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10 Jan 2018
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Things to do on Catalina Island

Planning a vacation to Catalina Island on a budget can be tough. It’s often hard to find fun experiences for multiple people that don’t break the bank.

While there are many fabulous tours, events, and activities on Catalina Island, we have compiled a list of budget-friendly things to do while you’re in town.

This post is part of a series. Activities under $20 (coming soon), activities under $10, and free activities.


Hiking  FREE

There are various trails both in town and in the interior, of varying levels of difficulty. If you’re just looking to stretch your legs in Avalon, try the Horse Trail, Mt. Ada Loop, or Hogsback. If you want to trek through the beautiful island interior, you will need a free hiking permit from the Catalina Island Conservancy. See their website for how to get one and what trails they recommend. Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes!


Nature Center  FREE

Located about a twenty minute walk up Avalon Canyon Rd., or even faster by bike or golf cart, the Nature Center is operated by the Catalina Island Conservancy. Inside you’ll find an exhibit about the natural history of the island, along with information about the conservation efforts and some hands-on activities for kids. It’s a great place to learn more about the island and our natural habitats.

Hours: Open every day from 10am-4pm



Even if you can’t afford to buy art, that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate it. Check out these three places for some island inspired art.

Ruth Mayer Gallery

-          Located on Sumner Ave., Ruth Mayer is a brilliant and talented artist who has been painting for over 60 years. She has won numerous awards for her work, and it’s truly a sight to behold. Stop in to her gallery to enjoy her scope of work, which includes many familiar scenes from around Avalon.

Catalina Art Gallery in US Bank

-          For something a little more casual, the front half of US Bank’s office on Crescent Ave. is also a small, yet fully stocked, art gallery. Sponsored by the bank and the Catalina Art Association, this spot features a variety of local artists’ pieces.


-          Finally, the least traditional and perhaps most family friendly fun can be found at Afishinados Store and Gallery. Everything you’ll see is original, contemporary work by local artists, all inspired by fish or the ocean. There is also a wider variety of items here, such as jewelry, apparel, ceramics, sculptures, and fine art.




If you’re walking into town fresh off the ferry, you will pass right by a public basketball court and sand volleyball court. Brown’s Bikes, which is just across the street from the courts, will rent you a ball for a $5 deposit. Play a few games in the sun and then have some lunch on the park benches nearby. The courts can get very busy in the summer, so either get there early or be willing to share.


Exercise Playground at People’s Park  FREE

While there may not be a public gym in town, there is a bunch of playground-style fitness equipment at People’s Park. Located across from the fire station on Avalon Canyon Road, this fabulous park has everything you need to get a good workout in. There are also plenty of benches, a playground area for kids, and a grassy area for a relaxing picnic.


Beach  FREE

There’s nothing better than a relaxing day at the beach. You can sit and read a book, make sandcastles, search for sea glass, sun bathe, or swim. In the summer you’ll find a large floatie in the harbor by South Beach that kids love to jump off. Catalina is an island after all, so a beach is never far away.