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Catalina Island Hotels: Your Guide to Idyllic Stays

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Catalina Island beckons with its crystal-clear waters and picturesque landscapes, making it a perfect getaway. The charm of this idyllic island is matched by its variety of accommodations. Whether you seek the coziness of a bed and breakfast, the privacy of a vacation rental, or the full amenities of a beachfront hotel, Catalina offers a wealth of options to suit your preferences. From waking up to the sound of waves crashing on the shore to enjoying a morning stroll through the quaint streets of Avalon, your stay on Catalina Island promises to be memorable.

Catalina Island Hotels: Your Guide to Idyllic Stays

Planning your island escape means finding the right place to unwind after a day of adventure. In Catalina, hotels cater to every taste and budget, offering everything from luxurious suites with ocean views to more economical rooms that don't skimp on comfort. Picture yourself sipping a cool drink on a balcony overlooking the Pacific, or cozying up in a room that feels like a home away from home. And with no shortage of activities—from snorkeling and kayaking to exploring the island's rich history—your hotel in Catalina will be more than just a place to sleep; it'll be the starting point for your daily explorations.

Discovering the perfect accommodation is key to enjoying your time on Catalina Island. Catalina Island hotels offer a unique blend of local charm and modern convenience, ensuring your stay is as relaxing or as action-packed as you desire. Indulgent amenities, friendly service, and locations that put you within steps of the island's natural beauty make choosing a hotel in Catalina a delightful part of planning your trip. Get ready to immerse yourself in the tranquil island atmosphere and create lasting memories in this Pacific paradise.

Catalina Island Hotels: Your Guide to Idyllic Stays

Discover Catalina Island

Catalina Island is a unique blend of history and adventure, offering you an array of activities from exploring the serene city of Avalon to embarking on outdoor excursions in Two Harbors.


Catalina Island boasts a rich history with Avalon being its heartbeat. A visit to the iconic Catalina Island Museum allows you to dive into the island’s past, with displays of art and historical artifacts. The art deco murals and classic 1929 pipe organ in the Avalon Theatre are testaments to the island’s glamorous heritage.

Things to Do

Outdoor Adventures:

  • Hiking: Lace up your hiking boots and explore trails maintained by the Catalina Island Conservancy. You'll discover breathtaking scenery and might spot some of the island's unique wildlife.
  • Biking: Ride along picturesque paths or tackle more challenging terrain. Rentals are available if you haven't brought your own bike.
  • Water Sports:
    • Kayaking and Paddleboarding: Glide over the clear waters of Two Harbors or around Avalon.
    • Fishing: Participate in a time-honored Catalina tradition. Just make sure you adhere to local regulations.
    • Snorkeling and Diving: The island's crystal-clear waters are perfect for admiring marine life.

Relaxation and Leisure:

  • Enjoy laid-back activities like sunbathing on the beach or dining at waterfront restaurants.
  • Tour the island in a leisurely fashion on a golf cart—a popular way to see the sights.

Whether you're seeking a tranquil retreat or an action-packed getaway, Catalina Island's blend of history and outdoor activities is sure to delight.

Catalina Island Hotels: Your Guide to Idyllic Stays

Guide to Catalina Island Hotels

When planning your stay on Catalina Island, you'll find an array of Catalina Island hotels that offer vibrant history, luxury, and convenience. From renovated historic gems to beachfront retreats, each hotel presents a distinct experience tailored to your personal preferences and trip itinerary.

Hotel Atwater

Hotel Atwater is a staple in the heart of Avalon that unites historical charm with modern elegance. Originally opened in 1920, this hotel now boasts contemporary amenities after a thoughtful renovation. The hotel's suites are designed for comfort, blended with the convenience of being steps away from Avalon's main attractions, making it highly popular among visitors. Enjoy the local dining spots close by, or take pleasure in a spa treatment to unwind after a day of exploring.

Pavilion Hotel

Just 14 steps from the beach, Pavilion Hotel offers you a serene beachside getaway with lush gardens and a complimentary wine & cheese reception in the evenings. The hotel is known for its friendly ambiance and provides a complimentary breakfast setting the tone for a relaxing day ahead. With soothing ocean views, easy access to local restaurants, and the benefit of included beach amenities, your stay here is shaped by the casual elegance of Catalina's seaside lifestyle.

