Located just off the Southern California coast, Catalina Island offers a resort experience that is very accessible. Visitors have a variety of transportation choices, from an hour-long ferry ride to a 15-minute helicopter ride. Transportation to Catalina Island is available at five mainland ports in Southern California. Once you arrive on the island most visitors are able to walk to destinations around Avalon. Taxis and shuttle busses can also get you where you want to go.
Catalina Island is home to two ports, one in the popular resort town of Avalon, and one in the rural community of Two Harbors.
Most visitors arrive on this Southern California island in Avalon, where they will find small beaches, restaurants, hotels, boat rentals, and many more businesses catering to tourists. Two Harbors is a tiny resort village offering just one hotel, one restaurant and a general store.
Visitors have a range of transportation options for getting from the mainland to Catalina Island, including public ferries, helicopters, private boats and private airplanes. Helicopters and ferries depart from several ports in Southern California.
Catalina Express: This Catalina Island ferry offers year -round passenger service to Catalina with up to 30 daily departures from ports in Long Beach, San Pedro and Dana Point. For boat information, directions, schedules and fares, visit www.catalinaexpress.com.
Catalina Flyer Passenger Service: The Catalina Flyer offers service from Newport Beach. For boat information, directions, schedules, fares and online ticket sales, visit www.catalinainfo.com.
Island Express Helicopter Service: Visitors looking for a faster way to travel to Catalina can hop aboard the Island Express for a 15-minute flight to Catalina. Island Express helicopters operate charter on demand from 8am-sunset, departing from heliports in Long Beach and San Pedro. Luggage is limited to 25 pounds per person; passenger weight will be needed for reservations. For directions, fares and reservations, visit www.islandexpress.com.
Ferries and helicopters depart from several different locations along the Southern California coast. Visitors will want to confirm their departure location, time and date before travel, and allow ample time to find parking. Directions to terminals are listed below
Long Beach Catalina Downtown Landing: Take the 710 Freeway south into Long Beach. Follow signs to downtown and exit Golden Shore. Turn right at stop sign, follow around to terminal on the right. Parking in parking structure on the left.
Long Beach Queen Mary: Take the 710 Freeway south into Long Beach. Follow all signs to the Queen Mary, which will lead you to the Catalina Express Port in the Queen Mary parking lot.
San Pedro: Take the 110 Freeway south into San Pedro. Take the Terminal Island, Exit 47 ramp. Stay in the right lane, exit Harbor Blvd. Follow signs to Catalina Terminal, Berth 95, entrance across Harbor Blvd. If you’re coming from Long Beach you can take Ocean Blvd. west, cross over the Vincent Thomas Bridge, and take the Harbor Blvd. exit.
From Los Angeles – Take I-5 Freeway South & exit at Pacific Coast Highway.
From San Diego – Take I-5 Freeway North & exit at Beach Cities, Highway #1 off the ramp. Take a left at the signal, (Dana Point Harbor Drive) then left at Golden Lantern, which dead ends at Dana Harbor parking lot.
Catalina Flyer Passenger Service Terminal at Newport Beach: Take the 405 Freeway to the 55 Freeway South. The 55 ends and becomes Newport Blvd, which ends and becomes Balboa Blvd. Travel 2 miles on Balboa Blvd. Turn left on Main St. for the terminal at the Balboa Pavilion or turn right on Palm Street for long-term parking.
Long Beach Queen Mary. Take the 710 Freeway south into Long Beach. Stay to the right and follow all signs to the Queen Mary/Port of Long Beach. Enter the Queen Mary parking lot and keep to the right, following the signs saying heliport. They will take you to the last parking lot. Park on the right side and the offices are about 200 feet from the parking area.
San Pedro: Take the 110 Freeway south into San Pedro. Take the Terminal Island, Exit 47 ramp. Stay in the right lane, exit Harbor Blvd. Follow signs to Catalina Terminal entrance across Harbor Blvd. If you’re coming from Long Beach you can take Ocean Blvd. west, cross over the Vincent Thomas Bridge, and take the Harbor Blvd. exit.