Adventure Time: Catalina Island, California [Places to Visit in California]


Catalina Island is a small getaway off the coast of Southern California. It was my first time there and I would definitely recommend it as a short trip! We stayed in Avalon which is a popular destination on the island.


  • Travel:
    • We traveled to the island by boat. The Catalina Express from the Long Beach port to Avalon was easy to book and very comfortable. For those who get seasick, I recommend taking nausea medicine before you get on the boat. I only felt a little “off” when I decided to read during the short ride.
  • Stay:
    • We stayed at the Hermosa Hotel. The island is limited in hotel space so it would be best to book as early as possible. By the time we had booked, there were only a few hotels left to choose from.
      • Cute little hotel that is less than a five-minute walk from the beach
      • We stayed in a suite that had three bedrooms, a living room, and a kitchen
  • Eats:
  • Activities:
    • Enjoy the beach – or what little of it there is! There are a couple of beaches that you can relax at. There is limited space at the beach so get there early or go later in the evening when people are getting ready for dinner.
      • South Beach
        • Access to water
      • Step Beach
        • No access to water
      • **Tips**
        • Get to the beach early, there is limited beach in the area
        • You can rent umbrellas and beach gear from Green Pleasure Pier
    • Snorkeling
      • Snorkeling was so much fun here. I usually don’t like going into the ocean for the most part because the water isn’t clear but I made an exception this time. The water around Catalina is clear and beautiful! We rented snorkeling gear locally from a little shop along the main road. I didn’t get a wetsuit since the water is warmer in the summer (in the low 70s). The fish were beautiful! My favorite was the Garibaldi – the state fish. It’s essentially a giant gold-fish! Can’t go wrong with that.
      • Locations to snorkel:
        • Lover’s Cove
          • I loved snorkeling here since there was a pebble beach to set your stuff on and it was easy to get into the water
          • There were fewer people here
          • Be wary of the pebble beach. The pebbles can start to hurt your feet and getting out of the water means waves will push you against them. I had a few bruises on my legs from that.
        • Casino Point Dive Park
          • I didn’t snorkel here because there were a lot of people and the concrete steps went straight into the ocean
          • There was no beach leading into the water
        • **Tips**
          • Buy a bag of frozen peas to feed the beautiful fish
            • Locals told us that the fish are accustomed to being fed
            • I swam out with a handful of peas and the fish were not shy at all!


Overall, Catalina Island was a cute place to explore for a couple of days. Personally, I would not have stayed more than four days because there are only so many places for you to go. The island is a great way to feel like you are vacationing far away but only a short distance off the coast of California.