A One Night Trip to Catalina Island

We’ve been to Catalina Island a few times now and we’ve dialed in our favorite activities. A one night trip to Catalina Island is a relaxing getaway that’s close enough to home but far enough to feel like an adventure. I love the island life vibe and enjoy the small town charm. The island has year round temperate weather and is an ideal spot to spend some time with friends, family or your spouse. Find out more about our one night trip ideas to Catalina Island below! 

Traveling to Catalina Island

We have always used Catalina Express to get to Avalon. They travel out of San Pedro, Long Beach and Dana Point. Dana Point is the closest location from San Diego. Catalina Express can take you to Avalon (where we visit) and Two Harbors on the island. Two Harbors is more for boating enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers. Avalon is the more touristy location with plenty of activities. The boat ride typically takes about an hour and a half. Once you arrive, you can take a golf cart taxi or schedule a shuttle to get to your destination. We have always walked to our hotel which is nice after a boat ride. 

Ideas For A One Night Trip to Catalina Island

There are a few musts for experiencing Catalina Island! I recommend scheduling at least one activity or outing per day. Some of our favorite activities include the Catalina Island Food Tour, the Undersea Expedition, a scenic bus tour and mini golf. We saw a few other activities that look fun like the escape room, Catalina Aerial Adventure and Eco Tours. Renting a golf cart for your own exploration is another must! Catalina Island Golf Cart offers 1 and 2 hour rentals. I would go with 2 hours if you have the time. This way you can explore all the roads and beautiful views on your own time! 

Everything you need to know for a one night trip to Catalina Island

Take the Catalina Food Tour on a One Night Trip to Catalina Island

Catalina Island Food Tour

We really enjoyed the Catalina Island Food Tour on our latest adventure! We were able to try out 5 different spots in a 3 hour tour. Our tour director, Lily, was very informative and guided us well on our adventure. There were about 10 of us total so we got to chatting with people along the tour. Each spot included background information on the location and history of the area. We walked to each spot and had really generous portions to try. 

The Catalina Food Tour took us to Catalina Coffee & Cookie Co., Lloyd’s of Avalon, Maggie’s Blue Rose, Steve’s Steakhouse, Coyote Joe’s and Toyon Grill. Maggie’s is still my favorite spot to eat and drink in Catalina. I recommend the coconut margarita and the quesadilla with poblano sauce! Everything I’ve tried there has been good! We also really enjoyed the prickly pear margaritas and the pulled bison sandwich. 

A One Night Trip to Catalina Island Accommodations

There are a lot of options for hotels on Catalina Island so make sure to pick one that is in a good location with awesome views. We recently stayed at Aurora Hotel which has a great view of the harbor, an awesome deck and even a complementary wine & apps night! 

I also recommend a nice dinner out for your one night adventure. We’ve had pretty good experience at Bluewater Avalon each time we’ve been. They have strong drinks and tasty seafood. 

Bluewater Avalon

Lastly, one of my favorite things to do on Catalina Island, is grab a cup of coffee in the morning and look out over the water. I love being by the ocean. We have done this every time we’ve been to the island. We pretty much always end up on the pier or on the sand in between adventures. 

A One Night Trip to Catalina Island     

I hope you enjoyed this One Night Trip to Catalina Island post and plan your next adventure soon, so you can eat, explore and relax! xo, Bri  

A One Night Trip to Catalina Island


I love sharing about family, food and fun in and around San Diego! Enjoy, Bri

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