Bellanca Hotel

At Bellanca Hotel, you'll experience boutique accommodations featuring free beach cruiser rentals to enhance your island adventure. The hotel captures a blend of coastal sophistication and historic allure. Its convenience to the beach and the array of room options cater to both your need for relaxation and your desire to explore Avalon. The hotel's popularity extends from its approachable luxury and stellar views, ensuring your getaway to Catalina Island is memorable.

Portofino Hotel, Avalon, Catalina Island
The partial ocean from view from the balcony of the Bellanca Hotel.

Booking Your Stay

Planning your getaway to Catalina Island is exciting and straightforward. You’ll want to consider the dates of your travel, available accommodations, and the distance of hotels from popular attractions.

How to Book

Decide Your Dates: It's critical to choose your travel dates wisely since weather can greatly impact your experience. Catalina Island boasts pleasant temperatures year-round, but summer months tend to be warmer and busier. To secure your preferred dates at one of these Catalina Island hotels, book as early as possible, especially if you're aiming for peak season.

Find the Right Hotel: With options ranging from luxury resorts to quaint bed and breakfasts, there's something for every taste. To book your hotel with ease and confidence, consider reputable online platforms like or Expedia for a comprehensive list of accommodations.

  • Assess Location & Distance: Evaluate the distance between the hotel and Catalina Island highlights such as Avalon, the island’s main town, or Two Harbors for a quieter retreat. Exclusive TripAdvisor data can offer insights into the best-rated places to stay based on location and guest satisfaction.
  • Understand Fees: Be attentive to details regarding the price of your stay. Look for transparency about any extra fees, including taxes and fees, which may not be included in the initial listing price.

Book Your Room: Once you've chosen your hotel, select your room type and click the ‘Book Now' button. Ensure you review the hotel policies, especially concerning check-in times and cancellation policies. Fill in your details, and with a few clicks, your Catalina island escape is booked!

Additional Bookings: Consider adding on activities or transportation options that might be offered by the hotel or travel site. Planning these in advance can ensure a seamless and enjoyable trip to this enchanting island.

Getting to Catalina Island

Traveling to Catalina Island is an adventure in itself, offering you the chance to sail across the Pacific and step into a picturesque paradise. Whether you want to start your journey from Long Beach, San Pedro, or Dana Point, Catalina Express is your reliable gateway to the island's wonders.

Catalina Express

Board the Catalina Express for a swift and comfortable voyage to Catalina Island. With daily departures from three mainland ports – Long BeachSan Pedro, and Dana Point – you have the flexibility to choose the most convenient starting point for your trip.

  • Long Beach: Departing from the bustling city, your journey to Avalon or Two Harbors will be convenient and efficient, allowing you more time to enjoy the island.
  • San Pedro: This historical port offers another point of departure, bringing you closer to your seaside getaway.
  • Dana Point: Escape the crowds and depart from the serene Dana Point, known for its beautiful harbor and calmer atmosphere.

Once you arrive, the island’s transport options like shuttles and rentals await you. If you're bringing your boat, consider renting moorings in Two Harbors or Avalon—secure your spot with the Catalina Island Patron and enjoy the serene anchorages that this unique destination provides.

Catalina Island Hotels: Your Guide to Idyllic Stays

Exploring Avalon and Beyond

When you visit Catalina Island, Avalon is just the beginning. From the iconic Casino to the heights of the Airport in the Sky, dive into the richness that this island offers beyond its sandy shores.

Beach Club

At the Beach Club, you're in for an exclusive taste of seaside luxury. Imagine lounging on a private strip of sand with access to top-notch amenities. You can sip a cool drink under the warm Californian sun, knowing the vibrant town of Avalon, with its delightful dining and shopping options, is just a stone's throw away.

Avalon: The gateway to Catalina Island, bustling with activities
Beach: A relaxing spot for sunbathing and swimming
Catalina Casino: Not a gambling house, but an iconic gathering place for entertainment

Airport in the Sky

Experience a different kind of adventure when you ascend to the Airport in the Sky. Perched atop a mountaintop at 1,602 feet above sea level, it's more than an airport—it's a destination offering breathtaking views that stretch across the Pacific. Grab a meal at the airport diner and enjoy watching planes take off and land against a panoramic backdrop.

