Catalina Island Reopens

Kirt Ramirez
A FAMILY POSES for a photo in front of the Catalina Express in Avalon with the Casino in the distance.

With the lifting of the state’s stay-at-home orders comes the reopening of Santa Catalina Island.

Whether it be shopping or dining in Avalon, hiking or camping on the island’s trails or checking out the various attractions, those wishing to escape to the tranquil place surrounded by water, crisp air and blue skies, are once again welcome.

“We are embracing the term reopening!” Jim Luttjohann, president and CEO of Love Catalina Island, Catalina Island Tourism Authority, said through email. “With leisure tourism being the number one driver of our economy, that is pretty accurate now that the health orders allow for more travel among the leisure segment.”

Luttjohann said just about all the island’s activities will be up and running by the Lincoln Birthday/President’s Day weekend.

“Jeep tours, boating and hiking are already in full operation,” he said. “Most other activities come online between now and the 12th of the month. The majority of our restaurants are reopening at the new limitation while continuing to provide take out.”

Luttjohann added, “Some island favorites like The Lobster Trap are crafting patio space by working with neighboring businesses for pop-up additions in outdoor dining, while others have resumed the beachside dining program that was so popular in the summer and fall when indoor dining was no longer allowed.”

The Catalina Express added departures to Avalon and Two Harbors recently. The ferries leave for Avalon from Long Beach and San Pedro while trips to Two Harbors go via the San Pedro station.

In addition, the Catalina Flyer will resume its Newport Beach departures starting Feb. 26 and IEX Helicopters takes off to the island daily from various Southern California locations.

“IEX Helicopters offers flights from Long Beach that get you to the island in only 15 minutes!” Luttjohann said.

For a comprehensive list of what’s open, links to the Catalina Express and other transportation, information about restaurants, retail, services, activities, camping, trails, churches and other details, people may visit

Face coverings and social distancing are required in accordance with Los Angeles County health orders. The rules are enforced by the LA County Sherriff’s and noncompliance can result in a $100 ticket.


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