Hiking, Biking, Camping & Water Sports Among Its Many Activities
By Kevin Wilkerson, PubClub.com Travel Blogger
It’s a common question when someone brings up going to Two Harbors on Catalina Island. What the heck is there to do in Two Harbors?
After all, it’s not Avalon. There is but a single restaurant and bar and the only shopping is in the General Store. There’s no zip lining, no glass-bottom boat or parasailing, all activities on the more popular town of Avalon.
But there’s a lot more to do than meets the initial eye in Two Harbors. Here’s a rundown of top activities. If you don’t want to bring your own equipment, the Two Harbors Dive & Recreation Center rents bikes, snorkeling gear, fishing skiffs, kayaks and SUPs. It also arranges for scuba diving trips.
1.) Camping & Hiking
Two Harbors is an excellent and popular spot for camping, whether you bring a tent or rent a tent cabin. There’s a certain camaraderie among campers and that certainly prevails at the Two Harbors campground.
I am combining camping and hiking because they really go together here, starting with getting to the campground from the village, which is a bit of a hike in itself. Beyond that, there are dozens of trails go to the interior of the island where you might even see buffalo. And if you do, keep them at a distance.
2.) Bike Riding At Two Harbors
This is a highly recommended activity because not only do you get to see more of the island than Two Harbors, but the scenery is spectacular. Take the trail you can see from the village that goes to the western end of Catalina. There, you are high above the water and will wrap around three small harbors. You will see spectacular views of rock formations below you and take deep, reflective breaths with practically every new view. Take your time doing this, three to four hours. And don’t forget to ride over to the back harbor for more great scenery.
3.) Water Sports – SUP, Kayaking, Snorkeling, Diving & Fishing
The beautiful harbor water harbor just invites one to plunge into it. Swimming is a given, and there are other activities that can take up an entire day or even two days. Stand-up paddleboarding is ideal because of the stillness of the harbor. So, too, is kayaking; one of the most fun activities here is to paddle up to the private boats tied up to the mooring balls. You may meet new friends!
Snorkeling is another leisure activity and out of the harbor, all of Catalina has great scuba diving and fishing.
4.) Relaxing Is A Two Harbors Activity
With all the activities on Two Harbors, it might be easy to overlook one of its primary attractions: doing nothing. Because of the laid-back mentality and the surrounding beauty, part of the beauty of Two Harbors is to relax and enjoy it. Sit in a chair, at your campsite, on a private boat if you arrived that way or even spending a day in a rented palapa on Harbor Sands beach, is an ideal way to appreciate your surroundings and the fact that you’re not stuck in traffic on the mainland, spending all day sending and returning e-mails and going to meetings or doing Zoom conference calls.
5.) Drinking Buffalo Milks
No trip to Two Harbors is complete without spending a late afternoon at the Harbor Reef bar reflecting on the day’s activity having a few Buffalo Milks. That is Catalina Island’s signature cocktail, named after the buffalo that remain on the island after being brought to it for a movie back in the 1920s. The drink is frothy with whipped cream on the top and are something you can’t get anywhere else. While also served at bars and restaurants in Avalon, the best Buffalo Milks are right here at the Harbor Reef.
Two Harbors Events – Buccaneer Days
As far as events goes, the big one is the annual Buccaneer Days pirate festival. Held the first Saturday of October, it brings in pirates and wenches from throughout the LA area, who arrive on private boats and the charter to spend what is not at all “arrrrg”-uably the biggest party of the year in Two Harbors.