vacation. But some people like to earn that buffet. Catalina Island offers a variety of options to get up and moving. You can hike, swim, or golf. Or, just walk the streets. The town is relatively small, but great for stretching your legs and sightseeing for a few hours

Dive or Snorkel

Dive or Snorkel

Clear waters offer a great opportunity to dive or snorkel during your visit. Lover’s Cove and Descanso Beach are popular areas to jump in nearby Catalina Island Cruise Port. You can also venture to the other side of the island to Two Harbors. It’s been known to offer some of the world’s best scuba and was voted “World’s Healthiest Marine Environment” by Scuba Diving Magazine.

Explore Nature

Explore Nature

The island offers some great options to explore nature. You’ll find amazing hikes winding you up the steep mountain face and rewarding you with spectacular views of the harbor. To see more of the island, we recommend exploring via jeep. You’ll be in port for a short amount of time so will need some wheels to get deep enough to see eagles, bison, fox, and more. We recommend the Safari Island Adventure Tour. Or, if looking to get the blood pressure up a bit, check out Catalina Island’s natural beauty from above. The Zip Line Eco Tour includes six “zips” as you learn about the surrounding wildlife and ecosystem.

Boat Tours

Boat Tours

Trade down your massive cruise ship for a much smaller, more nimble boat. That will allow you to get up close and explore Catalina Island in all its glory. You’ll have a few options to get out on the water, and the best choice will depend on your priorities. For a thrill, check out the Ocean Runner Adventure. For an Undersea Tour, board the Semi-Sub. To see flying fish, here’s your best option. And for a stiff drink with a view, this shore tour is your best bet.

Historical Sites

Historical Sites

Catalina Island was opened for commercial activity in the late 1800’s and has been a mecca for celebrities and high society folk ever since. A majority stake of the island was purchased by William Wrigley (chewing gum magnate and Chicago Cubs owner) and multiple landmarks are still on display in the city center of Avalon. Some of these include the Wrigley Memorial, Chimes Tower, and Casino (not for gambling but for performances). All are in great shape and worth a visit while in port

Kayaking

Kayaking

Kayaking is a great way to explore the waters around Catalina Island, California. There are several kayaking tours available, which provide all the necessary equipment and a knowledgeable guide to help you explore the island's coves and bays. Kayaking is a great way to get up close and personal with the island's marine life, and the views of the coastline are simply breathtaking.

The Island's Unique WildlifeThe Island's Unique WildlifeCatalina Island is home to a variety of unique wildlife, including the Catalina Island fox, the bald eagle, and the island scrub jay. The island is also home to a variety of marine life, including sea lions, dolphins, and whales. The island is a popular destination for scuba divers and snorkelers, who can explore the island's vibrant coral reefs and kelp forests.

Shopping near Catalina Island, California Cruise Port

Catalina Island, California is known for its unique boutiques and specialty shops. The island is home to a variety of stores offering everything from souvenirs and clothing to jewelry and art. There are also several galleries and antique stores, as well as a few wineries and tasting rooms.
Catalina Island Visitor Center

Catalina Island Visitor Center

The Catalina Island Visitor Center is the perfect place to find souvenirs from your cruise. Located just a few blocks from the cruise port, the center offers a wide selection of items, including apparel, jewelry, books, and more. The center also has a variety of local art and crafts, as well as a selection of souvenirs from the island's history. The friendly staff is always willing to help you find the perfect item to take home with you.

Catalina Island Company

Catalina Island Company

The Catalina Island Company is a great place to find souvenirs from your cruise. Located just a few blocks from the cruise port, the store offers a wide selection of items, including apparel, jewelry, books, and more. The store also has a variety of local art and crafts, as well as a selection of souvenirs from the island's history. The friendly staff is always willing to help you find the perfect item to take home with you.

Catalina Island Museum Gift Shop

Catalina Island Museum Gift Shop

The Catalina Island Museum Gift Shop is the perfect place to find souvenirs from your cruise. Located just a few blocks from the cruise port, the shop offers a wide selection of unique items, including books, jewelry, apparel, and more. The shop also has a variety of local art and crafts, as well as a selection of souvenirs from the island's history. The friendly staff is always willing to help you find the perfect item to take home with you.

