Catalina: The Best Kept Secret for a Weekend Getaway 

I want to go somewhere where the buffalo roam and the garibaldi flock like the salmon of the Capistrano… I’m talking about a little place called Catalina. Whether it's zip-lining with a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean or a day out with friends at Descanso Beach Club, Catalina has something for everyone. 

We decided to take some of our crew out to experience everything this beautiful island has to offer, and it did not disappoint. Check out some of the antics below, as well as the OPKIX guide of the Top 10 things to do in Catalina. 


10. Glass Bottom Boat

During the voyage, you’ll see a variety of colorful fish and other sea life as you cruise through what many consider to be one of the healthiest marine environments in the world. 

Catalina Glass Bottom Boat

9. Buffalo Milk

Buffalo Milk is a creamy and delicious libation, best enjoyed at the beach. "Buffalo Milk". Think of it as a White Russian gone crazy

Buffalo Milk

8. Bike Trails

Cyclists on Catalina enjoy the fresh air and challenging twists and turns of the Island's 40 miles of trails and roads (mostly unpaved) open to mountain biking. FYI To bike in the wildlands of Catalina a Freewheeler Bike Pass is required, and is available through the purchase of a Conservancy membership starting at $35

Catalina Bike Trails

7. Snorkeling

The crystal clear waters around Catalina Island are known as great spots for snorkeling. Snorkeling is a great way to explore and to see the undersea wildlife around Catalina Island. Guided and self-guided tours are available. Some of our favorite snorkeling spots include Lover's Cove Marine Preserve, Casino Point Dive Park, and the waters around Descanso Beach.

Catalina Snorkeling

6. Ropes Courses

People are taking to the trees on Catalina Aerial Adventure, a unique and challenging outdoor experience at Descanso, SoCal’s favorite island entertainment and adventure destination. Catalina Aerial Adventure is just a short stroll from Descanso Beach Club, but you’ll feel like you’re deep in the woods, as you climb, swing, and crawl through a series of challenging obstacles suspended in a grove of towering eucalyptus.

Catalina Ropes Course

5. Rumble and Trek

Experience Catalina Island like never before with a two and a half hour expedition into Catalina's backcountry guided by a trained naturalist. Your trip begins aboard a biofuel Hummer* as you rumble your way into the hills of Catalina. Once you reach an altitude of 1602 feet, you'll arrive at the Airport-in-the-Sky and disembark. There, we’ll take a moment for some complimentary hydration (16 oz water bottle is provided) while you prep your cameras and stretch your legs to get ready for a 2.2-mile hike on the Airport Loop Trail.

Rumble and Trek Tour

4. Descanso Beach Club

Stroll along the waterfront past the iconic Casino to Descanso Beach Club. It's home to Catalina's only beachside restaurant and bar and one of the last private beaches in California open to the public. It's also one of the few places where you can legally have a drink in your hand and your feet in the sand...at the same time.

Catalina Descanso Beach Club

3. Two Harbors

Two Harbors offers a host of activities for outdoor lovers of all kinds. The Dive & Recreation Center has everything you need to enjoy hiking, mountain biking, camping, kayaking, boating, fishing, snorkeling, and world-class SCUBA diving in crystal clear water. If you just want a place to relax in the warm sun and cool ocean breeze, head down to Harbor Sands, where you can enjoy signature food and drinks from Harbor Reef Restaurant on our waterfront dining deck, or at your beachside palapa or chaise lounge.

Two Harbors Catalina

2. Golf

The long, narrow course meanders through a canyon setting toward the ocean, offering stunning views of Avalon Bay and the iconic Casino. The small greens and deep bunkers are enough to challenge any golfer. A driving net is available. Deer, hawks and island fox frequent the area. 

Catalina Golf

1. Zip Lining 

Get ready for two hours of adrenaline-fueled fun on TripAdvisor's top-rated Catalina Island adventure. After a brief safety session, you'll gear up and climb aboard a shuttle that will take you to the ridge top 600 feet above Descanso Beach Club. From there, you'll enjoy sweeping ocean views as you zigzag down and across the canyon and through a grove of towering eucalyptus trees on five separate lines at speeds approaching 35 mph.

Catalina Zip Lining

How To Get There:

By Catalina Express: Click Here

By Helicopter: Click Here

You can also visit the Catalina info website for all things Catalina.