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LAX to Catalina Express and hotel

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Woodland, California
posts: 33
reviews: 40
LAX to Catalina Express and hotel

I am planning at trip to Catalina Island. . I know Long Beach Airport is closer, but I'm using flyer miles so I will be going to LAX. I am looking at the Hilton in Long Beach since it looks like it is walking distance to Catalina Express. I thought I can take a shuttle from airport to hotel. I will not have a car, so looking for restaurants, points of interest within walking distance. Any other recommendations? I.e. other hotels, restaurants, and things to do?

Long Beach...
Destination Expert
for Long Beach
posts: 1,442
reviews: 37
1. Re: LAX to Catalina Express and hotel

The Hilton is fairly close to the Catalina Express-but may not be walkable due to traffic and there may not be sidewalks in some of the area.

However, downtown Long Beach has a free transport system -- The Passport.

Here's a link to the schedule and map:

http://www.lbtransit.com/schedules/pdf/37.pdf

The Pike area has lots of chain restaurants like Dave's BBQ, PF Changs, while Pine Ave north of Ocean has many local (some small chain) restaurants like Cafe Sevilla; George's Greek; King Fish; L'Opera.

You will see the "Catalina Landing" this is the major "port" for the boats going to Catalina--most availability. The "Catalina Express" by the Queen Mary is opened only limited hours/days.

You could probably use Priceline, bid your own price, Long Beach, Zone 1, 3 1/2 stars or better and get any of the higher end hotels in Long Beach for $65 to $70 including the Hilton, Hyatt, Westin, or Renaissance.

Woodland, California
posts: 33
reviews: 40
2. Re: LAX to Catalina Express and hotel

Thanks...good info! Do you recommend staying at the Queen Mary since there is a port there? I want to make this as simple as possible since I'm going solo.

Manhattan Beach...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach
posts: 14,729
reviews: 3
3. Re: LAX to Catalina Express and hotel

I go to Catalina every year using the San Pedro Port about 20 min away. It's closest to LAX area where I live, and about an hour to Avalon. Queen Mary Port is not in service at this time, but the LB landing is.

http://mapq.st/ZQoKNP

You can leave at 9 am most mornings. The Schedule changes in March.

catalinaexpress.com/scheduleFaresSanPedro.php

The Crown Plaza in San Pedro is near the Ferry Terminal, and they offer transportation in the morning the half mile down the street. There is a rail system across, to take you up and down the wharf area to fresh seafood restaurants and museums, Blu Bar cocktail lounge and restaurant inside the hotel.

http://www.railwaypreservation.com/page8.html

ichotelsgroup.com/crowneplaza/…hoteldetail

Woodland, California
posts: 33
reviews: 40
4. Re: LAX to Catalina Express and hotel

I never thought about San Pedro. This sounds good too! Would you recommend San Pedro over Long Beach for a solo female and fun things to do? Thanks for your help and Happy New Year! :)

Phoenix, Arizona
posts: 2
reviews: 1
5. Re: LAX to Catalina Express and hotel

I am interested in flying into Long Beach and getting on Catalina Express. No rental car.

Long Beach...
Destination Expert
for Long Beach
posts: 1,442
reviews: 37
6. Re: LAX to Catalina Express and hotel

travelerpl--No, I think Long Beach is a better choice for things to do--but DON"T stay at the Queen Mary --not much to do around there and that Catalina Express office is frequently NOT open. You want to go to the Catalina Landing that has the most Catalina Express boats sailing out of it.

Lollowenberg--take a cab to the Catalina Landing and take the boat over to Avalon.

Manhattan Beach...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach
posts: 14,729
reviews: 3
7. Re: LAX to Catalina Express and hotel

Travelerpl, Happy New Year!

You didn't tell us how long you would be staying before going to Catalina. Are you flying into LAX one morning, spending the night, and sailing to Avalon the next morning for your trip, or are you spending a few days before taking the ferry over?

Phoenix, Arizona
posts: 2
reviews: 1
8. Re: LAX to Catalina Express and hotel

thank you

Anaheim, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
posts: 23,686
reviews: 13
9. Re: LAX to Catalina Express and hotel

The area near the Queen Mary, including the Hotel Maya and the Residence Inn has a free Passport Bus service, so no need for a taxi. Also in the main Downtown Long Beach area.

http://www.visitlongbeach.com/transportation/

But there is also a competing company, the Catalina Flyer, which is based out of Newport Beach/Balboa Peninsula, which has some nice Hotels and options.

http://www.catalinainfo.com/

Woodland, California
posts: 33
reviews: 40
10. Re: LAX to Catalina Express and hotel

Thanks for all your advice. My trip is planned! Flying into LAX, staying at Hotel Maya for 2 nites, going to Catalina Island for a day, then flying back home late the next day. Worked it all out using flyer miles, free birthday trip to Catalina Island and hotel points! All free! For the last day, I will have free time until about 7:00 p.m. Any must do's right in the general area of Long Beach?