Two Harbors or Avalon? Catalina Island features two main towns – Avalon and Two Harbors – on either end of its island, so commuting can take time and be tiresome. Select one town as home base to begin exploring!
Two Harbors or Avalon?
To travel from San Pedro to two harbors quickly and economically, take the Catalina Express. Its cost and speed make this route unrivaled.
Two Harbors campground is Catalina Island’s premier camping spot, boasting 44 tent-only and 13 tent-cabin sites ideally situated along a sandy beachfront location with access to crystal-clear waters. Each campsite comes equipped with table, fire ring and grate as well as vault toilets and outdoor showers – plus vault toilets are provided if necessary! Located only a short stroll from village shops and ocean/beach activities such as snorkeling diving hiking etc; general store or restaurant services also provide meals should they are needed.
Weekends at the campground are extremely busy, so reserve in advance. In addition to tent camping, there are also “tent cabins”, covered spaces with cots and porches that cost slightly more than traditional tents.
Rent a kayak and spend the night at one of the nine primitive boat-in campsites situated along the 13-mile coast between Two Harbors and Avalon for an alternative way of exploring the island and escaping crowds at traditional campgrounds.
If you are bringing your own kayak, drop off its gear at the Visitor Services office and arrange to have it shuttled directly to your campsite for a fee. Likewise, food and supplies can also be delivered directly. Just be sure that all items are placed inside waterproof bags to prevent wet items ruining your camping adventure!
Two Harbors is an unassuming spot at the front of the island with only a handful of campsites, hotel rooms, restaurants and small general stores and snack bars dotted about. Popular for kayaking and snorkeling trips alike, Two Harbors can easily be reached via boat from San Pedro or Dana Point and takes around 40 minutes round trip each way to reach.
If you’re seeking an exquisite dining experience, M Restaurant and Event Center has something special in store. Offering both indoor and outdoor seating, premium wines, delicious appetizers and an outstanding cioppino offering; visitors and locals alike flock there regularly!
Two Harbors offers plenty of other restaurants, though the selection may be more limited than in Avalon. Two Harbors provides an ideal place for relaxation and unplugging from technology – kayaking, renting bikes or simply lounging around under a palapas are just a few ways you can unwind here – or you could spend your afternoon reading a good book under an inviting tree canopy is also possible here!
Staying in Avalon provides more activities. Here you can visit the Catalina Casino, botanical garden and explore Avalon by bicycle or foot – not forgetting scenic tours, rental golf carts or ziplining! While Avalon may be busier than Two Harbors, it remains an enjoyable destination for visitors eager to see everything this island has to offer.
Catalina Island offers visitors several shopping opportunities across its two harbors. Avalon offers restaurants, hotels and tour options while Two Harbors has less crowded surroundings but still boasts galleries and local artisan stores that sell souvenirs or gifts.
Visitors to Two Harbors can relax on its sandy beaches or explore its underwater world by kayak. Two Harbors’ peaceful shoreline provides the ideal place for unwinding after a busy day and guests may also partake in other water activities, like snorkeling or swimming.
Two Harbors offers several hotels and vacation rental properties as well as campsites, such as Banning House Lodge (an historic 12-room bed and breakfast with stunning views and peaceful surroundings) or Catalina camping cabins for more rustic experiences.
Visitors to Avalon and Two Harbors from San Pedro, Long Beach or Dana Point can travel by ferry for approximately forty minutes each way with multiple sailings daily. Or they can use Catalina Express boats from Los Angeles that arrive quickly in Avalon before continuing onto Two Harbors. The Catalina Express boats also stop briefly at Avalon before continuing onto Two Harbors before departing again at San Pedro port for two additional sailings each day.
Two Harbors offers a more laidback experience than Avalon and is perfect for nature enthusiasts, hikers, campers and anyone wanting a secluded camping trip. Two Harbors’ vacation rental properties and 12-room Banning House Lodge provide lodgings, while Catalina Camping Cabins provide camping facilities nearby. Two Harbors can also be reached easily using private boats from Avalon or by taking the Cyclone boat across Avalon Strait.
Although Avalon may offer more restaurants and bars, Harbor Reef Restaurant stands out among them with its breakfast, lunch, dinner and cocktail service offering seafood dishes, burgers and salads on their menu. Additionally, this town hosts both an annual wine festival and microbrew fest that are both highly anticipated events.
Two Harbors offers many outdoor activities, as well as its beautiful beaches that provide a relaxing retreat from crowds. Cat Harbor and Little Harbor beaches are perfect for lounging on sandy shores or swimming in calm waters; their crystal-clear waters also make kayaking and snorkeling possible. Furthermore, Two Harbors features numerous campsites ranging from remote secluded spots to family-friendly ones, all located in scenic locations that make an excellent spot to stargaze at night.