To truly appreciate Catalina Island’s yacht-studded harbors, famous casino, and emerald sea cliffs, take to the skies for a helicopter flight over the most celebrated of California’s Channel Islands, just a short flight from Los Angeles or Long Beach. Here's what you can expect on your aerial adventure.
While most visitors reach Catalina Island by ferry, you can skip the ship and arrive in style by air. Private and small-group helicopter tours depart from Los Angeles, Burbank, and Long Beach, right near the historic Queen Mary cruise liner. If staying on the island, you can fly directly from Pebbly Beach Heliport in the main harbor town of Avalon.
As you leave behind the Southern California mainland, get a bird's-eye view of Catalina's secluded beauty, and keep an eye out for the migrating gray whales and other marine life as you soar over the Pacific. Learn about the unique geography of the Channel Islands through live narration from a pilot.
Fly above luxurious yet laid-back Avalon, where multimillion-dollar yachts fill a harbor presided over by the art deco Catalina Casino, and see the historic El Rancho Escondido.
Many day-trippers only see the towns of Avalon and Two Harbors, but you'll get a glimpse of the entire island, from hidden beaches and plunging cliffs to grasslands dotted with grazing buffalo and the forested peak of Mt. Orizaba, the island's highest point.
Catch a 1-way helicopter ride if you're planning to return by ferry or stay overnight on the island, or opt for a full-day, round-trip tour with free time to explore the island on your own. Flights range in length from 15 to 30 minutes.