Mountaintop: Home to the Airport in the Sky, offering stunning vistas
Catalina Island Museum for Art & History: A cultural gem detailing the island's vibrant past
Casino Ballroom: A historic venue above the Catalina Casino, known for its grandeur

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Dining on Catalina Island

Casual and Fine Dining

Casual Dining:
Begin your day with a visit to Original Jack's Country Kitchen, where the crepes and French toast will fuel your island explorations. For lunch, the Catalina Island Brew House is the perfect spot to enjoy a great coffee in a mug, not just a paper cup.

  • Toyon Grill: When it's time for dinner, Toyon Grill offers a menu emphasizing sustainability and health, integrating local, organic ingredients to create a memorable meal with a breathtaking view.

Fine Dining:
If you're seeking a more refined experience:

  • Cocktail Hour: Indulge in Catalina Island’s signature cocktail, the Buffalo Milk, at a waterfront bar. It's a unique twist on the Mudslide, infused with island charm.
  • Dining with a View: Select from establishments like the Sandtrap, known for its delicious tacos and casual ambiance, or opt for a romantic table for two overlooking the harbor, dining on fresh, local seafood or prime steaks.
Bluewater Avalon, Avalon, Santa Catalina Island
Bluewater Avalon, Avalon, Santa Catalina Island

Catalina Island Events and Activities

Catalina Island is a hub of vibrant activities and exciting events that provide an array of opportunities to enjoy the island's unique culture and stunning natural beauty. Whether you're looking to join in special events that draw visitors annually or seeking outdoor adventures that make the most of the island's seascape and landscapes, you're in for memorable experiences.

Special Events

The Catalina Wine Mixer – Inspired by the famous movie Step Brothers, this annual event is a must-visit, taking place from May 31 to June 1, 2024. It's a perfect blend of fine wines, live music, and breathtaking island views.

Catalina Film Festival – Film aficionados can indulge in a cinematic adventure at the Catalina Film Festival. This event showcases an impressive lineup of screenings, special appearances, and industry panels, turning the island into a star-studded destination.

Outdoor Activities

  • Diving and Snorkeling: Immerse yourself in some of the best snorkeling and diving spots around, with clear waters and a rich marine ecosystem waiting to be explored.
  • Casino Tour: Take a step back in time with a Casino Tour, highlighting the island's historic architecture and cultural heritage, without placing a single bet.
  • Discover Tours: Uncover the island's hidden gems with a variety of Discover Tours, ranging from nature walks to boat tours that offer a deeper insight into Catalina's unique environment.
  • Kayaking: Paddle around the island at your own pace, discovering secluded coves and spotting local wildlife from a kayak.
  • Biking: Follow scenic trails and enjoy the stunning vistas the island offers from the saddle of a bike.
  • Shopping: Stroll through the quaint streets for a leisurely shopping experience, where you'll find everything from hand-crafted local goods to top-end souvenirs.
  • Stand Up Paddling: Glide over the glassy waters and enjoy a tranquil stand-up paddling experience, a wonderful way to soak in the serene atmosphere of Catalina.
Catalina Aerial Adventure, Avalon, Santa Catalina Island
Catalina Aerial Adventure, Avalon, Santa Catalina Island

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Catalina Island Culture

When you immerse yourself in the culture of Catalina Island, you're not just soaking up the sun—you're also diving into a rich world of history and art that's as vibrant as its coastal views.

Museum and Art

The Catalina Museum for Art & History offers a window into the island's artistic soul. Here, you'll discover an extensive collection that captures the essence of Catalina, from its Native American beginnings to its years as a glamorous hub for Hollywood's elite. In particular, the museum's art exhibitions showcase a varied assortment of works, including vibrant murals that reflect Catalina's unique heritage and personality.

Casino History

The iconic Catalina Casino is far more than a gambling destination—it never actually hosted traditional casino games. Instead, it's been the cultural heart of the island since opening in 1929. The Casino's Art Deco design is a masterpiece in itself, filled with intricate murals and a grand pipe organ that still resonates in the Avalon Theatre below. Over the years, the Casino has been a venue for prestigious dance performancesguest speakers, and social events that have etched their way into the fabric of Catalina's culture.

