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Catalina Island Transportation – How to Get Around

On Catalina Island, transportation is a combination of quaint, convenient and uncomplicated.

Most visitors to the island arrive in Avalon, where a number of options for Catalina Island transportation are available both within the city and for the rest of the island.

The most popular form of transportation in Avalon is walking. With just about two square miles of land, the village is eminently walkable. Most dining and shopping is conveniently located within a block or two of the Avalon waterfront, which includes the Catalina Island ferry terminal at the Cabrillo Mole, Crescent Avenue along the beach in Avalon, the Catalina Casino and Descanso Beach, as well as Lover’s Cove and Pebbly Beach. Avalon Canyon Road, which is perpendicular to Avalon Harbor, provides an easy Catalina Island stroll and takes visitors to the Catalina Island golf course, Catalina nature center and the Wrigley Memorial and Botanic Garden.

Mechanized travel in Avalon includes golf carts, taxis, trolleys, tours and private vehicles.

  • Golf Carts: With their petite size and maneuverability, golf carts have become ubiquitous on Catalina Island. Many locals use them as their primary means of transportation. For visitors, golf carts can be rented by the hour or some Catalina Island vacation rentals include the use of a golf cart. Golf cart use is restricted to Avalon; they cannot be taken into the interior of Catalina Island.
  • Taxis: Taxi service on Catalina Island is available in Avalon as well as charter service into the island’s interior. All Catalina Island taxis are white seven-passenger vans, they are available at the Avalon ferry terminal and at their stand located at the corner of Crescent and Metropole avenues. Catalina Island cabs can also be summoned by calling 310-510-0025. The taxi services also operates Avalon’s Dial-A-Ride program which is available to disabled persons and individuals ages 60 and above. For details, call 310-510-0342.
  • Trolleys: Avalon Community Transit operates the Avalon trolley on a fixed route with several stops throughout town. Trolley service can be purchased either per ride or per day from the trolley driver, who accepts cash only.
  • Tours: If it’s your first visit to Avalon, a tour of the city can be a great way to learn more about the town while getting the lay of the land.
  • Private vehicles: Avalon, the only city on Catalina Island, is also the only city in California with authority from the state legislature to regulate the number of vehicles. There is a long waiting list for both private and commercial vehicles, with individuals expected to wait at least 20 years for a permit for a private vehicle.

Transportation to the rest of the island is much more restricted than in Avalon. Nearly 90 percent of the island is protected by the Catalina Island Conservancy, which regulates the number and types of vehicles allowed in the interior.

  • Tours: The easiest way to see the interior is through a tour, a number of which are available. Catalina Island tours range from private taxi charter to four-wheel drive adventures.
  • Hiking: Hiking on Catalina Island rewards visitors with spectacular vistas and unique flora and fauna. Everything from hour-long strolls to multi-day expeditions are available.
  • Shuttles: Shuttle service to Catalina Island campgrounds, beaches and trailheads is available through the Catalina Island Conservancy.