Nobody needed to train David Rangel learn how to make like a monkey; he is a pure, swinging via eucalyptus timber, hanging from branches with one arm and dangling from the reaches of a tree trunk 20 ft above the valley flooring.

“It is enjoyable however scary,” the thirteen-yr-previous from Antioch, Calif., stated as he balanced on a swaying log bridge. I used to be under, fortunately affixed to terra firma and taking notes.

Rangel was making an attempt out the Aerial Journey, a Santa Catalina Island exercise that opened this summer time. It is one in every of a raft of latest actions and improvements on Southern California’s hottest island getaway.

Lengthy thought-about a day-journey vacation spot, this largely undeveloped isle 22 miles from Lengthy Seashore has come into its personal with quite a lot of recent choices that present sufficient motion to fill an extended weekend or extra.

If you have not visited Catalina for a couple of years, you would be stunned at how a lot it has modified. In truth, in case you’ve been away for as little as a yr, you can find a lot of new issues to see and do. Listed here are 20 to attempt.


A lot of the modifications have occurred in Avalon, the sq.-mile metropolis that pulls a lot of the island’s vacationers.

The brand new Aerial Journey is in Descanso Canyon, past the town’s iconic On line casino landmark.

Guests discover quite a lot of comparatively new parts right here, together with a seashore membership, cabanas and eating places.

They’ll additionally uncover a burgeoning excessive-adrenaline journey hub, together with the Catalina Climbing Wall and Zip Line Eco Tour, which carries members from 600 ft above sea degree to the valley flooring. And, in fact, the brand new Aerial Journey.

Youngsters aren’t the one ones who take pleasure in taking to the timber on Aerial Journey, which presents starting, intermediate and superior programs. Most people I noticed balancing, climbing and flying on the ropes-and-timber course have been adults.

Catalina Aerial Adventure in Descanso Canyon, beyond the city's Avalon Casino landmark.
Catalina Aerial Journey in Descanso Canyon, past the town’s Avalon On line casino landmark. (Catalina Island Firm)

R.J. Fuentes and his spouse, Kristina, of Brentwood spent the morning up within the air, celebrating their fourth anniversary.

“It humbles you a bit,” R.J. stated. “I am a reasonably good athlete, however I am shaking once I’m up there.”

Later this yr, guests to Descanso Canyon can take part in one other new journey exercise: a free-fall drop from the deliberate 60-foot-tall Descanso Drop Tower.

Information: Aerial Journey; (800) 626-1496. $forty nine for adults, $39 for youngsters (have to be no less than 7 years previous) and seniors. Packages obtainable combining Zip Line Eco Tour, Climbing Wall and Aerial Journey.

On the lookout for water-based mostly journey as an alternative of land-based mostly? You possibly can flyboard over Avalon Bay like Iron Man with this new summer time journey sport.

Individuals hover, glide or do turns above the Pacific Ocean on jets of air and water. Motion Flyboarding, which debuted final yr, will function till fall.

Information: Motion Flyboarding, (909) 866-0390. $129 per individual.


"The Mardi Gras Seaform Set" is a part of the Chihuly exhibit at the Catalina Island Museum.
“The Mardi Gras Seaform Set” is part of the Chihuly exhibit on the Catalina Island Museum. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Occasions)

The most important information on the town is the expanded Catalina Island Museum, which grew threefold final yr when it moved into the Ada Blanche Wrigley Schreiner Constructing.

The 18,000-sq.-foot museum marks probably the most formidable undertaking on Catalina since island patriarch William Wrigley Jr. constructed the Avalon On line casino in 1929.

Whether or not you are a fossil hunter, a film buff or a baseball fan, you will not need to miss the museum and its reveals.

Attempt to go to earlier than Dec. eleven, when the present exhibition, Chihuly on the Catalina Island Museum, will shut. The present, specializing in the work of glass sculptor Dale Chihuly, marks the primary time the museum has introduced the work of a serious dwelling artist.

Information: Catalina Island Museum, 217 Metropole Ave.; (310) 510-2414. Chihuly on the Museum tickets, together with museum admission, are $17 adults, $15 youngsters, seniors and army.


For many who assume there’s nothing as nice as the good outside, there are new trails to discover.

Twenty-seven extra miles of trails are being added within the backcountry, which can imply extra selection for many who want to take a day hike when visiting the island.

In 2009 the 37.2-mile Trans-Catalina Path opened, which permits backpackers to discover the island’s hills and ridges, however the hike’s size makes it a multi-day dedication.

The brand new trails are shorter and discover totally different areas. Verify them out with the Catalina Island Conservancy, which may help you map a route.

Information: Catalina Island Conservancy, (310) 510-2595


Customers are packed into a biofuel Hummer for a tour of the backcountry and sweeping views of Santa Catalina Island.
Clients are packed right into a biofuel Hummer for a tour of the backcountry and sweeping views of Santa Catalina Island. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Occasions)

4 new excursions highlight island options.

