There is something really charming about the no-doors, open air feeling of puttering around downtown Avalon in a golf cart. And while you can rent a golf cart, visitors generally can’t drive full-size vehicles on Catalina Island. Fortunately, there’s a way for visitors to get to visit the beautifully rugged interior of Santa Catalina Island. Catalina Taxi and Tours runs a Catalina shuttle that offers transportation to various locations in the interior of the island. This year-round shuttle service offers quick and convenient transportation. Whether you need a minivan or an SUV, you can reserve a Catalina shuttle out of Avalon to see some of the less-worn paths and landmarks around the island. Read on to learn about 7 great places to visit on a Catalina shuttle:
1.) Take a hike: Whether you want to walk for a couple of miles or you want to take on the whole Trans-Catalina trail, there are plenty of pathways to hike in the interior of Catalina Island. Hikers can get a free permit for hiking in Avalon from the Catalina Island Conservancy before heading on an interior adventure. Take a shuttle to the interior to explore the rolling hillsides and to take in the gorgeous coastal vistas before hiking back down into Avalon.
2.) Go sky high: About 1,602 feet up at the center of Catalina Island sits the Airport in the Sky. With a 3,000-foot-long runway, the ACE Clearwater Airfield is a newly renovated space for private planes to land. However, you don’t need a plane to get to the Airport in the Sky. Visitors can take a shuttle up to see the airport and visit the DC-3 café, famous for its giant, delicious cookies. There’s also a gift shop and a nature center where you can learn about island history from the Tongva natives to the Wrigley family.
3.) Reach the summit: Maybe you want to save your energy for a day at Avalon’s beaches, bars, restaurants, and shops instead of hiking. In that case, a 15-minute shuttle ride up to the Summit is a great option to get to see spectacular views of the ocean and the island, as well as the mainland. Visitors can then take a leisurely stroll back down to Avalon and catch different viewpoints along the way.
4.) See both sides: Two Harbors is truly a unique geographical setting. On the West End of the Island, you can experience real island living through swimming, kayaking, snorkeling, and hiking from Isthmus Cove to Catalina Harbor. This town is a little rustic getaway about 120 minutes by shuttle from Avalon, and you can enjoy some great food and drinks at Harbor Sands, overlooking the Pacific.
5.) Make hay while the sun shines: Haypress, just a 20-minute shuttle ride out of Avalon, is a perfect picnic spot with a playground and barbecues available for use. Nestled near Haypress Reservoir, it’s an idyllic spot. Here, you can see some of the beautiful hillsides, flora, and fauna of the interior. Visitors might even get the chance to see some of the famous Catalina Island bison near Haypress.
6.) Have a little beach day. Little Harbor is an ideal spot for escaping the towel-to-towel, busy stretches of sand that are Avalon’s beaches. This sandy beach offers plenty of opportunities for adventurers who love to hike and swim. Just about 45 minutes from Avalon, this is a popular campground and it’s also a great spot to have a true island beach day.
7.) Play (on) black jack. There is no gambling on Catalina Island; Instead, the interior offers you a different form of black jack. At 2,010 feet, Black Jack Mountain is the second highest spot on Catalina (after Mount Orizaba’s 2,103-foot summit). Up here, you can hike and get a look around Cottonwood Canyon and a soapstone quarry, catching a glimpse of Catalina’s past. A popular campground and stop on the Trans-Catalina Trail, Black Jack is a beautiful spot atop this island paradise.
These are just 7 ideas for great places to visit by shuttle on Catalina. You can reserve a shuttle or get more information on even more island destinations to see with Catalina Taxi and Tours by calling 310-510-0342.