The 10 Best Things to Do in Catalina Island, United States

December 8, 2017 Cedrick Jardin

Discover the best top things to do in Catalina Island, United States including Catalina Island Conservancy, Catalina Island Museum, Catalina Island Casino, Catalina Island Casino Ballroom, Avalon Theater, Catalina Express, Airport in the Sky, Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden, Hermit Gulch Trail Loop, Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau.
Restaurants in Catalina Island

1. Catalina Island Conservancy

125 Claressa Ave, Avalon, Catalina Island, CA 90704 +1 310-510-2595
Excellent
85%
Good
12%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 138 reviews

Catalina Island Conservancy

Reviewed By Plumeria D - Santa Monica, CA

We did the Catalina Island Conservancy jeep tour, visited the Nature Center and botanic garden, Wrigley Monument. These folks are great stewards of the island's natural areas. They manage the trails, restore the island to it's natural state. I'm so impressed with their mission, I'm joining their organization when I'm through writing.

2. Catalina Island Museum

217 Metropole Avenue, Avalon, Catalina Island, CA 90704 +1 310-510-2414
Excellent
74%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 173 reviews

Catalina Island Museum

Located in the heart of Avalon, the Catalina Island Museum offers the best in art and history exhibitions, music and dance performances, lectures by guest speakers from all over the world, and the finest in silent, documentary and international film. Closed New Year's Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Reviewed By Plumeria D - Santa Monica, CA

This is a very nice museum where you'll learn a lot about this island's history: natural, Native American, and Hollywood-centric. The gift shop has an excellent number of Catalina island tiles for sale at prices comparable to the gift stores. The Chihuly glass light on the upper level was a surprise we could see from the road outside. I'd have given it 5 stars, but it was a tad pricey entrance, but I don't begrudge them, the museum is very well done.

3. Catalina Island Casino

1 Casino Way, Avalon, Catalina Island, CA 90704 +1 877-778-8322
Excellent
71%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 742 reviews

Catalina Island Casino

The iconic Catalina Casino epitomizes everything glamorous about Santa Catalina Island. On the lower level the building features extraordinary Art Deco murals and a classic 1929 pipe organ inside the Avalon Theatre, which still shows movies on its massive screen.The top level of this 12 story high architectural wonder features the beautiful, world-famous Casino Ballroom, a masterpiece of design and a long-standing venue for the world’s best musical performers and big bands. It is also a popular venue for weddings and special events. The only access to the building is through an exclusive Casino Tour offered through Discovery Tours. Once on the tour you’ll soon understand why many call this the most romantic place in Catalina.

Reviewed By stevie8 - Boston, Massachusetts

Do not miss your opportunity to visit the Casino. The theatre shows first-run movies, with a free organ concert on Friday and Saturday nights. The historic auditorium is gorgeous, featuring Art Deco murals depicting the history of California, and twinkling stars on the domed ceiling.

If you get a chance, take the "Casino By Twilight Tour" for the opportunity to tour the theatre and the world-famous Avalon Ballroom. We were lucky enough to have "Frankie, From Avalon" as our guide and it's clear he loves his job - and the Casino.

4. Catalina Island Casino Ballroom

1 Casino Way, Avalon, Catalina Island, CA 90704 +1 877-778-8322
Excellent
74%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 272 reviews

Catalina Island Casino Ballroom

Few words can describe the ambiance of the Catalina Casino: it epitomizes everything glamorous and romantic about Catalina Island. The one-of-a-kind venue is simply stunning inside, outside, and all around. If the meticulously decorated walls could talk, they’d tell countless stories of romance and celebration gathered from decades of memorable events. The immense, Deco-themed ballroom is large enough to contain weddings, large meetings or lectures or musical events. The Casino has retained its signature lavish style: a stunning medley of rose-hued walls, an arching, 50-foot ceiling with five Tiffany chandeliers, an elevated stage, raised seating areas surrounding the wooden dance floor, and a vintage full-service bar anchoring the back. A sweeping veranda surrounds the ballroom with stunning 360-degree views of Avalon Bay.

Reviewed By buffalojim67 - Lawrence, Kansas

The Catalina Island Casino Ballroom is an enjoyable stop and easy walk from downtown. It is interesting to learn the history of the building, the casino and the ballroom and to imagine the activities in its glory years.

5. Avalon Theater

1 Casino Way, Avalon, Catalina Island, CA +1 310-510-0179
Excellent
71%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 270 reviews

Avalon Theater

The Avalon Theatre is located in the lower level of the Catalina Casino building. It was built in 1929 as one of the first theaters designed for talking movies. The original Page organ still is played before the movies on Friday-Sunday nights. The theater features first-run movies, seats 1,184 people, is 138 feet across and 43 feet high. Art deco murals by John Gabriel Beckman (designed the artwork in the Grauman's Chinese Theater)adorn the walls and create a glamorous ambiance.

