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When is the best time to visit Catalina Island

a pink flower on water

“When is the best time to visit Catalina Island” is one of the most frequently asked questions about this vacation paradise.

The answer: It depends. Summer offers warm weather and warm water. Winter tempts with quiet streets and an unrushed ambiance. Autumn’s perfect weather and wealth of events make it a favorite time of many Catalina aficionados. Spring brings verdant green hillsides and colorful wildflowers, making it an ideal time to visit the island wildlands.

Most visitors to Catalina never see beyond the charming seaside village of Avalon, but exploring the protected wilderness just beyond is a must-do activity on any Catalina vacation – especially a spring time one. Here are five tours to get you out of town.

a green truck parked in front of a car

Catalina Eco Tour: Join the non-profit Catalina Conservancy – responsible for keeping the island wild and undeveloped – on either a two- or three-hour excursion into the interior. You’ll learn about the Conservancy’s work while watching for fox and bison on the island’s rugged roads.

a truck driving down a dirt road

Ridgetop Eco Adventure: Head out of town on a four-wheel drive adventure that will showcase Catalina’s dramatic vistas and unique flora and fauna. Those awe-inspiring vistas are even more dramatic when spring-time greens contrasts with the blue of the Pacific.

a cow grazing on a lush green field

Bison Expedition: Catalina’s most iconic creature is not native to the island – in fact bison have only lived here for about 100 years. Erroneously referred to as buffalo, the USA’s national mammal were introduced to Catalina as extras in a movie. Repatriating them to the mainland was seen as too expensive, so the animals – and their descendants – have made Catalina their home.

a rocky river with trees on the side of a mountain

Journey to Sky: Even just outside of the city of Avalon boundaries, the expanse of Catalina’s wildlands reveals itself, offering spectacular views and unforgettable vistas. In the springtime, this tour also offers wildflowers and emerald hillsides.

a small boat in a body of water

Discover Two Harbors: Later in the spring, take a high-speed trip along the coast to the village of Two Harbors on the island’s remote West End, where you can enjoy an array of activities, including hiking.

So when is the best time to visit Catalina Island? We think it’s whenever you get here.