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Say Gudday to Catalina Island

Updated on May 11, 2018

A visitors Guide to Catalina Island

Santa Catalina Island, the proper name for the more commonly called Catalina, is one of the most popular travel destinations in Southern California and for good reason. Aside from being the only offshore resort destination in all of California, this island offers a bewildering array of fun activities for singles, couples, families and people of all ages.

There's the amazing and beautiful casino opened in 1929 for an elegant experience or a romantic night. For the nature lovers there's hiking trails and for animal lovers there's plenty of wildlife to enjoy. There's the Catalina Island Fox, bald eagles, horses, mules, wild pigs and even bison to name just a few.

If you're into water sports then Catalina is a veritable paradise for you, offering many enjoyable options including kayaking, snorkeling, boating, swimming, whale watching, dolphin excursions and more.

Come with me as we Say Gudday to this magical island just twenty-two miles off the Pacific coast of the United States.

Santa Catalina Island

Camping Catalina

Roughing it

Campers love Catalina because it has some of the best campsites available. Secluded and picturesque, there are eleven shore-side campgrounds for the public to enjoy and they are all owned by the Catalina Island Conservancy. These sites are primitive, meaning that they don't have fresh water or toilet facilities and no campfires are allowed but, what they lack in amenities they more than make up for with natural beauty.

There are no roads into these campsites and they can only be reached by water, which is why they are called Boat-In camping areas. A popular way to reach these areas is by kayak and, if you've never been kayak-camping, then I strongly encourage you to try it because, once you do, you will be hooked.

Regular Camping

If you're looking for something a little more 'civilized' there are also campgrounds like Two Harbors where showers, toilets, fresh water, BBQ pits and even lockers are available to campers.

Hiking Catalina

For those who enjoy walking Catalina has miles of spectacular hiking trails that stretch all the way from the east end of the island to the west end. The Trans Catalina Trail (TCT) for example will take you from one stunning vista to the next, along canyons, down mountain passes and to beautiful, quiet beaches. There's a hiking experience for people of all athletic capacities and you can even take a guided hike if you prefer.

Catalina's Amazing Hiking Trails

The Catalina Casino

Located on Descanso Beach the casino, opened in 1929, is an architectural spectacle. Fully restored just a few years ago it is stunningly beautiful and is a favorite place for many couples to host their wedding. In addition to the casino itself the building also boasts a magnificent ballroom, a museum, an art gallery and even a movie theater.

The Casino

© 2012 Dale Anderson

Have you been to Catalina Island?

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    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      4 months ago

      Thank you.

    • GetitScene profile imageAUTHOR

      Dale Anderson 

      4 months ago from The High Seas

      I hope you get to go one day. There are other islands that I like much more, but it is a short trip that is cheap and convenient to get to (from the California coast).

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      4 months ago

      I haven't been to Catalina Island. I lived at Moffett NAS for 8 months but I didn't travel much. It was a lost opportunity. I did drive through California but that is another story.

    • GetitScene profile imageAUTHOR

      Dale Anderson 

      4 months ago from The High Seas

      Have you been there? It is a nice place. I piloted a friend's boat there once (he was too drunk to do it himself). I know people that go there every few months.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      5 months ago

      Thank you for the look at Catalina Island. It was the location for some movies, among them The Island of Lost Souls.

    • GetitScene profile imageAUTHOR

      Dale Anderson 

      3 years ago from The High Seas

      If you only ever go to one place in your whole life, make sure it is Bora-Bora. They have the most beautiful water in the world.

    • My Kitchen profile image

      My Kitchen 

      3 years ago

      Water is so blue. I have seen this blue water only in pictures. Loved it. Also I have never been to any casino as there are none in India. Hope to see this island soon. voted up , interesting and shared.

    • GetitScene profile imageAUTHOR

      Dale Anderson 

      5 years ago from The High Seas

      I have two close friends who have been to your beautiful country of India and they tell me that it is the most breath-taking place on earth. I hope to visit there one day myself. Thanks for the visit, the kind words and the vote!

    • Indian Chef profile image

      Indian Chef 

      5 years ago from New Delhi India

      GetitScene, I have never been out of India but the sheer beauty of your pictures esp the casino took my breath away. Never been to casino in my life as they are illegal in India. voting it up and awesome.

    • GetitScene profile imageAUTHOR

      Dale Anderson 

      5 years ago from The High Seas

      Thanks, Peggy. I submitted you as a Local on for both Texas and Wisconsin. I hope it brings you many new readers.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I have never visited Catalina Island but from what you showed us in this hub, I know that I would enjoy it. Thanks! Up, useful, beautiful and interesting votes.

    • Lady_E profile image


      6 years ago from London, UK

      It's a lovely Island and brilliant for camping.

      Thanks for sharing the history of it.


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