Catalina Island Accommodation Tips

When planning your stay on Catalina Island, it's essential to consider both the location of your hotel and how pricing shifts throughout the year. Selecting the best spot and understanding when to book can enhance your island getaway, whether you're seeking beach access or a romantic retreat.

Choosing Your Location

Finding the right location for your stay on Catalina Island depends on your individual preferences. Avalon is the main town, offering easy access to dining, shopping, and entertainment. If you're looking for a beachfront hotel, venture closer to the water where you can enjoy 362 days of typically sunny skies. For something quieter and more secluded, consider staying in Two Harbors, located at the island's isthmus. And for a romantic experience, seek out cozy spots with picturesque views or hotels offering special packages for couples.

Understanding Price Trends

Hotel prices on Catalina Island can vary significantly throughout the year. Peak season, which runs from May through September, sees the highest rates; book during this time if you're willing to pay a premium for warm weather and livelier activities. To save money, consider traveling during the “Best of Winter” boat and hotel packages typically available from early November to mid-March. Keep in mind that the number of visitors can soar up to 9,366 a day during peak times, impacting both availability and price. For the best value, plan your visit around personal schedules and preferential weather patterns, understanding that price trends are closely tied to the island's tourist influx.

Catalina Island Hotels: Your Guide to Idyllic Stays

Exclusive Catalina Offers

When you're planning your getaway to Catalina Island, it's the exclusive offers that can make your stay even more memorable. From premium travel accommodations to a touch of romance upon arrival, these special perks ensure your trip is as smooth and delightful as the island's serene beaches.

Priority Services

Commodore Lounge: Step aboard in style with access to the Commodore Lounge, where your journey to Catalina Island begins with luxurious comfort. Sip a complimentary beverage, enjoy a light snack, and relax in plush seating. This exclusive service promises a calming start to your island adventure.

Priority Check-In: Skip the hassles of long queues and kickstart your vacation with ease. Your priority check-in ensures you're attended to promptly, letting you breeze through the boarding process and onto other exciting endeavors without delay.

Express Boarding: Why wait when you can be among the first to board? With express boarding, breeze onto the ferry, secure your ideal spot, and commence your scenic voyage to Catalina Island without the wait.

Romantic Place: Upon arrival, delve into the charm of Catalina with accommodations that set the scene for romance. Discover a romantic place where quality time with your significant other isn't just hoped for—it's guaranteed. Whether it's a sunset view room or a bottle of champagne awaiting you, romance is in the air on Catalina Island.

Frequently Asked Questions

When planning your stay on Catalina Island, you likely have a range of questions concerning accommodations. This section aims to address frequently asked questions about hotels on the island, aiding you in making the best lodging decision for your trip.

What are the top-rated hotels in Catalina Island?

Many guests seek comfort and quality, and some of the top-rated hotels on Catalina Island are known for their exceptional service and amenities. You’ll find highly praised establishments that cater to a variety of preferences and needs.

Can one find all-inclusive hotel options on Catalina Island?

While Catalina Island is known for its charming bed and breakfasts and boutique hotels, all-inclusive options are less common. However, exploring hotel packages might yield some inclusive deals that combine accommodation with dining and activities.

Which hotels on Catalina Island offer the best beachfront access?

If you're looking for easy beach access, select hotels on Catalina Island offer prime beachfront locations. Staying close to the water allows you to experience the beauty of the island right outside your hotel doors.

Are there special hotel packages available for Catalina Island vacations?

Special packages are frequently offered by hotels to enhance your Catalina getaway. These packages may include various perks such as complimentary tours, dining credits, or other amenities, making your stay even more enjoyable.

What luxury accommodations are available on Catalina Island?

For those seeking upscale experiences, Catalina Island offers luxury accommodations with refined rooms and attentive services that ensure a lavish and comfortable stay amidst stunning island vistas.

Where do most people prefer to stay in Avalon when visiting Catalina Island?

When visiting Catalina Island, Avalon is a popular choice due to its vibrant atmosphere and access to local attractions. Preferred stays often include centrally-located hotels with easy access to shops, restaurants, and entertainment options, like those found just off the main Crescent Avenue.