Avalon or Two Harbors

Avalon or Two Harbors: Where Should You Go?

Catalina Island is one of the most beautiful channel islands of California. It’s a tourist magnet because of the two sites- Avalon and two harbors.

This village and the city showcase beautiful scenery, wildlife, and unique characteristics. It’s quite common to get confused between picking one of them to travel to. 

So, which destination suits you the most, avalon or two harbors?

The main difference between Avalon and Two harbors is the crowd. Avalon is the heart of the island and it has many tourists. But two harbors have less popularity and tourists. Avalon will require greater cost and activities compared to the two harbors.

You can’t stop reading here. Because this is not the only information that we’re gonna provide. Finish reading the whole article to digest every bit of information.

Let’s start reading!

Quick Comparison

There are a lot of similarities and differences between the Avalon and the two harbors. Now you may be thinking, what is the difference between avalon and two harbors? A quick comparison will help you rundown the key differences-

Differentiating FactorsAvalonTwo Harbors
Place typeCityVillage
Sightseeing SpotsYesYes
Family FriendlyYesYes
Trip Cost400-500$ each day250-300$ each day

Now that you’ve overviewed the factors, let’s dive in deeper. Below, I have given in-depth information and explained the factors in detail. Check it out!


Since Catalina island doesn’t include any airstrips, you’ll have to fly somewhere nearby in California. The long beach airport is the nearest location from the avalon and two harbors. The island is 33 miles away from this airport.

You should get to California pretty easily! If you live in Florida, consider taking the best routes to California. From the airport, take a ferry ride to reach the beautiful island.


There are many note-worthy Catalina island hotels you may stay at. It depends on where you stay though. Read along to know more.

Two Harbors

You can pick from a variety of hotels in two harbors Catalina. These hotels offer great services and are relatively cheap. 

The food at the hotels is also of good quality. There is also wifi, housekeeping, and proper room service. Rooms start from 125$.


There are many hotels at Avalon for spending the night. Similar to two harbors, the hotels at Avalon also have great amenities. 

There are spas and bars at some of the hotels; since Avalon is more developed. The room cost starts from 165$ at Avalon.

Here’re some of the top hotels in Avalon that you can choose from.

Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel
Free wifi, Pool, Free Breakfast, Airport Transportation Begin Your Travel!
The Avalon HotelCanoeing off site, Taxi service, soundproof rooms, rooftop terraceBegin Your Travel!
Aurora HotelSun deck, Private balcony, Ocean view roomsBegin Your Travel!

Do you Want a Guide?

You may be planning to get a guide for your traveling. For your convenience, I’ve included the information and the cost you need. Read the segment below.


Having a guide at Avalon can be handy. Since this is the main city of the island, there’s a lot to know. A guide can let you know all about this beautiful city; its history. 

The guide can also show the hotspots of the city. They’ll cost around 150-200$ per day. 

Two Harbors

It’s not necessary to have a guide at two harbors. It is a small village which you can discover safely by yourself! Still, if you feel comfortable with a guide, there are services for that. The cost of a guide will be the same as Avalon; maybe a bit lower. 

Now, remember, these hotels aren’t like the phoenician and canyon suites hotels. So It’s important to set your expectations accordingly.

Do You Want to Take the Charge of Your Whole Trip?

If you have someone to take charge of the whole trip, that’s nice. A guide will do the perfect job. However, sometimes the situation pushes you to take charge of a trip. Or maybe you simply want to be on your own. That’s fine!

Now, if you’re taking charge of this trip, you’ll need an outline of both places. That is exactly what I have provided below to help you out. Have a look.


At Avalon, you can get many choices for food. They offer American, Mexican, and seafood items. There are many bars, restaurants, and pubs for you to choose from. The food quality is pretty good.

On the contrary, two harbors only have 1 restaurant; the Harbor Beef Restaurant. But don’t get me wrong, the food of this restaurant is pristine. 

They offer steaks, burgers, fish, etc. The food is also fresh and tasty.

Since both these restaurants are on the island, the seafood section should not be missed. They have fishes, lobsters, crabs, and whatnot!


There are many services regarding buses, taxis, and rental cars around Avalon. So you don’t have to worry much about transportation when roaming at Avalon. 

The same goes for two harbors as well. Driving is allowed anywhere in the Avalon city limits. 

