We took the Catalina Express. It is a boat and really the only way to get over to the island. It runs from San Pedro and Long Beach and goes to Avalon (the main town) and Two Harbors. They run many times a day.
We took an early boat and hit cloud cover and no one could tell how much longer until we got there. It was about 90 minutes to get there and the island was just gorgeous.
We decided to play mini golf (I lost horribly) but each of the holes were themed to the island which was fun to learn the history.
Well we ordered Chinese food and they totally messed up our order (we actually got more food) but didn't deal with it as we didn't want to walk back over there. We watched the all star game and then passed out.
We got up early to see the sunrise and did a run along the water which was great! We went back to shower and grab brunch(pizza-yay gluten free) before heading to catch our boat back. One hilarious story: our hotel has breakfast and we went on the balcony to eat it. A seagull came and almost attacked us and I GOT LEFT OUTSIDE! Ralph ran inside and left me out there! He flew away but came back and chilled on our balcony for 15 minutes so I had to get a picture of him staring at us through the window. Maybe he thought my hair was a nest!?!?
The boat was much clearer going back but I spent most of my time inside (it was cold outside) finishing my audiobook.
We loved our stay on Catalina. The town is adorable, we had great food and a relaxing time. However, it is very expensive. The boat ride itself is 75 dollars each (and this was off season), hotel rooms to see the harbor are at least 200 a night and all of the extras do add up. I would recommend it to anyone but would suggest going in off season. I can't imagine how crowded it would be in the summer. One thing of note: if it is your birthday, you can take the boat for free!
Have you ever been to Catalina?