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Do You Need Reservations on Catalina Island?

Ready to escape to Catalina Island? Great idea! As you’re planning your getaway, keep in mind that while spontaneity is a virtue, some planning is required. Whether you need reservations on the island depends on a lot of factors, but reservations on Catalina can save you a lot of disappointment.

Let’s break your trip down by category for more details on reserving your Catalina vacation.

Catalina transportation: The primary transportation to Catalina is the ferry. We suggest making reservations for Catalina transportation as soon as you know when you want to visit. While reservations don’t need to be made nearly as far in advance in the winter months, you will definitely want to plan ahead when it comes to getting to the island. If your visit is going to be made on a weekend in July, you will want to make those reservations up to months in advance to be sure you are not disappointed. No matter when you are coming to visit Catalina, you do not want to show up at the boat – or the helicopter — without a reservation in advance.

a small boat in a large body of water

Catalina accommodations: Like transportation, your accommodations are something you should secure reservations for as soon as your travel plans allow. As you can imagine, availability mid-week in the winter is going to be much easier to find than holiday weekends in the summer. We suggest making reservations for hotels or vacation rentals weeks or months in advance. That’s not to say you should despair if you are planning a last-minute trip to Catalina – but be sure to secure a reservation before you leave the mainland; sleeping on the beach is not an option.

Catalina activities: Like everything else on the island, whether or not you need reservations for Catalina activities can depend on the time of year. However, if there are specific things you want to do, planning ahead – and reserving – is recommended. In the summer, high demand will limit availability and, in the winter, lower demand may mean that certain activities are not offered as frequently.

a bicycle parked on the side of the water

Dining on Catalina: Many of the restaurants in Avalon are first come, first served, so dining reservations on Catalina can be hard to come by. Once you have identified where you want to dine, it may make sense to call and ask about reservations, especially if you have a larger party. Keep in mind that many island restaurants can close earlier than many diners are used to, particularly in the slower months.

Planning for a group: If you are traveling with a larger group – whether that’s for a family event or a corporate retreat – it may be easier to let someone else make the arrangements and the reservations. The Catalina Tours group travel team is happy to not only make Catalina Island reservations, but also offer recommendations on how to get the most out of your time on the island. Give us a call at 310-510-0211 or click here to get the process started.

a group of people posing for the camera