When to Visit Catalina Island

by SmarterTravel Staff

With a Mediterranean climate, Catalina Island attracts visitors year-round. The most popular time to visit is summer, when the weather is the warmest, schools are out for vacation, and outdoor activities such as snorkeling, diving, glass-bottom boat tours (which originated on the island), and fishing are ideal.

Winters attract the fewest visitors, especially midweek, when rain and heavy winds are a threat, but low prices can more than make up for a little bad weather.

  • high season: June to October
  • low season: December to February
  • shoulder season: November, March to May

Weather Information

Catalina experiences cool evening breezes and warm days throughout most of the year. Summer temperatures average a high of 75 degrees, while the average winter high temperature is 65 degrees. The highest amount of rain falls from December through March.

Crowd Information

Catalina Island gets particularly busy during the summer. Late-spring and early-fall weekends also attract quite a few visitors, and the JazzTrax festival in October is a major draw. Spring break around Easter is also quite popular. Throughout the year, the island sees fewer visitors midweek than on weekends.

Closure Information

Most hotels, shops, and restaurants remain open all year. In the winter, ferries crossing the channel from the mainland to the island may cancel trips due to gale winds.

When to Save

The least expensive time to visit is Mondays through Thursdays during November through March, when many hotels offer discounted rates and packages. The most expensive time to visit is during the summer, when many visitors take a vacation from Los Angeles.

Information provided by the Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau.

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