It sits just about 26 miles from the Southern California coast, yet it took most of my life to visit this wonderful place. Some people have never been even though they have lived in So Cal all of their life, just like me.
I hope this story will inspire you to go visit!
The adventure to Catalina Island begins with the boat trip that ranges in length of time depending where you depart.
Boat trips are available from most of the harbors in Southern California all year round. We choose to leave from Dana Point Harbor for the hour and a half trip.
The newer and larger boats get you there a lot faster these days and most of the time it is smooth sailing. Smoother and shorter rides help to keep the sea sickness at a minimum or not at all. However, just to be sure we loaded up on Dramamine.
About 30 minutes out of port, we were treated to a visit from a pod of dolphins about 100 strong. A few were jumping the wakes of the boat so, the Captain slowed us down to watch them frolic for a few minutes.
On a typical cloudy morning in California we couldn’t see Catalina from the shore.
It was a thrill when we first spotted land as the sun starting peek out of the haze. On a clear day you can see Catalina from most coastal cities in Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego Counties.
Catalina Island, officially called Santa Catalina Island is a rocky island that spans 22 miles long and 8 miles wide with a population of about 4,000. The highest point on the island is 1,097 feet.
The main harbor where you disembark is called Avalon or Avalon Harbor and this the hub of Catalina with nearby restaurants,shops, hotels, etc.