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  • Sherri Walker Cline

5 Catalina Attractions That Aren't In Avalon -- And How to Get There

When you pull into Avalon by boat, there’s no mistaking the major landmark building that greets you: the Catalina Casino. The Casino never was a place for gambling, but it has been a place for dancing, movies, music, and plenty of celebrations. Other main attractions in Avalon include the Green Pier with all of its boating, fishing, and water fun, Front Street with its shops, bars, and restaurants, Avalon’s local beaches, and the island golf course. However, it’s interesting to note that Avalon occupies an area of just 7.66 square miles, while Catalina Island has a total area of almost 75 square miles. That said, there is so much more to explore all over Catalina, and there are some fun ways to see all the sights. Read on to learn about 5 Catalina attractions that aren’t in Avalon—and how to get there.

Catalina Attractions -- Airport in the Sky


Airport in the Sky—In 1946, the Airport in the Sky opened just 10 miles outside of Avalon. The runway sits 1602 feet above sea level. While it’s a marvel to watch planes take off and land here, there’s even more to do. The Airport in the Sky’s restaurant, DC-3 Café, is famous for its delicious cookies and buffalo burgers. There’s also a gift shop and a nature center at this destination. To get to the Airport in the Sky, you can book a private shuttle with Catalina Taxi and Tours. A ride to the airport will take about 30 minutes, and it’s the perfect place to spend a few hours.


Two Harbors—If you’re looking for a great all-day adventure on the island, travel to Two Harbors on the West End of Catalina. Also known as the Isthmus, this is a unique island village that offers plenty of activities and adventures. There are waters to swim, snorkel, dive, kayak, paddle, boat, and fish in, and there are trails to hike too. When you need some refreshments, visit Harbor Sands or Harbor Reef for local beachside dining. Take a trip to Two Harbors with Catalina Taxi and Tours on a private shuttle; the ride will be about an hour and twenty minutes, and you’ll get to see so much of the island’s untouched interior on the way.

Catalina Attractions -- The Summit


The Summit—You can’t get a full appreciation for the beautiful vistas of Avalon if you don’t visit the spot known as The Summit. Just a 15-minute ride from downtown Avalon, this viewpoint offers spectacular views of Catalina—and on a clear day—views of the mainland. A favorite way to explore this stop, which sits 1500 feet above sea level, is to take a Catalina Taxi and Tour ride up, then make your way back down to Avalon by foot.


Haypress—An idyllic spot that is away from all the crowds in Avalon is local favorite: Haypress. This is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic with friends and family. If you take a Catalina Taxi and Tour ride to Haypress, you can even add in a stop at the Summit for some amazing views on the way. Add on a catered picnic lunch to your Haypress tour so that once you’re at your destination, you can relax and enjoy. Have the kids play at the park’s playground, and take a leisurely hike around the nearby pond. You might even get to spot some local wildlife like Catalina fox or bison.

Catalina Attractions - Little Harbor


Little Harbor—The less explored windward side of the island is also known as the back side. The coastline is a bit more rugged at Little Harbor. Take a Catalina Taxi and Tours private shuttle just 45 minutes out of Avalon to this scenic spot. A favorite for hikers and campers, Little Harbor also is a great beach getaway if you want to enjoy a day away from the summer crowds on Avalon’s beaches.


Ready to take a hike? If you’re coming to trek the trails of Catalina, you can book a shuttle to the interior, and hike all the way back into Avalon. Be sure to secure a hiking permit from the Catalina Island Conservancy first.


Adventure with us. Whether you ride in an open-air 6-passenger Jeep, a Toyota 4 Runner, or a Toyota Sienna van, you can explore the magical attractions all over the island of Catalina. Tours can start as early as 9:30am, and they run daily, all year round.


Book a tour. Enjoy all of Avalon while you’re on the island. Eat, drink, swim, shop, play, and be sure to explore even more of beautiful Santa Catalina Island by getting out of town. Check out the Catalina Taxi and Tours website to learn more about all of our tour options all over the island. If you’d like to book a custom tour, reach out to our main office by calling: 310-510-0342.

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