How to Visit Catalina During Quarantine

The unofficial start to summer has us dreaming about cruising to our favorite island getaway, Catalina. Just 22 miles off the coast of Los Angeles makes Catalina a quick half day sail or an even quicker ferry ride. Catalina reopened their moorings to boaters starting May 14, and even though Catalina's essential businesses are open, the island is still mostly closed to visitors.

Boaters will be able to come ashore for essential activities including:
  • Food and necessary shopping at the Two Harbors General Store (face coverings are required)
  • To-go food/drink pick up from the West End Galley (items must be consumed aboard your boat per County regulations)
  • Restroom and coin-op shower facilities
  • Trash facilities

Avalon hopes to celebrate Labor Day provided restrictions have are lifted. In the mean time Catalina wildlife has welcomed the absence of visitors like many other parks around the U.S., especially after such a healthy rain season.

“Both the Safer at Home Order and above average rainfall in March and April are likely influencing some animals’ behavior as they congregate in areas they would either typically avoid during busier tourism season or areas that are unusually lush this time of year,” Conservation Operations Director Laura Minuto said in an email.

Catalina Island is home to more than 60 plant and animal species found on Catalina and nowhere else in the world. While traveling restrictions are in place, live webcam videos, including one underwater at USC Wrigley Catalina Marine Reserve, one with views of the harbor and an eagle cam are keeping island lovers connected to Catalina’s wildlife.

Fans of the bald eagle cam in Two Harbors also have a new resident to watch. On April 5, eagles Chase and Cholyn became parents as a baby eaglet emerged.

You can also get a bird's eye view of Catalina Island through three different cameras. One atop the Catalina Casino allows you to look around 360 degrees and see Descanso Beach, Avalon Harbor and the channel. The Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau offers postcard-worthy Avalon Harbor images from its webcam atop Mt Ada, and the Two Harbors webcam lets you check in on Isthmus Cove and take a look around. 

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