Isthmus Cove (leeward side) and Catalina Harbor (windward side) are separated by a half mile of land or isthmus. The isthmus area was later named Two Harbors.
Two Harbors, Catalina's West End
Two Harbors is a rustic seaside village located at the isthmus of Catalina Island, just 20 miles off the coast of Southern California. Two Harbors gets its name from the two harbors in the town, Isthmus Cove and Catalina Harbor. The harbors are separated by Catalina’s narrowest strip of land, which is only a half mile wide. Two Harbors is 20 miles from Avalon. Transportation from Avalon is offered through the Safari Bus. Guests visiting from the mainland can arrive via high-speed ferry from San Pedro, CA. Many visitors to Two Harbors sail over in a private boat and moor up at one of our 700 moorings.
Two Harbors offers recreational opportunities that include hiking, snorkeling and scuba diving in crystal clear water, ocean kayaking, mountain biking, seaside camping, pleasure boating or just plain relaxing on a sandy beach. Guest accommodations at Two Harbors include the Banning House Lodge, a 12 room Bed and Breakfast, two oceanview cottages, camping cabins, as well as four campgrounds, each offering a unique outdoor experience. Dining options include the Harbor Reef Restaurant & Saloon, The West End Galley snack shop, and General Store Deli. Other services include the Safari Bus island transportation and tours, Visitors Service Center and catering and special event services. Two Harbors is host to a variety of annual events year-round. We offer an extensive Harbor and Mooring operation which includes Harbor Patrol, Shoreboat Service, Dive Shop with air fill station and Fuel Dock services for boaters.
The Two Harbors area is rich in history. It was first inhabited by Native American Indians who lived by the sea and traded with mainland Indians. Spanish explorers, fur traders and even pirates and smugglers visited Two Harbors throughout the years. During the Civil War, a unit of the Union Army was stationed here. Their barracks building still stands in testament to their brief stay. Many Hollywood movie studios used the Two Harbors area as a “ South Seas” backdrop to film classics, one being “ Mutiny on The Bounty."
You may notice some buffalo (American Bison) wandering about in Two Harbors. In 1924, 14 buffalo were transported to Catalina Island for use in filming the motion picture, "The Vanishing American," Zane Grey’s Western tale. After the picture was completed, William Wrigley, Jr. agreed that the buffalo could remain on Catalina. Although the population has reached as many as 600 bison, there are now approximately 150 on the Island roaming free and thriving in a natural environment. The herd is maintained and monitored by the Catalina Island Conservancy. Please do not approach the buffalo.
We look forward to seeing you in the beautiful and relaxed village of Two Harbors, Catalina Island’s West End.