Six of Our Favorite Things to Do on Catalina Island

The ample amenities at Hamilton Cove might make it hard to leave your home away from home, but if you do feel like venturing out, we invite you to explore everything Catalina Island has to offer. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or prefer to take it easy, here are a few of our favorite things to do on the island. 

Wrigley Memorial & Botanical Gardens 

Did you know that William Wrigley Jr. (yes, the one who invented Wrigley gum!) is responsible for the development of Catalina? This 37-acre botanical garden is one of the most beautiful spots on the island and pays homage to Wrigley’s vision for Catalina to become the vacation utopia it is today. It’s about a 30-minute hike from the beach, or you can rent a bike or use a golf cart to get there a little quicker. 

For the price of admission and more information about the gardens, please click here.

Catalina Island Museum 

Catalina Island is a lot more than just gorgeous beaches and breathtaking views, and you can learn more about its unique history at the Catalina Island Museum. This well-curated museum explores the island’s fascinating history, including its ties to the Chicago Cubs spring training, military training exercises, and the suspicious death of Natalie Wood. Plus, it’s a great place to cool down on an especially hot day. 

Visit the museum’s official website for information on the latest exhibitions and events.

Descanso Beach Club

If you’re in the mood to party, Descanso Beach is just 10 minutes away from our property. While there, you can rent a chaise lounge or a private cabana, play frisbee, or rent a paddleboard, kayak, or snorkel set. During the summer, you can catch DJs and bands on the weekends. It’s the only beach on the island where you can legally drink alcohol, so the atmosphere is a bit more lively than at the other beaches. 

To rent a cabana or to view their event schedule, head on over to their official site.

Ridgetop Eco Adventure 

Not for the faint of heart, this bumpy two-hour tour on an open-air biofuel Hummer will take you through the island’s eastern interior. You’ll cruise past Catalina’s rolling hills, rugged coastline, and you might even come across a wild bison or two. Ten percent of tour proceeds help support the Catalina Island Conservancy, so you can feel good that you’re doing your part to keep the island beautiful. 

Feeling adventurous? Book your tour now.

Luau Larry’s 

Home of the famous Wiki Wacker (which comes with a palm frond hat!), Luau Larry’s is a cultural institution and has been offering world-famous drinks, delicious food, and live entertainment to the island for over 30 years. Luau Larry’s has something for everyone: tiki drinks, sandwiches, pizza, and fresh seafood, so gather the family and head to Luau Larry’s for a truly unforgettable experience. 

Curious about what exactly is in a Wiki Wacker? Browse their food and drink menu.

Flying Fish Tours 

Have you ever seen a fish fly? If you’re in town between Memorial Day and the end of September, hop on board the Flying Fish Voyage for a truly unique experience. Catalina’s flying fish have oversized front fins that help them glide above the ocean waves when attracted by the ship’s searchlights. While the fish in Catalina don’t actually fly, it sure looks like it. Sometimes they even land directly on the boat! 

Book your Flying Fish Voyage to see Catalina’s world-famous marine aviators take flight.

Bonus: Stay at Home

We might be biased, but one of the best ways to enjoy the island is to book with us and enjoy everything your villa has to offer. Don’t believe us? Take it from one of our happy guests, who said “The true hallmarks of this place include the expansive crystal clear ocean views, open-air full-sized patio, and the fresh and clean beachy decor. We slept with the windows open to enjoy that fresh ocean air and relaxing lull of the ocean waves breaking on the shoreline just below us. So relaxing and worry-free.” 

Each of our villas has something unique to offer, so spend some time learning more about Villa 15, Villa 33, and Villa 97 before booking your Catalina Dream Vacation.