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The step-by-step guide to planning a perfect Catalina day trip

a group of people sitting at a table

Can you see Catalina Island in a day?

We hear that question often. The answer is no, but you can have a great time on a Catalina day trip. Here’s our step-by-step guide to planning a great day trip to Catalina Island.

Choose the season: It’s always a great time to visit Catalina Island, but different seasons provide different reasons. Summer time offers warmer temperatures and the most activities, but is also the busy season. In the fall, you’ll find festivals, concerts and other special events. Mother Nature’s glory is best appreciated in the spring. And in the winter, you’ll find a peaceful ambiance that lets you get away from it all.

a pink flower on water

Spring time on Catalina Island

Pick your day: For many visitors, work and/or school commitments mean their day trip to Catalina has to happen on the weekends, which makes Saturday and Sunday the busiest days of the week. Catalina is also a popular destination for cruise ships, which typically stop on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Make reservations ahead of time: Once you’ve decided when you’re coming to Catalina for a day trip, making reservations for transportation is essential.

a small boat in a large body of water

Cruise ships visit Catalina year round

Choose your activities: There are dozens of fun things to do on a day trip Catalina Island, including hiking, snorkeling, kayaking, food tours, parasailing, golf and much more. Take the time before you arrive to decide what you want to do, that way you won’t have to waste time once you’re here figuring out what to do.

Book your activities: Many of the more popular activities can book up. In order to avoid disappointment, we recommend that you book your planned Catalina day trip activities in advance.

Enjoy: From the moment you set out on your journey to Catalina Island, you’ll know you’re on your way to somewhere special. This unique destination has captured the hearts and the imaginations of generations of travelers.

a sunset over a body of water

Enjoy a full day on Catalina