Catalina Island is just 26 miles from Los Angeles. You can get there in just over an hour on a boat trip from San Pedro, Long Beach, Dana Point, or Newport Beach. Trips can be booked through Catalina Tours or Catalina Express for under $100. If you would like to get to the windward side of the island where the campgrounds are, both companies offer trips to Two Harbors as well. In Avalon, you can rent bicycles, kayaks, motor boats (to go watch the sea lions sun on the windward side of the island), golf carts (to get you around for a quick tour of the island).
At the Green Pier, you can pay to take a ride and see fish through a glass bottom boat or other submersible or rent snorkeling equipment. There are Island Tours available if you are looking for an all day adventure in a sport utility vehicle to take in the entire island in about 4 hours or take a bus along Skyline Drive for spectacular island and ocean views. The Green Pleasure Pier, Tour Plaza, and the kiosks at Cabrillo Mole Boat Terminal are locations for purchasing most of the activities and rentals. There are lockers near the dock at Cabrillo Mole to store your stuff if you need to do so.
View from Dock Towards Casino Point
If snorkeling is your thing, Lover's Cove is walking distance down Pebbly Beach Road towards Abalone Point. The water temperature in late summer is appx. 70 degrees. The garibaldi and sea bass will swarm around you as you snorkel in the ocean waters of the cove, especially if you bring fish food.
Lovers Cove with Glassbottom Boat
The shopping is plentiful for all of your needs locally as well as gift shops on Catalina Avenue, Sumner Avenue, or Crescent Avenue. Check out Ciao Baci for gifts while visiting or Island Threadz for some great t-shirts. There are plenty of places to eat and restaurants vary from Steves Steakhouse to Mi Casita to Bluewater Avalon. Casual dining at Antonios (where you can enjoy pasta or pizza) is available as well as El Galleon, Luau Larrys, or Catalina Cantina - all great places on Crescent Avenue to people watch with an ocean\beach view. Most everything is within walking distance from the boat terminal including the beautiful Casino, but you can rent golf carts to go farther. The Casino was never a gambling house, but rather an Art Deco dance hall circa 1929. The Casino features a movie theatre that offers first-run movies every night. The Casino also has a Walking Tour or Behind the Scenes Casino Tour available daily.
Golf Carts on Pebbly Beach Road
Casino View from Abalone Point
Casino At Night