There’s this One Particular Harbor,
So far and yet so near…
This song by Jimmy Buffett is not about Catalina Island, but the words do apply so appropriately.
Catalina Island is near the sprawling city of Los Angeles, but when one changes latitudes the changes in attitudes follows as naturally as a sailboat to a sea breeze. From drinks on Descando Beach to the “noisy bar on Avalon” from the Crosby, Stills & Nash song “Southern Cross,” there are a lot of fun bars in Avalon.
It is here that you will find the vast majority of Catalina Island bars. After reading this no doubt you will agree that there is very good nightlife in Catalina Island. This article reviews the best Catalina Island bars and clubs.
AVALON’S BARS – NIGHTLIFE IN CATALINA ISLAND
Here is a rundown for the bars in bars in Avalon, specifically the best bars in Avalon and Avalon nightlife. The place to begin your bar journey is Descanso Beach Club. Just past the Casino, it’s a small beach area with swimming, snorkeling and kayaking. Lounging is also a favorite “activity.”
With a drink menu posted on a palm tree, a waitress bringing buffalo milks and the “Descanso Destroyer” (heavy on the rum, especially the 151 floater, $7) out to a spot on the beach, the place is is straight out of a Caribbean outpost. There are bands most Sundays which attracts big crowds.
Just be sure and do the zip lines BEFORE having drinks at Descanso Beach Club!
You can drink on the beach or take a table at Descanso Beach Club. The bar and adjacent restaurant, uncovered tables providing uncovered views of the beach and Pacific, serves sandwiches. Is LA really only 26 miles away???
Luau Larry’s is, quite simply, a must-do stop. No trip to Avalon is complete without it.
It’s a Hawaiian-themed tiki-type bar complete with hanging blowfish for light fixtures and plenty of JB to make this seem like Margaritaville.
Luau Larry’s signature drink is the Wiki Wacker, a mai tai of sorts that, for an additional $2 comes with a straw hat just made for a Buffett show. For some, this alone is worth a day trip.
From Luau Larry’s, just stroll toward the casino for a bar-hopping adventure. The first stop is the El Galleon, a nautical-themed bar with mardi gras beads, German beer on tap served in huge Oktoberfest-sized glass mugs and drinking tourists singing karaoke. Yes, this place is lively and fun.
El Galleon the noisy bar in Avalon mentioned in the song “Southern Cross.”
At some point, flop over to Flip’s, a small sushi restaurant turned bar by night, often with a band.
There are not really Catalina Island clubs. Chi Chi’s is what passes for a dance club. It plays today’s dance music, has pool and a large area for relaxing on chairs and couches. Don’t worry about a no-sandals, no-shorts policy; there isn’t one. Expect a $5 cover on Saturdays. The Marlin and JL’s are the beer-drinking dive bars with beer-drinking dive locals.
This qualifies as one of the 18 and over clubs in Catalina Island, tho it it is important to know that the drinking age in California is 21.
A most mysterious calling harbor
So far and yet so near
Where I see the day when my hairs grow gray
And I finally disappear.