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Julie R: Island Hopping On Catalina

Catalina Island, CA

Island Hopping On Catalina

Instagram Handle: junebug989

Location: Catalina Island, CA

Board: ISLE Explorer


The morning started before the sun came up. Our sleepy SUP crew meandered on to the ferry in Dana Point and made the quick two-hour boat ride from Huntington Beach to Catalina Island while dolphins chased our wake.

Out of nowhere, the Island appeared on the horizon and we were off the boat searching for coffee in no time. A breakfast burrito or two later, we pumped our boards up in the sands of Avalon Harbor as the early morning sun burnt away the fog.

We were instantly amazed by the crystal clear waters, and could see straight to the bottom of the harbor with perfect visibility. We navigated our way through the boats, with a captain hollering greetings every so often, surrounded by the foresty green hills of Catalina Island. From there, we paddled around to another side of the island, continuing to enjoy incredible views and excellent paddling conditions. You get the idea here — I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking.

This place is a must visit if you’re a paddler. It’s an easy escape of the coast of So Cal plus it feels like you’re in another world entirely. I’d recommend bringing your iSUP as it’s a breeze to transport on the ferry. Plus there’s great hiking, a handful of fun restaurants, and a cool local vibe. If you’ve never been to Catalina, drop what you’re doing right now and plan a trip — you won’t regret it.

Pro Tips:

  • Bring an iSUP for easy transport
  • GoPro and snorkel are also a must!
  • Pack layers, the foggy mornings and evening can be chilly but when the sun comes out it feels like tropical paradise
  • Pack snacks and a bottle of wine for the best ferry ride home
  • Beware the yellow submarine.

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