Disclosure: We received complimentary hotel accommodations, some meals, tours and transportation while visiting Catalina Island. However all opinions expressed here are our own.
You’ll most likely arrive to the island via the Catalina Express . Their boats leave from San Pedro, Long Beach and Dana Point daily.
Do not forget to upgrade to the Commodores Lounge. You'll get to skip the long boarding line, sit in a private indoor area with leather reclining seats and you get a free beverage (I recommend choosing the Bloody Mary or the mimosa).
Catalina Island is a wonderful place to visit any time of year. Summer is the busiest season, so I would recommend scheduling your visit during the winter or spring months. (Just be sure to dress warmly, as most of the activities are outdoors and also pack good pair of walking shoes, and a sweater or light jacket)
Mid-week any time of the year is also a great time to visit Catalina Island, because hotel rates are lower than weekend rates and the Island is less crowded.
In terms of food, you will have plenty of choices to choose from.
For breakfast you can choose to save some money as more hotels offer some type continental breakfast. If you choose to go out for breakfast and for other meals here are our recommendations for restaurants in the island.
Catalina Coffee & Cookie Co
They offer pastries, Gourmet Coffee, Espresso, Chai, Tea, Frappe, Smoothies & Treats. They have Avalon’s Frozen Yogurt Fruit Bar. They are home of the Best Cinnamon Roll and Brownies Ever! Open at 5 am and they are located in the Metropole Market Place. They are part of Island Birthday Specials.
My son's favorite was the Jalapeño Cheese Pretzel
For more information please read details at Catalina Coffee Cookie Co
Ben's Bakery at the Shops at the Atwater
Ben's Bakery is located in the Shops at the Atwater. Ben's Bakery features fresh grab & go sandwiches, wraps and salads, fresh baked goods, pastries and muffins. Daily specials may include favorites like ham & cheese croissants, chive omelets, roasted pork sandwiches and gluten free cheddar cheese biscuits.
Ben's features fresh brewed coffee, espresso drinks, iced coffee drinks, frozen blended drinks, hot tea, iced tea, smoothie bar and fresh juices of the day. (They are also a good place to visit for lunch!).
They are part of the Island Birthday Specials.
For more information please read details at Ben’s Bakery
Located a short stroll past the Casino is one of the last private beaches in California with public access. Descanso Beach Club hosts a sandy beach, sea side restaurant and bar, cabanas and chaise lounges, and beach time fun. The Club has easy access to pristine waters, snorkeling, kayaking, the Catalina Climbing Wall, Snuba, and the Zip Line Eco Tour. Morning hours are serene but as the day goes on, the pace quickens. The restaurant and bar gets busier throughout the day, and Descanso Beach becomes the hottest place to be in town. Great food and beverages can be enjoyed with table service at Descanso Beach Club Restaurant.
We ordered the nachos, the popcorn shrimp and off course the famous Catalina Island drink: Buffalo Milk, a very delicious cocktail.
For more information please read details at Descanso Beach
The lobster trap
Good times, good food, happy hours, good drinks. They offer great selection of seafood dishes. It is great for those that want to hangout around other people. Can get crowded but the food is delicious.
We tried the poke, the Oysters Rockefeller, the bacon wrapped scallops and the swordfish. Everything was delicious.
For more information please read details at The Lobster Trap
Located on the waterfront the Bluewater Avalon is a contemporary Catalina take on the classic New England seafood house, specialties include Bluewater’s signature cioppinno, fish and chips and homemade chowders, plus sand dabs, swordfish, lobster and other locally caught fish. Bluewater Avalon also offers a full bar menu including specialty cocktails and signature liter jugs. Other restaurant highlights include a kid’s and small plates menu, retail fish market and off-season weekday happy hours. The outdoor seating is perfect for up close views of the waterfront.
We ordered the fried calamari, the fisherman’s platter and the Ahi Tuna. Totally recommended to dine here while visiting Catalina Island
For more information please read details at Bluewater Avalon
They have sushi, cheese plates, gelato, seafood and other items on the menu. The atmosphere was pleasant and we really enjoyed the live music band.
For more information please read details at C.C Gallagher
Lloyd's of Avalon
In the middle of downtown Avalon you can get some yummy salt water taffy, caramel apples, peanut brittle and creamy fudge. They also have frozen coffee.
For more information please read details at Lloyd’s of Avalon
Located on Front Street. One of the best people watching spots in town! You can enjoy drinks and chips and salsa and guacamole either on the patio looking towards the ocean or inside. The service is great and they have happy hour every day from 3 to 5pm.
As you can see you have great options for dinning while in the island. Our recommendation would be to enjoy seafood, but you can also find good Mexican places.
Would you choose a place with seafood or other option?