Twilight on the On line casino is a ninety-minute night tour that explores the Avalon On line casino on Friday and Saturday nights at 6:15. You will tour the historic theater, drink wine within the ballroom and have the ability to photograph the bay and metropolis from the construction’s balcony. $forty five.

Avalon Canyon Path Tour is a 50-minute biofuel Hummer tour that gives sweeping views of Avalon and a backcountry experience by way of the hills. $forty one for adults, $39 for youngsters, seniors and army.

Avalon Harbor Lights Tour takes members by means of the town and up Mt. Ada, which overlooks the bay and city, for nighttime views and photograph alternatives. $forty eight.

The Flying Fish Voyage is an replace of considered one of Catalina’s classic excursions. Individuals discover the waters alongside the island’s shoreline after darkish in search of an island oddity — flying fish. Sure, they actually do fly and you may see them as searchlights play over the water. $32 for adults, $28 for youngsters.

Information: Catalina Island Co., (800) 626-1496


Kids have a new play area at Knabe Park called Pirate Ship Playground.
Youngsters have a brand new play space at Knabe Park referred to as Pirate Ship Playground. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Occasions)

Yo ho ho. Youngsters can get within the temper for island enjoyable on the new pirate ship playground, a.okay.a. Knabe Park, which has climbing rings, a slide, a tower and different actions.

Guests see the ship, dubbed the SS Knabe, once they depart mainland ferries or cruise ship launches and stroll towards central Avalon on Pebbly Seashore Street.

There are additionally new basketball and volleyball courts alongside the identical walkway, named in honor of L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe, who retired in 2016.

Tune up and tone up your physique on the exercise stations on the Avalon Match Path on Avalon Canyon Street. The path options a mixture of cardiovascular and power coaching gear, together with bikes and elliptical machines, chest and leg presses and a wheelchair-accessible pull-down and vertical press machine.

Start your exercise on the stations at Child’s Park, then comply with the pedestrian path to extra gear at Joe Machado Area.


Visitors to Catalina can ride the Avalon Transit electric bus.
Guests to Catalina can experience the Avalon Transit electrical bus. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Occasions)

Catalina veterans might keep in mind when there have been few choices for transporting their baggage into city from the ferry dock aside from carrying it themselves.

In the event that they have been tenting, they needed to carry their gear a mile to Hermit Gulch Campground.

No extra. Now they will climb aboard the white Avalon Transit electrical bus on the dock parking zone and get a experience to city for $2 per individual.

See extra pictures of Catalina Island »

You possibly can journey to the Tour Plaza or all the best way to the Wrigley Memorial and Botanic Backyard for that very same $2. Greatest deal on the island.

Customer Middle

On the lookout for recommendations about what to see and do? The employees on the expanded Catalina Island Customer Middle shall be completely satisfied to assist. The stroll-in middle is on the Inexperienced Pleasure Pier and has info on actions, points of interest, lodge and eating amenities.

Staffers supply help in individual, on-line and on the telephone in each Spanish and English.

Information: (310) 510-1520

Get the app

The Chamber of Commerce now has a Catalina Island app, which simplifies journey planning. It is free in each the Android and Apple shops. Seek for Catalina Island. Textual content alerts are additionally out there: Textual content CATALINA to 66866 after which enter contact info.

Meals and enjoyable

The trendy Avalon Grille in offers a new Sunday brunch from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The fashionable Avalon Grille in presents a brand new Sunday brunch from 9 a.m. to three p.m. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Occasions)

Mt. Ada, the hillside mansion that when belonged to chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr., is a mattress and breakfast that rewards its visitors with fabulous views of the island and ocean.

Now guests can benefit from the views however keep away from a dear in a single day keep by attending a Mt. Ada lunch.

The inn serves a 3-course lunch from eleven:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day. $forty eight per individual, together with Champagne, mimosas, wine or beer.

Information: Mt. Ada; reservations required, (310) 510-2030

Drinks, Bites and Bay Views is a brand new afternoon program at Island Spa Catalina, which is opening its statement deck to the general public from 5 to eight p.m. on Thursdays-Sundays.

The deck has nice waterfront views, so take a day break and settle in a lounge chair with a glass of wine and a shrimp cocktail.

Information: Island Spa Catalina, 163 Crescent Ave.; (310) 510-7300

In search of a Sunday brunch? Fashionable Avalon Grille now provides one from 9 a.m. to three p.m. The $25-per-individual meal consists of household-type appetizers and selection of entree. Add bottomless mimosas for $thirteen per individual.

