FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.
United

Six Ways To Enjoy Catalina Island

by Eugenia Lazaris

Mar 29, 2018

© Ian Whitworth | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / North America

Whether you have a little time or a lot, Santa Catalina Island is a great way to have fun and rejuvenate at the same time. Located just a short ferry ride from Los Angeles, this beautiful and laid-back island getaway is the perfect place for families to enjoy the fresh air of the Pacific Ocean and get a little closer to nature.

Water Adventures

The local marine life is one of the major draws of Catalina Island. The waters around the island are full of beautiful and fascinating creatures such as dolphins, seals, sea lions and all manner of colorful fish. Not only is there a wide variety of sea life to view, but a number of creative ways to view it.

The Catalina Island Company offers boat excursions on glass-bottom boats so guests of all ages can enjoy the wide variety of colorful fish in their natural habitat. Both daytime and nighttime cruises are available so you can experience the different species active at different times of the day.

The Ocean Runner Tour takes you on a high-speed ride out into the ocean for an opportunity to race with the dolphins and sea lions that enjoy playing in the local waters.

For a truly memorable experience, take the Undersea Expedition Tour. This incredible trip takes you underwater in a semi-submersible boat where you can view the local marine life face to face in their natural habitat.

Catalina Island Harbour

© Ian Whitworth | Dreamstime.com

Wildlife Viewing

Catalina is also home to a variety of land mammals, such as foxes, antelope and deer, not to mention birds, bats, snakes and lizards. Nature tours are the best way to see some of the more elusive creatures, such as the herd of bison that wander the island freely. These amazing creatures have roamed the island since the 1920s when they were brought there to film a movie and subsequently abandoned. They are now an iconic part of the island and a real treat to encounter. Since they have never been domesticated, they are best observed from a distance. Campers, hikers and off-roaders often stumble upon these magnificent animals and occasionally the animals react defensively, especially if they feel provoked, so make sure you keep your distance and treat them with the respect they deserve.

Aerial Adventures

Catalina Island Company offers exciting aerial activities that provide visitors with a unique way to explore the island. Families can spend the day enjoying the beach and café at Descanso Beach Club, while the adventuresome members of the group partake in one of the many aerial attractions they offer.

The two-hour zipline experience takes you 300 feet into the skies above the island’s Descanso Canyon as trained guides assist you along a five-line course, all while teaching you nature facts about the island.

The Rock Climbing Wall lets climbers of various skill levels test their abilities on a 32-foot climbing wall that offers spectacular views of the island and surrounding ocean.

They also have an aerial adventure course that gives you an opportunity to test and hone your outdoor adventure skills by working your way through a series of obstacles suspended in the trees above the beach.

Off Road Excursions

The Catalina Island Conservancy offers an eco tour that takes visitors off the main roads and deep into the wild interior of the island. This four-wheel-drive, off-road Jeep tour shows you a side of Catalina rarely seen by tourists. Trained guides know the island well and are happy to share its history with guests. The island’s mountainous terrain is filled with incredible specimens of local wildlife and plant life, but, at times, nature’s beauty is trumped by the stunning views that can be enjoyed throughout the tour.

Hiking

The island is an outdoorsman’s dream, with plenty of activities to keep anyone interested. Hiking is one such activity, and Catalina has plenty of hiking trails to go around. They are best conquered in the mornings — even with the fresh mountain air and cooler island temperatures, Catalina can get fairly warm the further away from the waterfront you venture. You can take a public bus up to the hiking trails or start at the edge of Avalon at the Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Garden, which gives access to some of the island’s most popular hiking trails. Hermit Gulch Trail Loop and the Garden to Sky Trail are two such hikes that offer great samplings of some of the local fauna, like cacti and wildflowers, as well as stunning views of the island with the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop.

Shopping and Sightseeing

If you’ve had your fill of outdoor activities, spend some time in the port town of Avalon. The sprawling town spreads out across the port and up the surrounding hillsides. The harbor is lined with a quaint shopping district where it is easy to pass the day wandering in and out of the cute boutiques and souvenir shops, stopping for a drink or a bite to eat whenever the mood strikes you.

At the edge of town sits the iconic dome shape of the casino, a living part of Catalina’s history. No longer in use as an actual casino, it has an intricately decorated theater, now in use as a movie theater. In addition to viewing a movie in a one-of-a-kind setting, it is a great place to tour and get a feel for Catalina’s past.

#WhereverFamily

Insta Feed
Multigenerational
Apr 2, 2024

Princess Cruises Offers Accessible, Affordable Multigenerational Travel

According to a National Tourism Association study, multigenerational vacations continue to be a popular choice for family travel, with about half of all vacations taken by parents and grandparents considered multigenerational. Additionally, 45 percent of all leisure travelers brought kids on their trips last year.

United Airlines Celebrates its First Class of United Aviate Graduates

As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.

Multigenerational
Mar 28, 2024

Unforgettable Family Adventures Await at These 4 Multigenerational Destinations

The best type of family travel is when the whole family gets involved. For your next family trip, consider these multigenerational destinations and resorts.

Kids
Mar 21, 2024

Kids Can Now Adopt Plants at Grand Velas Los Cabos

Grand Velas Los Cabos recently launched a new Adopt-a-Plant program that allows kids to adopt and care for a plant of their choosing during their stay at the resort. The resort believes a love and appreciation for nature is more important than ever, and the hands-on activity will teach valuable lessons about responsibility and stewardship — perfect for family travelers!

Make the Most of Hamad International Airport When Transferring

Making travel plans can be exciting; did you know planning on how to spend time at the airport the right way can enrich the overall trip experience? As a transfer hub, traveling through Doha's Hamad International Airport is a unique experience, as waiting never feels like waiting at one of the best airports in the world.

Cruising
Mar 19, 2024

Set Sail with City Cruises New York’s Spring Programming

City Cruises New York invites family travelers aboard this spring with seasonal offerings for Easter and Mother’s Day. Cruising along the East and Hudson Rivers, City Cruises hosts special brunches and dinners for the spring holidays.