Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Blog

What to see on Catalina Island

a herd of cattle grazing on a rocky hill

Wondering what to see on Catalina Island? This fascinating destination offers a wealth of attractions, activities and experiences, but there are several that every first-time visitor to the island should include on their must-see list.

Avalon.  The island’s only city, Avalon is a charming seaside village that many compare to the Italian Rivera. Colorful homes dot the hillsides, charming boutiques beckon shoppers and delectable dining options are available to please any palate. Explore Avalon on the Avalon Scenic Drive or take in the culinary scene on an Avalon Tasting and Walking Tour.

a large body of water with a city in the background

The interior. While the overwhelming majority of Catalina visitors see only Avalon, the rest of the island is an awe-inspiring wilderness of spectacular seascapes and dramatic vistas. Fascinating wildlife, including bald eagles, native Catalina Island fox and majestic bison are frequently spotted, and the island’s undeveloped wilderness is an inspiring contrast to the metropolitan sprawl of the mainland. Want to see more? Explore the island’s interior on a Catalina Jeep Eco Tour or a Bison Expedition.

a herd of animals standing on top of a grass covered hill

The Casino. Built in 1929, Avalon’s iconic landmark has never been a place of gambling but was instead named for the Italian word for gathering place or place of entertainment. Containing a spectacular theatre and a massive circular ballroom, the Catalina Casino was built by William Wrigley, Jr. and has hosted millions of visitors, including dances, special events and weddings. During the heyday of the Big Band era, concerts and dances were broadcast live throughout the country, bringing the allure of Catalina Island into homes from coast to coast via radio. Explore the Catalina Casino on the Discover the Casino Tour or on the Casino Behind the Scenes Tour.

a boat is docked next to a body of water

Avalon’s lingering twilight is irresistible

Beneath the surface. As soon as visitors step off the Catalina ferry they are in awe of the island’s crystal clear waters and intriguing marine life. Get up close and see beneath the sea on a Snorkel Tour or on a Discover Scuba Experience. Prefer to stay dry? The Undersea Expedition and the Glass Bottom Boat Voyage will let you explore the undersea world.

a man swimming in the water