Information: Avalon Grille, 423 Crescent Ave.; (310) 510-7494


The hilltop Holiday Inn Resort, formerly the Catalina Canyon Resort, has been renovated and is one of the few pet-friendly hotels on Catalina.
The hilltop Vacation Inn Resort, previously the Catalina Canyon Resort, has been renovated and is among the few pet-pleasant resorts on Catalina. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Occasions)

The hilltop Vacation Inn Resort, previously the Catalina Canyon Resort, has been renovated and has a brand new foyer space, health middle and assembly area, plus a redesigned exterior and landscaping.

There’s additionally a brand new restaurant, the Seaport Bistro, a spa and a pool. The lodge is likely one of the few on the island that’s pet-pleasant.

Information: Vacation Inn Resort Catalina Island, 888 Nation Membership Drive; (310) 510-0325


Downtown Avalon is placing on a brand new face with companies, particularly storefronts, redesigning and updating their properties.

Among the many new appears are murals on the Lobster Lure restaurant, new facades on a number of companies at Crescent and Sumner streets, and the reworked county library, sheriff’s substation and courthouse.

Two Harbors

When you’d slightly hike and bike than store and restaurant hop, Two Harbors, a small group at Catalina’s West Finish, may be your sort of place.

The village, a favourite of boaters, hikers and campers, is low-key and relaxed and emphasizes outside actions, together with kayaking and different water sports activities.

Now the country group has gotten a face-carry, with a brand new sandy seashore, plush palapas, lounge chairs, a gaggle gathering area, meals and beverage service on the seashore and a small enterprise middle.

Seize a waterfront desk at Harbor Sands cafe and watch yachts bob at their moorings when you dine on burgers, clam chowder or fish tacos.

Take a Catalina Categorical ferry from San Pedro to Two Harbors, or make the journey from Avalon on the Cyclone, a speedy Catalina Island Co. boat that makes the journey in about 35 minutes.

Information: Catalina Categorical, (800) 613-1212; Catalina Island Co., (310) 510-4205


By sea: Catalina Categorical, (800) 481-3470, presents frequent every day journeys of about one hour from Lengthy Seashore and San Pedro to Avalon, Catalina’s essential metropolis, from Dana Level to Avalon and from San Pedro to Two Harbors. Spherical-journey grownup fare is $seventy three.50, $2 extra for the Dana Level journey.

Catalina Flyer, (800) 830-7744, makes one spherical journey every day between Newport Seashore and Avalon, departing at 9 a.m. from Balboa Pavilion and returning at four:30 p.m. The journey is seventy five minutes every approach; passengers have about six hours to discover the island. Grownup spherical-journey fare is $70, seniors, $sixty five, youngster, $fifty three.

By air: Island Categorical Helicopters, (800) 228-2566, has 15-minute helicopter flights day by day from Lengthy Seashore, San Pedro, Santa Ana and Burbank. Fares vary from $250 to $750 per individual spherical journey, relying on location.


Many Catalina lodging require a two-night time keep on weekends.

Vacation Inn Resort, 888 Nation Membership Drive, Avalon; (800) 315-2621, (310) 510-0325. This hilltop lodge has undergone two years of renovations. The disadvantage is that it is at the very least a ten-minute stroll to city. Doubles from $249 per night time in the course of the summer time, from $199 in the course of the low season.

Pavilion Lodge, 513 Crescent Ave., Avalon; (877) 778-8322, (310) 510-1788. Rooms are small however nicely-appointed at this renovated bay-entrance motel. Wine bar, hearth pit and backyard. Nice location; complimentary breakfast and afternoon wine and cheese. Doubles from $329 through the summer time, from $one hundred sixty five in the course of the low season.

Lodge Metropole, 205 Crescent Ave., Avalon; (800) 541-8528. Some waterfront views; a lot of the fifty two rooms have fireplaces and balconies. Doubles from $309 per night time in the course of the summer time, from $279 per night time in the course of the low season.

Campgrounds, (877) 778-1487, are in Avalon, Two Harbors and at 4 backcountry websites. Boat-in websites can be found. Tenting charges vary from $22 to $27 per night time for adults; a further $9.25 service charge is charged. Tent cabins and gear rental out there.


Avalon Grille, 423 Crescent Ave., Avalon; (310) 510-7494. Central location on the bay with giant home windows and a patio for outside eating. Has a wine-nation vibe and a seasonal menu. Dinner entrees from $sixteen.

Maggie’s Blue Rose, 417B Crescent Ave., Avalon; (310) 510-3300. Upscale Mexican restaurant gives heat-from-the-griddle handmade tortillas, eight varieties of margaritas and revolutionary dishes. Dinner entrees from $15. Sister restaurant to the favored Steve’s Steakhouse, upstairs.

Ristorante Villa Portofino, a hundred and one Crescent Ave, Avalon; (310) 510-2009. Artistic regional Italian delicacies served in a effective-eating environment. Watch the passing parade on Crescent Avenue from a window seat or outdoors bay-view desk. Entrees from $sixteen.


Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce & Guests Bureau, 1 Inexperienced Pleasure Pier, Avalon; (310) 510-1520