Catalina Island: There’s Something for Everyone (Part 2)

This is Part 2 of a 2-Part series.

If you’re looking for the perfect getaway for the entire family or eclectic group of friends or coworkers, look no further than Catalina Island! No matter how motley your crew, everyone is sure to have a great time. Catalina Island has something for everyone!

In Part 1, we covered Catalina Island activities for the Thrill Seeker and the Nature Lover. Go back and take a look if you haven’t already! And now, without further ado, here are some more great activities the whole family can enjoy.

The History Buff

Catalina Island has a fascinating history!

Santa Catalina Island has a long and storied history. There have been inhabitants on the island for the past 7,000 years. The first Europeans to arrive claimed the island for the Spanish Empire. It was later turned over to Mexico and then to the United States. The island has served as a stop for smugglers, gold diggers, pirates, hunters, the Union army and missionaries. Catalina’s history as a resort destination began about 125 years ago.

(Source) Read more about Catalina’s history here.

Here are some of the activities history buffs can take in on the island:

  • Catalina Museum for Art & History – If you’re looking to learn the history of Catalina Island, this is the place for you. “The only organization to present the history of Santa Catalina, the Catalina Museum for Art & History celebrates the island’s unique and vibrant history, featuring detailed collections of Catalina artifacts, photographs, the island’s connection to the Chicago Cubs, its role in World War II, and more.”  Learn more here.  The museum features art and history exhibitions, music and dance performances, lectures from guest speakers, and “the finest in silent, documentary and international film.” Visit the website for hours and ticket prices.
  • Catalina Casino – Sorry, no slot machines here — this “casino” is the Italian word meaning “gathering place”. “Commissioned by William Wrigley Jr., Catalina Casino opened in 1929, marking the 10-year anniversary of Wrigley’s 1919 purchase of Catalina Island. Nearly a century later, this historic icon stands as a reminder of the days when millions made the 26-mile trip across the sea to enjoy a movie, dinner, and dancing during the Casino’s heyday as the hub of Avalon nightlife.” (source) The Casino offers two narrated walking tours: Discover the Casino and Behind the Scenes Casino. Tickets to the Behind the Scenes tour include $2 off admission to the Catalina Museum for Art & History! Learn more here.
  • Private Guided Golf Cart Tour – Interested in enjoying the sights and sounds of the outdoors while learning about the island’s history? A private guided golf cart tour may be just the thing for you! You’ll see all the major landmarks and learn about Catalina’s rich history, culture, and lifestyle. Book your guided tour here!

The Foodie

best restaurants on catalina islandSurely by now you’re impressed (and maybe pleasantly surprised) with all that Catalina Island has to offer — and we haven’t even talked about food yet! So if you’re a foodie, prepare to be wowed! You have many choices on the island, from casual to fine dining, waterfront dining, wine tasting, dessert spots, and even a few places off the beaten path, outside of the city of Avalon. Here are some of our favorite food-centric places and activities:

  •  The Catalina Wine MixerJune 3-4, 2022 – Must be 21 or over to attend. This is a unique and fun, annual wine and music event on the island. General admission tickets are $79. Check it out!
  • Catalina Food Tours – Food tours are a fun way to experience multiple iconic restaurants, learn some history about the island, and enjoy the company of others at the same time! Learn more here.
  • Descanso Beach – Not only is Descanso Beach a great place to hang out, relax, and enjoy the island, it’s also the perfect spot to enjoy some wonderful food and drinks, including the island’s signature cocktail, Buffalo Milk.

Check out this post with all our favorite restaurants on the island.

Here are a few worth mentioning: 

  • The Naughty Fox – at Bellanca Hotel
  • NDMK Fish House
  • Antonio’s Pizzeria & Cabaret – epic views
  • Bluewater Avalon – epic views, waterfront
  • Coyote Joe’s – Mexican
  • Steve’s Steakhouse & Seafood – epic views, waterfront
  • Luau Larry’s
  • Catalina Island Brew House
  • El Galleon – sit down casual
  • Lobster Trap – sit down casual
  • Avalon Grille – chef-inspired dining, waterfront

Family Friendly Catalina Island Activities

Here are some of our favorite family activities for the whole family to enjoy!

  • Descanso Beach
  • Falconry Experience – Personally, this is one of our most beloved experiences on Catalina Island. Ages 7 and up can enjoy this truly amazing, interactive experience with our friend Dave the falconer and his beautiful and fascinating birds of prey. You’ll be simultaneously educated and awestruck at the skills of these amazing birds! Learn more and book your experience here.
  • Golf cart tours
  • Mini golf
  • Swimming
  • Parks and playgrounds
  • Learn more about family friendly activities here.

We hope you enjoy your time on the island! Please consider staying in one of our beautiful Hamilton Cove villas!