The best time to visit Catalina Island is for sure in the spring. All the flowers are in bloom and the whole island is just covered in the most beautiful wild flowers. My husband and I visited Catalina Island In April for his birthday and we had such a fantastic time camping on a stunning ocean side spot. A great thing about going to Catalina is that the Catalina Express offers a free ride if you travel on your birthday day. I did this with my husband for my birthday 2 years ago and since then I have been dying to return back to this special island.
There is truly nothing like Catalina Island located just 22 miles off the coast of Southern California. Arriving to the island the views are just breath taking. It’s as if you’ve pulled up to the Amalfi Coast in Italy. There are three ports to depart from: one is in Long Beach, second is in San Pedro and lastly from Dana Point. The Long Beach boat takes less time, approximately an hour, and the San Pedro boat takes about 90 minutes to get to Avalon. Our routine is to drive to the San Pedro boat terminal and park our car in the long term parking lot right in front of the terminal.
There are a number of restaurants and hotels on the Avalon side of the island. I would suggest this spot to anyone looking to relax and lay out at the Descanso Beach Club and discover the iconic Catalina Island Casino. For those of you looking to camp and I highly suggest this as an option for your stay on Catalina Island; Two Harbors and Little Harbor offer great campsites equipped with showers and ocean front views. There are many trails to go on a good hike on the island or you can even hike the whole island if you’re feeling adventurous. The spot we camped at on the Two Harbors Campground was site TH11 and it was just absolutely beautiful. The pictures don’t do justice to how truly stunning this spot is. For those of you who are first time campers, this spot is quite easy to camp at. There are showers, chemical toilets, fresh water, BBQ/ fire pit, picnic tables and camping equipment rentals available to make your stay relaxing. There’s also a general store with drinks and snacks and a restaurant just a short walk from the camp spot. So if you’re not in the mood for cooking you could eat at the restaurant.
One of the great things about the island is the roaming Bison. Back in the 20’s the island was used as a location to film many movies in the early Hollywood days. One movie that was filmed there brought some bison to the Island and after they were done filming they left them on the Island. Now there’s about 150 bison that can be seen roaming in the interior of the island. Another fascinating bit of information is that in the 70’s Wrigley’s deeded 88% of the Island to the Catalina Island Conservancy so parts of the island remain untouched and wild. I just love that. Go Wrigley’s.
Catalina Island has so much to offer all types of visitors. I fall more and more in love with the island every time I go there. It’s truly magical and so worth a visit.