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Everything You Need To Know About Catalina Bus Tours

For more than 100 years, this island paradise has been attracting visitors. And for decades those visitors would choose a Catalina bus tour as the best way to see the island’s many attractions.

While much has changed both on the island and on the mainland, what hasn’t changed is the popularity of Catalina bus tours.  Easy and convenient, these tours provide a great overview visually and historically of Avalon and the Catalina interior.

One of the most popular Catalina bus tours is now known as the Journey to the Sky Tour. Previously known as the Skyline Drive Tour, this tour is a great way to get an overview of the city of Avalon and enjoy some of the island’s spectacular views. Lasting about three hours, the Journey to the Sky is an ideal tour for first time visitors.

a close up of a hillside next to a body of water

A century ago, tours to Catalina’s interior were by stagecoach. These — sometimes hair-raising — tours took visitors up to the summit and from there through the island’s valleys and to its viewpoints. Once vehicles replaced the horsepower of stagecoaches, bus tours of Catalina’s interior became the most popular way to explore Catalina’s wildlands, with day-long tours stopping in the middle of the island at El Rancho Escondido for a horse show as well as at Middle Ranch to learn more about island conservation.

These days, visitors may also choose a four-wheel drive option, such as a Jeep Eco Tour or the Bison Expedition.

a large body of water with a mountain in the background

If you are looking for a bus on Catalina Island, you’ll find the city of Avalon’s Garibaldi Bus operating seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. While not a tour per se, the bus in Avalon is a low-cost transportation option.

Taking the bus on Catalina also offers several alternatives if you need transportation in Catalina’s interior. Catalina Taxi and Tours offers a van-based shuttle service between Avalon and many island destinations, including the Airport in the Sky, Little Harbor and Two Harbors. The Catalina Island Conservancy also operates the Wildlands Express Shuttle in the interior of the island.

However you choose to explore Catalina Island, whether by bus, shuttle, 4-wheel drive vehicle or by hiking, the island’s dramatic terrain and fascinating history will forge a lasting memory, inviting you to return.