Santa Catalina Island

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Santa Catalina Island: Our most recommended tours and activities

Santa Catalina Island: Nautilus Semi-Submarine Cruise

1. Santa Catalina Island: Nautilus Semi-Submarine Cruise

Join the captain and crew and set off on a 45-minute exploratory mission through Lover's Cove, a State Marine Conservation Area sanctuary. Traverse amazing undersea gardens and ocean habitats in a semi-submersible vessel designed after America's first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus, on a trip that is both educational and entertaining. Let your imagination descend into the depths of the ocean as you explore the magic and wonder of undersea life on the Nautilus. Venture into the ocean and through the kelp forest in a state-of-the-art vessel. Learn about what you see with the crew and research team, and let them entertain you with their stories. As you learn and explore, interact with the fish through a specially designed feeding system. Launch fish food torpedoes right from your seat (at an additional cost) and instigate feeding frenzies right outside your personal porthole.

Pacific Coast Highway: Audio Tour Between LA & San Diego

2. Pacific Coast Highway: Audio Tour Between LA & San Diego

Connect your smartphone to your vehicle's stereo and make your drive come alive on this self-guided driving tour along the Pacific Coast Highway between Los Angeles and San Diego. Simply download your personal audio guide and tour to get started. Let your audio guide transform your scenic drive into a sight-seeing, fact-finding, trivia-answering, family-friendly adventure as you pass through and learn about some of the cities and small towns nestled along the coast. Along the tour, you’ll pass Oceanside, Carlsbad, Long Beach, Dana Point, San Onofre, San Clemente, and more. Your audio guide will point out must-see sights, parks, historical sites, tourist attractions, recreation areas, and more. Explore the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge, the Batiquitos Lagoon, and look for dolphins at Dana Point. Walk along some of the world’s most famous beaches. Other tour highlights include Las Flores Estancia, Crystal Cove State Park, Sunset Beach, Torrey Pines, and the San Elijo Lagoon. Feel free to visit as many sights and attractions as you want: you have complete freedom to take as much time as you like to complete the tour. As you drive, get a historical overview of the area, including its original inhabitants, the Tongva. Hear about Louis Zamperini, the RMS Queen Mary, the Rise of Long Beach, Huntington Beach Oil Fields, and Crystal Cove's 1930 era beach cottages. This tour works in either direction and you can stop anywhere while you discover this incredibly scenic and historic drive.

Other Sightseeing Options in Santa Catalina Island

Want to discover all there is to do in Santa Catalina Island? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Santa Catalina Island

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 299 reviews

Such a unique experience. My husband and I travel often and have never done anything like this! They take you to three different spots and you can see the kelp and different fish. Although you do see the same fish and kelp at each spot, it was still pretty awesome to see the fish up that close. I don't foresee myself ever snorkeling or scuba diving, so it was amazing to see the oceanlife. The guide was informative but he was not required to wear a mask, so him coming up to talk to us was a bit unsettling. Also, if you order mobile tickets you are still required to checkin and get your tickets printed. Overall excellent experience and highly recommend if visiting Catalina island!

We drove south from LA. The tour started well, but then the audio didnt start when expected. I'd have to fiddle with my phone to get it going. Can you set it up like Google Maps so the lock screen doesnt come on when its running? Also, is the audio supposed to run for the minute before you arrive at each town or sight? This would be less distracting than listening while trying to navigate thru town with people and bikes and cars pulling out of on street parking. Content was good, very interesting. Separate GPS triggers for northbound and southbound travellers would be an improvement. You could eliminate the 'administrative' content. Looking forward to our next tour!

Overall we had fun, but there wasn't much to see except for when we stopped to feed the fish. The fish were exciting for my young daughters. The boat was cool and themed in a fun fashion.