Beaches in Catalina Island, California

The beaches near Catalina Island, California cruise port are some of the most beautiful in the world. The crystal clear waters of the Pacific Ocean provide a stunning backdrop for a variety of activities, from swimming and snorkeling to kayaking and paddle boarding. The beaches are also great for sunbathing, beachcombing, and simply relaxing. The most popular beaches are Descanso Beach, Hamilton Cove Beach, and Little Harbor Beach. Descanso Beach is a great spot for swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking, while Hamilton Cove Beach is a great spot for sunbathing and beachcombing. Little Harbor Beach is a great spot for swimming, snorkeling, and paddle boarding. All of these beaches offer stunning views of the island and the surrounding ocean.
Two Harbors Beach

Two Harbors Beach

Located on the opposite side of the island, Two Harbors features a narrow, sandy beach far from the cruise ship crowds. Here you’ll find a visitor center where you can rent all kinds of water activities including snorkels, paddle boards, boats, kayaks, mountain bikes, fishing poles, scuba gear, volleyballs, and more. Conveniently, Two Harbors also has a restaurant, bar, and store. Once here, you’ll have everything you need for a great day at Catalina. And if you miss your ship, they even have campgrounds available. Let’s hope that’s not necessary.

Shark Harbor Beach

Shark Harbor Beach

Shark Harbor Beach is a popular beach located on the west side of Catalina Island, California. It is a great spot for swimming, sunbathing, and beach volleyball. The beach is also home to a variety of restaurants and shops, making it a great place to spend the day. There are also plenty of activities to do, such as kayaking, snorkeling, and parasailing.

Crescent Beach

Crescent Beach

This is the closest beach to Green Pleasure Pier (your Catalina Island Cruise Terminal). You’ll see it immediately when tendering to port and as soon as you walk away from the terminal. The smaller beach is fine to grab some sun in between other events. The adjoining pier is where you’ll ship off for Submarine tours and Jet boats. So if killing time, it’s a great option. But, if looking for a beach day we’d recommend venturing a bit further from port.

Little Harbor Beach

Little Harbor Beach

Little Harbor Beach is a beautiful beach located on the east side of Catalina Island, California. It is a great spot for swimming, sunbathing, and beach volleyball. The beach is also home to a variety of restaurants and shops, making it a great place to spend the day. There are also plenty of activities to do, such as kayaking, snorkeling, and parasailing.

Descanso Beach

Descanso Beach

Descanso Beach is a popular beach located on Catalina Island, California. It is a great spot for swimming, sunbathing, and beach volleyball. The beach is also home to a variety of restaurants and shops, making it a great place to spend the day. There are also plenty of activities to do, such as kayaking, snorkeling, and parasailing.

Descanso Beach Club

Descanso Beach Club

This beach is the place to go for some action. Descanso Beach Club offers cabanas and other amenities for rent (kayaks, snorkels, paddle boards, etc). They also charge a small fee to use their beach area. But, it’s worth it if staying local and looking for your best beach option close to port. The walk from your terminal is about one-half mile, so budget 20 minutes or so. There’s also a great bar at the top of the beach, perfect for cooling down and people watching.

The Island's Native NameThe Island's Native NameCatalina Island, located off the coast of Southern California, was originally known as Pimu to the Native American Tongva people who lived on the island for thousands of years. The name Pimu translates to “the high place” in the Tongva language, and the island was a sacred place for the Tongva people.

Attractions in Catalina Island, California

Catalina Island is a popular cruise port destination in California. Visitors can explore the island's many beaches, coves, and bays. There are plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, kayaking, and snorkeling. Shopping and dining are also popular activities, with a variety of local restaurants and boutiques. Visitors can also take a tour of the island's historic sites and landmarks, or take a glass-bottom boat tour to view the island's marine life. There are also plenty of opportunities for wildlife viewing, with a variety of birds, dolphins, and sea lions. No matter what your interests, Catalina Island has something for everyone.
Golf

Golf

Surprisingly, golf is an option at this very small cruise port. This narrow, long course meanders through the sweeping canyons and provides fantastic views. The course was originally built with just three holes and expanded since the early 1900’s. Tiger Woods actually played here multiple times when young. Greens fees are relatively inexpensive at just $40 for 9 holes. Make sure to book this excursion well in advance to reserve a spot during the short time you’ll be visiting.

Catalina Island Casino

Catalina Island Casino

You won’t get rich here, but you may get fulfilled. This breathtaking, 12-story structure is the backdrop of Catalina Island and the main focus when capturing the coastline on camera. Built in the early 1900’s, the entertainment venue once featured major acts like Duke Ellington and benny Goodman. Today, it plays host to large events like the Jazz Festival and fancy weddings. Within the structure, you’ll also find a 1,200 person movie theater and the Catalina Island Museum.

