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10 Most Instagram-worthy Places and Moments on Catalina Island

a boat sitting on top of a mountain

With picturesque views and unique history, it’s no wonder visitors are captivated by Catalina and fill up their Instagram feed as they explore the Island. There is no shortage of Instagram-worthy places and moments while vacationing on Catalina Island.a person standing in front of a sunset

1. I’m on a boat
Many start their trip by cruising over to Catalina Island on Catalina Express. The hour boat ride serves as the perfect time to take a selfie with your first vacation cocktail or taking in a sunset at sea. If you are lucky, you might be able to share a video of dolphins playing in the wake.

2. Make a new fishy friend
Jump in to discover the beauty under the waves and meet Catalina Island’s bright orange Garibaldi. These colorful fish are always ready for a photo op!

Also, meet Catalina Island’s favorite local sea lion, Old Ben as you walk into town. Old Ben was a fixture with visitors from the late 1800s to early 1900s as he begged for handouts and posed for photos. Today, travelers still pose with his bronze statue that sits in Old Ben Park.a boat in the water

3. Cheers to beach time
Influencers flock to Descanso Beach Club for the towering palm trees, crystal clear water and most of all the cocktails on the beach. Enjoy an icy smoothie or buffalo milk while celebrating that vacation time is finally here!

4. Add to your Luau gear
Avalon is home to Luau Larry’s, the creator of a fun drink called the Wiki Wacker, which may sound harmless, but packs a powerful punch. Many visitors and locals try their luck against this cocktail to receive a straw hat and sticker. A selfie with this special hat is a rite of passage for those vacationing on Catalina Island.a plate with a fork and knife

5. It’s fun to be green
Beach towns are known for their pier, but are they bright green? Catalina Island’s Green Pleasure Pier is the focus of many visitors’ selfies as they grab lunch or take a stroll. You will have a blast figuring out which filter best brings out the green of the pier.

6. Foodie Time
Vacations are the time to spoil your inner foodie and fill your Instagram feed with all the delicious food you encountered. Catalina Island has a wide range of food options from bison burgers to fresh ahi tuna steaks that will make everyone’s taste buds sing.

For a snack or after dinner treat, indulge your sweet tooth with one of Catalina Island’s many ice cream shops. A photo of this special dessert with the ocean in the background is a must have.a harbor filled with lots of traffic at night

7. Views worth the hike
No filter needed on Catalina Island! The Island is full of amazing hiking trails that lead to a spectacular view at the top. A popular Instagram photo is the walk up to Mt Ada, although many take a golf cart up as well. This spot overlooks the entire city and is truly breathtaking.

If you are looking for something more strenuous, wrangle up a group of travel buddies to check out the Trans-Catalina hike. This 37.2 mile adventure is full of awe-inspiring views that will leave your followers with Insta-envy.

8. A gathering place for Instagrammers
Built in 1929, the Catalina Casino welcomes visitors as they arrive to Avalon. The art deco masterpiece is not a place to gamble, but rather a place to gather and step back in time to the days of Old Hollywood and Big Band Music. If you only have a chance to take one photo on the Island, you will want to include the historic Casino.a hand holding an ice cream cone

9. An archway to paradise
A favorite spot for fashionistas to take photos in their vacation outfit is the Via Casino Archway. The architecture and colorful tilework is the perfect setting for a fashion shoot as you lounge in one of the arches and gaze out to the Casino and Pacific Ocean.

10. The not-so-secret garden
Receive your daily dose of relaxation as you visit the gorgeous Botanic Garden. The garden has a special emphasis on California plants, many of which are extremely rare. Remember to bring your camera or phone to capture the natural beauty of Catalina Island. As the centerpiece of the Botanic Garden, the Wrigley Memorial sits at the top of the path overlooking Avalon Harbor. Snap a photo of you striking a yoga pose in one of the arches.

Don’t forget to share your Catalina Island memories using #catalinaexpress for a chance to be featured on the Catalina Express Instagram! @Catalinaexpress

by Amanda Bombard 

First Photo by @krombopulos.carys; Second Photo by @kjantzer; Third Photo by @alehz87; Fourth Photo by @californiaxplored; Last Photo by @letsplayoc

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