Reviewed By Lalaki-Papaki - Athens, Greece

This amazing theater is located in the Casino of Catalina Island. We had a tour in the casino, and had a chance to watch an informative documentary film about the Casino's history in this beautiful theater. The theater is still operating, hosting film screenings and...MoreDear Lalaki, Thank you for choosing the Casino Tour. We look forward to seeing you again soon. Sincerely, Andrew General Manager

6. Catalina Express

95 Berth, San Pedro, Catalina Island, CA 90731-3384 +1 800-481-3470
Excellent
62%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 287 reviews

Catalina Express

With 8 boats and up to 30 daily departures year-round from Long Beach, San Pedro and Dana Point, Catalina Express is the best way to get to Catalina Island. In about an hour, you could be hiking, biking, shopping, diving, snorkeling, fishing, dining, stand up paddling, kayaking, relaxing at a spa or kicking back at the beach club. Just 22 miles from LA, but a world of difference. (Don't forget to upgrade to the Commodore Lounge and skip the lines with priority check-in, express boarding, plus a complimentary cocktail or soft drink, and more. Just $15 each way.)

Reviewed By Hany G - Bakersfield, California

Catalina express is one way and the most popular way to get to Catalina island. We booked round trip online for Labor Day. We got our ship from Long Beach. On that day it was overcrowded, the parking lot was full and closed and we were asked to park somewhere else. We didn't know our way to get to our terminal.it was confusing and no signs, nobody to help. Eventually, we missed our ferry and we were scheduled for the following one.

7. Airport in the Sky

1 Airport Rod., Avalon, Catalina Island, CA 90704 +1 310-510-0143
Excellent
48%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
15%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 356 reviews

Airport in the Sky

The Airport in the Sky occupies a 1,602-foot-tall mountaintop at the center of the Catalina Island, 10 miles from the city of Avalon. It's a great destination by tour or shuttle bus, bicycle, on foot whether hiking the Trans Catalina Trail or walking over from Black Jack, or of course, via private or chartered small plane. Its single 3,250-foot-long runway was constructed by blasting and leveling two adjacent peaks, then using the resulting debris to fill in the gaps.The image is of a T-34 Beechcraft that flew in to participate in one of the Airport in the Sky's monthly Aeroclub Fly-In Days.

Reviewed By WestwoodTrekker - LA

We rode the conservancy van from Avalon plaza to get up here. The tickets can be purchased at the Catalina Conservancy or online for about $32 r/t. We were lucky to see several restored WWII planes fly into the airport while we were there. We didn't see any bison, but others said they did on the van ride before us. There's a little gift shop and cafe at the airport and a nice trail around the area.

8. Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden

125 Clarissa Ave., Avalon, Catalina Island, CA 90704 +1 310-510-2897
Excellent
35%
Good
41%
Satisfactory
21%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 561 reviews

Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden

The Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden is located at the top of Avalon Canyon - just a short 30 minute stroll up from town! The Garden features a collection of native plants from both Catalina Island, and the surrounding Channel Islands. The Garden also features a collection of succulents from around the world. The park is also home to the Wrigley Memorial. This iconic island landmark was built in 1934 in honor of Catalina Island patron William Wrigley Jr. The unique structure incorporates a variety of native rock and stone, as well as the famed "Catalina tile."

Reviewed By Plumeria D - Santa Monica, CA

We walked from Avalon to the garden, I recommend. First, you pass the garden mini-golf, so cute! Next, stop at the Nature Center, learn a bit about what you will see, get a water here, no gift shop at the garden. The garden is California natives, and they bloom between February and June, so if you're here in summer, don't expect a lot of flowers. The biggest feature, and one that's well worth exploring, is the Wrigley Memorial. Beautiful tiles, views, everything about it is beautiful. Daughter and I really enjoyed exploring this memorial and garden. Great morning.

9. Hermit Gulch Trail Loop

Avalon Canyon Road, Avalon, Catalina Island, CA
Excellent
56%
Good
38%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 59 reviews

Hermit Gulch Trail Loop

Reviewed By Nas S - Long Beach, California

We planned well ahead to get to Avalon to take the trail before the sun rose and it was worth every minute. It was lovely to walk in the clouds. Once the clouds settled, you have beautiful views of Avalon and the ocean.

10. Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau

1 Green Pleasure Pier, Avalon, Catalina Island, CA 90704 +1 310-510-1520
Excellent
59%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
4%
Terrible
4%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 102 reviews

Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau

Offers information on this popular tourist destination. Open 364 days a year and ready to assist with accommodations, events and things to do on Catalina Island.

Reviewed By Sugarmillgirl - Thomasville

I went here to find out the time and location to catch the new electric bus. The person behind the counter had no knowledge and looked it up on the computer, which was not problem, but even so her information was so sketchy we decided to forget it.

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