Two Harbors

Two Harbors

Situated on Catalina’s west side, Two Harbors serves as a serene getaway from the action back near Catalina Cruise Port. For those looking to sweat a little, rent some mountain bikes, kayaks, or paddle boards from Visitor Services. If you make your way to the top, you’ll find spectacular views of both sides of the island. Once you get back down, grab some snorkeling gear and get ready for some of the best underwater views in the world. Two Harbors is roughly 20 miles from port.

Jeep Island Tour

Jeep Island Tour

Just outside Catalina’s main city of Avalon, you’ll find a landscape that looks like the backdrop for Jurassic Park. And like the characters in the movie, you’ll want to tour via jeep. Fortunately, the only animals that can eat you are the Bison. Even more fortunately, they prefer grass to humans. This is the best way to see most of the island and the amazing views it offers.

Zipline

Zipline

Catalina Zip Line Eco Tour is an amazing option while in port. You’ll soar 600 feet above canyons and vast swaths of nature as you get the aerial tour of Catalina Island. On this two-hour excursion, you’ll learn about the local ecology in between your five breathtaking zips. The tour takes place just above the Descanso Beach area, a great place to spend some time before or after your zipline adventure. You can find pricing and availability for the Zip Line Eco Tour here.

Catalina Island, California cruise port map

Catalina Island, California is located off the coast of Los Angeles in the Pacific Ocean. The island is approximately 22 miles south-southwest of Los Angeles and is accessible by ferry, helicopter, or private boat. The Catalina Island cruise port is located in the city of Avalon, which is the only incorporated city on the island. The port is located on the east side of the island, near the center of Avalon Bay.
The Island's Movie HistoryThe Island's Movie HistoryCatalina Island has been featured in many movies and television shows over the years. Some of the most famous films include 'Gidget Goes Hawaiian' (1961), 'The Island of Dr. Moreau' (1977), 'The Rock' (1996), 'Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End' (2007), and 'Aquaman' (2018). The island has also been featured in television shows such as 'The Love Boat' and 'Gilligan's Island'.

Catalina Island, California Cruise Port Terminals

Cruise ships typically dock at the Catalina Island Cruise Terminal in Avalon, California.
Two Harbors Cruise Ship Terminal

Two Harbors Cruise Ship Terminal

Two Harbors Cruise Ship Terminal is located in the small village of Two Harbors, located on the western side of Catalina Island. The terminal is a popular port of call for cruise ships, offering a variety of shore excursions and activities for passengers to enjoy. The terminal is equipped with a full-service restaurant, a gift shop, and a lounge area. It also offers a variety of water sports and activities, including kayaking, snorkeling, and fishing.

Green Pleasure Pier

Green Pleasure Pier

Green Pleasure Pier is the terminal at which your tender will arrive. You’ll be among other water taxis, fishing charters and ferries at this smaller dock. Conveniently, Downtown Avalon (Catalina’s only city) is a five minute walk from your terminal. On foot, you can get to the clear other side of the city and back in roughly an hour or two. For a quicker mode of transportation, jump on one of the golf cart taxis you’ll see frequently zipping around Catalina.

Avalon Cruise Ship Terminal

Avalon Cruise Ship Terminal

Avalon Cruise Ship Terminal is the main cruise ship terminal in Catalina Island, California. It is located in the heart of Avalon, the island's main city, and is the most popular port of call for cruise ships. The terminal is equipped with a variety of amenities, including a full-service restaurant, a gift shop, and a lounge area. It also offers a variety of shore excursions and activities for passengers to enjoy.

Isthmus Cruise Ship Terminal

Isthmus Cruise Ship Terminal

Isthmus Cruise Ship Terminal is located in the small village of Two Harbors, located on the western side of Catalina Island. The terminal is a popular port of call for cruise ships, offering a variety of shore excursions and activities for passengers to enjoy. The terminal is equipped with a full-service restaurant, a gift shop, and a lounge area. It also offers a variety of water sports and activities, including kayaking, snorkeling, and fishing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Catalina Island, California a good cruise port?

Yes, Catalina Island, California is a great cruise port. It offers a variety of activities, including snorkeling, kayaking, and hiking. There are also plenty of restaurants and shops to explore. The island is also known for its beautiful beaches and stunning views.

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