Ten ways to save on Santa Catalina Island – Orange County Register
There’s a reason they call this island Cashalina, because it’s so easy to drop a wad of greenery when you visit.
But it’s best to visit in winter and spring, when the weather can be delightfully mild and prices are well below their summer peaks. Here are my tips to make it more affordable.
1. Get dropped off at the ferry: Take a bus or take a ride, then you don’t have to pay $ 14 to $ 17 to park, depending on the port.
2. Get a discount on the ferry: It costs around $ 70 to take the ferry back and forth to Catalina on either of the two lines. The Catalina Express departs from Dana Point, Long Beach, and San Pedro several times a day. You can go to Avalon or the two smaller ports. Costco always sells 20% off gift cards, and you can find an AAA discount as well. (Note that the “ride for free on your birthday” promotion expires on December 31, but the company will likely renew it.)
Catalina Flyer only sails once a day from Newport harbor, on a catamaran. Check out its website for discount coupons. Also, sites like Living Social or Groupon sometimes offer half-price deals, but read all the fine print and make a reservation right away. Call 800-830-7744 or visit catalinainfo.com.
3. Bring your bike: It costs $ 7 to bring your bike to the ferry, but then you have all-day transportation around the island. Most of Avalon is very biking and there are mountain biking trails in the hills, although you need to get a $ 35 (ouch!) Permit from the Catalina Island Conservancy.
4. Go hiking: Beautiful meadows with spectacular water views are found in the hinterland of the island, 88% of which is undeveloped and managed by the reserve, from which you will need to travel to get a permit to free hike.
5. Bring your chairs: If you bring your own beach chairs and a cooler, you can settle in for the day at one of Avalon’s small beaches, or the more spacious beach at Two Harbors, without having to pay for an expensive lounge chair.
6. Have a picnic: There is a Vons on the island, with the same weekly promotions as here. Stop and grab some cold cuts yourself and have a nice picnic by the water. There is also a park with a small lawn and grills near the ferry dock; buy charcoal at the store.
7. Meeting at the Nature Center: This pretty center across from Hermit’s Gulch Campground in Avalon Canyon is managed by conservation. It offers exhibits on the island’s habitats and also offers short films. It’s a pleasant 20 minute walk into the canyon from town, you can take the tram when it’s running or hire a taxi.
8. Go on weekdays: They are cheaper than weekends, especially out of season. You can save 30% and Avalon will also be less congested.
9. Book a package: Currently, the Santa Catalina Island Co. offers an “Escape Season” package Sunday through Thursday starting at $ 106 which includes the round-trip ferry, a room at the Atwater Hotel, and a $ 25 credit. $ on meals at Avalon Grille. This is a great deal considering it costs over $ 70 to take the ferry alone! The Atwater Hotel is the most basic accommodation on the island, so have low expectations, but it’s clean and right in the heart of town, steps from the water. Other lodges also offer this package at different prices.
Santa Catalina Island Co. also offers its “Ship & Zip” package, which includes the Catalina Express ferry as well as a Zip Line Eco Tour ticket. Fares are $ 139 on weekdays and $ 169 on weekends, which isn’t much more than the zipline itself.
10. Check the room: The Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce lists an ever-changing variety of offers and discounts, and will also keep you up to date with events and even when cruise ships will be in town. Find out more here: Catalinachamber.com
Do you have any good travel advice for me? Or a proposal? Write to me at [email protected] I love to hear from readers.
Contact the author: [email protected] or 714-796-7994