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“Great views, fun hike, excellent lunch!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Airport in the Sky

Airport in the Sky
1 Airport Rod., Avalon, Catalina Island, CA 90704
310.510.0143
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Ranked #5 of 13 Attractions in Avalon
Type: Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Landmarks
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Airport in the Sky occupies a 1,602-foot-tall mountaintop at the center of the Catalina Island, 10 miles from the city of Avalon. It's a great destination by tour or shuttle bus, bicycle, on foot whether hiking the Trans Catalina Trail or walking over from Black Jack, or of course, via private or chartered small plane. Its single 3,250-foot-long runway was constructed by blasting and leveling two adjacent peaks, then using the resulting debris to fill in the gaps.The image is of a T-34 Beechcraft that flew in to participate in one of the Airport in the Sky's monthly Aeroclub Fly-In Days.
Oakland, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
“Great views, fun hike, excellent lunch!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2014

We took the Wildlands Express up to the airport, did the 3 mile loop hike around the airport and then ate a buffalo burger - one of the best I've ever had - before we headed back to Avalon. Great 3 hour trip to see a bit more of the island (and some buffalo), without taking a more formal tour.

Visited March 2014
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171 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Burlington Flats, New York
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
25 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Long winding road to see a bison”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2014

Went on a van tour as part of a package, and met at the ferry terminal. Guide was very knowledgeable, and had lots of tales to tell. He also was very experienced on the narrow and winding roads of Santa Catalina Island. Once at the airport, there is a restaurant, and small garden/eco area to see. Good intro to the terrain of the island you do not get to see in Avalon

Visited February 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Beach, California
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“At the edge of the clouds, a fantastic fly-in”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2014

As a pilot I have had the chance to fly to many small airports in private airplanes, and Catalina is one of them. This airport sits atop the edge of a cliff at one of the highest points on the island, flanked by cliffs on either side and a dirt strip used to land an old DC-3 flying cargo in from Long Beach (quite a sight, though I think they don't do that run anymore?).

The airport itself is quite challenging, and I have trained many pilots on the landing techniques used there. Certainly, not a place a private pilot should try without an instructor or the mentoring of a friend who has been there before. The runway is rough, with many bumps, potholes, and optical illusions. Despite this it is a fantastic place to fly.

During the summer they have bbq cook out nights right at the airport restaurant, with live music and delicious food. Even on a regular day, you can fly in, grab a buffalo burger and enjoy the serenity that is only a 30 minute flight south of the busy Los Angeles basin.

If you're staying in town, it's a fun place to visit for the unique atmosphere, some outdoor plaques and exhibits talking about the island, the yummy cafe, and the gift shop. With no fences, TSA, or any of the pains of a typical airport, this place really embodies what flying used to be to the general public, so grab a burger, sit at the edge of the runway and watch the planes touch the edge of the clouds that sit just at the end of the field.

Visited August 2013
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Upland, California, United States
Top Contributor
202 reviews 202 reviews
51 attraction reviews
Reviews in 81 cities Reviews in 81 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
“A rarity”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2014

Carved off the top of a mountain by Wrigley of chewing gum fame. Sports some nice historical pictures of aviation history. Can walk into the inland bush directly off the runway. Easy transportation into town. $26 per person round trip. Very scenic and perhaps scary with the hairpin turns. You may well come upon a buffalo, too.

Landing fees have gone up. No fuel. Must leave before sundown. Interesting cafe serving up local buffalo burgers.

Visited February 2014
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Chico, California
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“short visit at the airport.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2014

Fun to have a bite to eat and watch the small planes land and take-off. The staff was very friendly and helpful.

Visited February 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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