If you have extra time, you can also go to Avalon from two harbors! The best way to how to get from two harbors to avalon is by ferry. It’ll take roughly 3.5 hours and cost around $70-$80.


A wide range of entertainment is available at both two harbors and Avalon. I have elaborated on some of them in detail, below. Check it out!


In Avalon, several activities are awaiting you. I have listed some of them below.

  • The Cataline Zipline Eco Tour. This is a zipline course that features the most exciting views of the island. This zipline is over the descanso canyon floor. 
  • Semi Submarine Tours. This is a tour of the island which starts from the harbor of avalon Catalina. On the submarine tour, you can observe beautiful scenarios and sea animal sightings.
  • Kayaking and Canoeing. This is a very fun activity the tourist can get along with. Many rental services offer this activity. You can enjoy kayaking at the beaches.

Let’s look at some of the activities you can enjoy at two harbors.

  • Hiking. Two harbors feature great weather and atmosphere for hiking! There are many hiking packages which you pick from. Packing a hiking bag properly is necessary for these trips.
  • The ‘Heritage Days’ festival should not be missed. This family-friendly 4-day festival showcases one of the largest parades on the north shore. 

So, what do you like better? Catalina avalon or two harbors? Read the next segments to be more clear about your answer!

What To Do

There are many things to do in two harbors Catalina. If you’re into bike riding, ride through the forest trails. If you like to camp, you can spend your time at two harbors camping

Since you’re close to the lake, you can also swim and go fishing! 

On the other hand, Avalon also features a list of things you can do! You can do biking, shopping, snorkeling, kayaking, scuba diving, golfing, fishing, and many more things!

You may roam around the beautiful city to get a taste of the city life.

So, you may be thinking, should I go to two harbors or avalon? Read the next parts to be more confident with your answer.


Regarding sightseeing, you won’t be bored on Catalina island. Both two harbors and Avalon have many sightseeing spots.

In two harbors, you can find many attractive places. The two harbors lighthouse, holy spirit catholic church, and superior hiking trail are some examples. 

The agate bay beach and Iona’s beach are mention-worthy too!

From Avalon, you can start Catalina island day trips and Catalina island scenic tours. These guided tours will help you to know the history of Avalon. 

Source: visitcatalinaisland

Additionally, You can visit many famous museums like Catalina Island Museum and ruth are gallery.


The nightlife at Catalina island can be a tremendous experience; especially at Avalon. There are many pubs and bars at Avalon you can enjoy. 

Arcade games, bowling alleys, and DJ clubs are also an option. You’ll hear karaokes and festival music all around.

Two harbors also host a peaceful nightlife. The people of the two harbors are very friendly. Have some time by the oceans at night, chat with them. 

There are some authentic food items available at night. For example, the ‘Buffalo Milk’ or two harbors.

Is Avalon Better Or Two Harbors?

As you can see, both of these places are incredible. Avalon and two harbors both have a ton of activities and are rich in culture.

If you love city life and you have a good budget, you can consider Avalon. Avalon will satisfy you in a very busy way since it’s the main town of Catalina! There’s a lot to do at Avalon compared to the two harbors. 

However, you’ll need some extra cash accordingly.

If you’re digging a chill experience, check out two harbors. This small village is less busy than Avalon. It contains fewer people and represents the true Catalina. 

Two harbors will deliver a less “touristy” experience than Avalon. Yet, it’ll save you money.


Are there mountain lions on Catalina Island?

No, there aren’t any mountain lions on Catalina island. In fact, Catalina island is free from natural predators. It is an active decision to keep animals like deer and goats in check. Catalina island is safe for the residents and tourists. There are some wild boars to counteract the rattlesnakes.

Is hunting allowed on Catalina Island?

Hunting is allowed on Catalina island, but there are some prerequisites. While it is allowed for residents, non-residents have to purchase a membership. A conservancy membership (explorer level+) is needed for hunting. 100$ will be needed to purchase antlerless tags (for both male/female deers).

Who owns most of Catalina Island?

Most of Catalina island is owned by the CIC (Catalina Island Conservancy). They’re also in charge of administering it. The CIC administers this island from the year 1970. Now, Catalina is a great place for tourists; they can enjoy this beautiful island. This island consists of many cities and villages.


This is everything you need to know if you’re choosing between avalon or two harbors. All this information will be a great aid if you’re having confusion.

The residents of Catalina island are very friendly. Whichever place you decide to stay in, you will enjoy the time! 

All the best!

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