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The Top 5 Things to Do on Catalina Island

The Top 5 Things to Do on Catalina Island

Discover Catalina Island's top attractions from glass-bottom boat rides to thrilling zip lines. Dive into adventure and relaxation. Team


2 min read

September 26, 2023

Situated 22 miles off the coast of Southern California lies Catalina Island, a picturesque oasis that offers a unique blend of laid-back vibes and adventurous pursuits. With its turquoise waters, rugged cliffs, and colorful marine life, this gem in the Channel Islands attracts visitors from all walks of life, and it's not hard to see why. If you're considering a trip, here are the top five activities to put on your Catalina Island bucket list.

Take a Ride on the Glass-Bottom Boat

One of the most iconic experiences Catalina Island offers is the opportunity to witness its vibrant marine life without having to get wet. Aboard a glass-bottom boat, visitors can marvel at kelp forests, colorful schools of fish, and even the occasional graceful stingray. This excursion is both educational and mesmerizing, making it a hit among families and nature enthusiasts alike.

Explore the Historic Casino Building

Contrary to its name, the Catalina Casino is not a gambling venue. This majestic building, dating back to 1929, has been a focal point of the island's entertainment scene. The Casino boasts a beautifully preserved movie theater and the grand Avalon Ballroom. Guided tours are available, allowing visitors to dive deep into the history and architecture of the iconic structure. Don't miss the breathtaking 360-degree views of Avalon Harbor from the Romance Promenade.

Hike the Trans-Catalina Trail

If you're itching to immerse yourself in nature, look no further than the Trans-Catalina Trail. Stretching for around 38.5 miles, this trail provides hikers with an unforgettable journey across the island. From scenic ridges to serene campgrounds, this hike offers a bit of everything. It can be challenging, so ensure you're prepared with adequate provisions. If you're not up for the entire trek, there are shorter trails to explore, each offering its own slice of Catalina's natural beauty.

Embark on a Zip Line Adventure

For thrill-seekers, Catalina Island's zip line eco tour offers a heart-pounding way to take in the views. Starting from a point 600 feet above sea level, participants can soar over canyons and through forests at speeds of up to 35 mph. Along the way, guides share fascinating tidbits about the island's ecology and history. It's an adrenaline-packed way to appreciate Catalina's breathtaking landscapes.

Indulge in Water Activities at Descanso Beach

If relaxation is what you seek, Descanso Beach has you covered. Here, visitors can lounge on the sandy shores with a drink in hand or dive into a plethora of water-based activities. From paddleboarding and snorkeling to kayaking, there's no shortage of ways to immerse oneself in the crystal-clear waters. The vibrant ambiance, with live music and beach parties, ensures that there's never a dull moment.

In conclusion, Catalina Island is a versatile destination that caters to both relaxation seekers and adrenaline junkies. Its rich history, stunning landscapes, and array of activities make it a must-visit spot for anyone venturing to Southern California. Whether you're gazing at marine life from a glass-bottom boat, hiking across rugged terrains, or simply soaking up the sun at Descanso Beach Club, Catalina promises an experience that you'll cherish forever.

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