Your Catalina adventure doesn’t begin on the Island but before you board the boat. Opened in the summer of 2012 just steps from the original San Pedro terminal, the Catalina Sea and Air Terminal is an architectural gem on the Port of Los Angeles waterfront that should be explored.
The Mediterranean inspired building has many unique architectural details and does an amazing job of connecting the mainland to Catalina Island. The terminal was designed to get you in the island state of mind the moment you arrive.
As you walk in, the first thing you will notice is the outline of Catalina Island on the gate and the decorative tile throughout the building that is reminiscent of the famous Catalina tile on the Island. The history of transportation to Catalina is prominently displayed with a replica of an old seaplane in the center of the terminal. When checking in, you will notice a mural of the Catalina Express fleet by local artist Gary Miltimore. If you look closely, you can spot a couple Easter eggs in the painting including the Miss Catalina speedboats and the Channel Express, the boat that started it all in 1981.
The terminal was not only built for functionality but to provide customers with a fun experience before they set off for their vacation! The terminal boasts a putting green for some quick practice before playing on Avalon’s own golf course or mini-golf course, tables for chess, checkers and backgammon and Bocci ball. Please note you would need to bring your own equipment.
If you need to grab some cash before disembarking on your getaway, ATMs are available at all locations. Please keep in mind, there are a couple places on the Island that are cash-only. All major credit cards are welcome at Catalina Express.
As an added perk the San Pedro terminal now has some covered parking. In the last decade, the Port of Los Angeles has undertaken a variety of projects to promote sustainable and responsible growth. One of these projects is building photovoltaic (PV) solar power systems. In the San Pedro parking lot two large solar paneled canopies were installed providing shade for vehicles while at the same time feeding clean energy to the utility grid operated by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
The next time you plan to travel to Catalina Island try departing from our Catalina Sea and Air terminal in San Pedro for vacation starts way before the boat ride begins. Arrive early and take advantage of all the terminal has to offer.