Day Trip to Catalina Island – California’s Hidden Gem

Just off the coast of California lies Catalina Island, one of California’s best-kept secrets located in the Channel Islands. In just 1 hour and 30 minutes, you’ll find yourself transported to a paradise offering a plethora of experiences, making it the perfect destination for a day trip. Whether you seek thrilling adventures or tranquil relaxation, you’ll find exactly what you need here. Join us as we embark on a crafted itinerary for a perfect day on Catalina Island. 

Catalina island

7:30am Wake up Call! Treat yourself to a homemade breakfast and a steaming cup of coffee brewed right in your fully-equipped kitchen. Don’t forget to pack some snacks and drinks for the boat ride to Catalina Island.

8:30am Make your way to the Dana Point Pier, just 7 miles away from San Clemente Cove. Please keep in mind that if you’re parking a car, there will be a $20 fee for the day.

9:30am The adventure begins as you set sail for Catalina Island. Secure a spot on the top deck to revel in the breathtaking ocean views throughout the journey. Click here to purchase your tickets in advance. 

11am As you step foot on the island, waste no time and head straight to one of the rental companies right outside the port. Choose between a golf cart or a bike to begin your island exploration. With the option to rent by the hour, you can easily plan for a one-hour adventure.

12pm Hit the town! Satisfy your taste buds at one of the delicious seaside restaurants or take a leisurely stroll through downtown, exploring the charming shopping boutiques. 

1pm – 3:30pm The island is your oyster – whether you are looking for a thrill or to relax, there are a few options for you to enjoy for the next couple of hours. 

  • Looking for an underwater Adventure? Rent a kayak to glide through the crystal-clear waters or grab some snorkeling gear and discover the vibrant marine life beneath the surface. 
  • Zip Lining: Experience an adrenaline rush like no other. Catalina Island is home to thrilling zip lining opportunities that will take you soaring through the sky, offering breathtaking views of the landscape below.
  • Unwind at the Beach: You can never go wrong with a beach day! Catalina’s pristine beaches are the perfect place for pure relaxation. 
  • Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Gardens: Seeking all nature lovers! A short 30 minute hike through a canyon leads to a peaceful art deco memorial amid cacti and native plants.
  • Avalon Casino: Don’t be fooled by the name – the Avalon Casino is not a gambling establishment. Instead, it’s a captivating architectural gem with a rich history. 

4:30pm Begin your journey back to Avalon Port, ensuring you arrive in time for the 5pm departure back to Dana Point. Secure a spot on the roof deck once more, as it promises mesmerizing views to savor during the return voyage.

7pm You’ll find yourself back at San Clemente Cove, where you can finally unwind and bask in relaxation after a day filled with thrilling adventures. Share your favorite memories of the day with your loved ones, reminiscing about the captivating experiences that have made this day trip to Catalina Island truly unforgettable.


Book your stay at San Clemente Cove and start planning your Catalina adventure today!


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