Whether you have kids or are just a kid at heart, you’ll love the adventure and excitement of a Catalina Island escape. The anticipation begins when you board the Catalina Express in Long Beach, San Pedro, or Dana Point, or the Catalina Flyer in Newport Beach for a high-speed cruise to this beautiful island paradise just off the SoCal coast. Keep an eye out for pods of dolphins and spouting whales on the way over. As you get close to the port of Avalon, head up top for fresh sea air, warm sunshine and incredible views of the iconic Casino.
Fuel Up for Island Fun
If you come over in the morning, stop by Avalon Grille at the corner of Crescent and Catalina for their Breakfast Buffet by the Bay. It runs from 7 to 10:30 a.m. and offers a great selection of family favorites to help you fuel up for your island adventures. Bigger kids can enjoy Bloody Marys, Marias and Caesars, as well as Morning Mimosas with your choice of juice. For a quick, fresh-and-go breakfast option, stop by Bistro at the Atwater in Shops at the Atwater off Sumner Avenue.
Find Adventure on Land & Sea
Once you’re full and ready for fun, check out one or more of Catalina Island Company’s exciting land and sea tours. A good place to start is on the top-rated Zip Line Eco Tour. This 2-hour bucket-list adventure sends you soaring over scenic Descanso Canyon and through the trees on five thrilling lines at speeds of up to 45 mph. And the views are amazing.
Another favorite is the Bison Expedition, where you climb aboard a biofuel Hummer that runs on recycled vegetable oil and head off into the island’s rugged interior in search of Catalina’s world-famous American Bison. It’s a unique adventure you’ll only find on Catalina and a great way to experience the pristine beauty of this island paradise.
Both the Undersea Expedition and the Glass Bottom Boat Voyage, which has been mesmerizing kids and adults for well over a century, offer eye-opening journeys into Lover’s Cover Marine Preserve, where colorful fish and other marine creatures swim among swaying sea grass and giant stands of kelp.
Tickets to more than a dozen land & sea tours and activities are available at the Tour Plaza, Green Pier, Catalina Casino or the Ferry Terminal. You can save 15% on adult tickets to most of these tours if you book online more than seven days in advance at VisitCatalinaIsland.com.
If you’re looking for something a little more relaxed that’ll keep you and the kids entertained for hours, you can’t go wrong with a fun round of miniature golf at Golf Gardens next to the Tour Plaza. Regarded by mini golf enthusiast as one of the most beautiful and challenging courses in the world, Golf Gardens has been a much-loved Avalon attraction for nearly 50 years.
Kick Back at the Beach
By this time, you’ll probably be thinking about lunch. While there are a lot of options in downtown Avalon, it’s hard to beat the beverages, beach bites and beautiful ocean views at Descanso Beach Club. It’s just a short stroll past the Casino, and you can rent a cabana or chaise lounges and relax on the sand while the kids frolic in the calm, clear waters of Descanso Cove.
Stay and Play Awhile
With so much to see and do on Catalina Island, and with Spring Break just around the corner, you might want to book Catalina Island Company’s Boat's on Us package that includes round trip ferry for two when you stay two nights midweek at Hotel Atwater or Pavilion Hotel! It's a convenient and cost-effective way for families to enjoy an extended getaway on California’s Island Escape™