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How to find Avalon’s best views effortlessly on Catalina’s scenic trail

a man standing in front of a mountain

a man standing in front of a mountain

You know what you’ll never see in Catalina? A stop light. That’s because the island has so few cars that it doesn’t need them.
Vehicles are severely restricted here; it takes 14 years on a waiting list to get permission to have a car. But you don’t have to walk everywhere to see the sights. There are tours by bus, Jeep, van and Hummer. Or you can do as the Islanders do and get rolling in a golf cart, which is one of our favorite ways to see the town.

Four-wheelin’ around Avalon on a cart offers a great do-it-yourself tour that will help you get acquainted with the city, from its cobblestone downtown streets to the hills overlooking town, where you’ll find panoramic ocean and harbor views. The easy-to-use carts allow you to tour Avalon on your own schedule, with time to stop and capture the moment — and the views — with your camera.

Some of the best photo opportunities on the Island are found on these hillsides. And you don’t have to struggle to find the best viewpoints. When you rent the cart, you’ll be given a map of the area so you won’t miss anything. In addition, scenic route tour signs map out 29 points so you won’t get lost.

You’ll be able to watch zip-liners flying down Descanso Canyon, see picture-postcard views from high atop Mt. Ada, and spot whales, seals and dolphins swimming in the clear waters of the Pacific far below. You’ll pass the Island golf course, see botanical gardens and roll past Hermit Gulch Campground.

See a restaurant that looks good? Stop to grab a snack or come back later for lunch or dinner.

You can rent a cart from three locations in town, all of which are easily accessible from the Catalina Express dock. Just walk along Pebbly Beach Road and you’ll spot them. Two are within a long block of the dock and the third is near the center of town on Crescent Ave.

A two-to-three-hour cart rental costs about $80 for a four-passenger vehicle and $120 for six passengers.


By RosemaryMcClure

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