Summer vs. Winter on Catalina Island.
Updated: Jan 26, 2020
Catalina Island offers a mild subtropical climate with warm year-round temperatures. During winter months, the average high is 63 degrees F and the average low is 50 degrees F. During summer months, the average high hovers around 72 degrees F, while the average low is around 65 degrees F. Catalina Island has epic scuba diving, freediving, and snorkeling year round. However, their are pros and cons on which time of year is best to visit. We're about to lay them out for you.
Pros of visiting Catalina in the winter months or off season include, less foot traffic, more affordable hotels and housing, fewer wait times at restaurants, and smaller groups when booking one of the many tours offered by local business like scuba diving and snorkeling. The visibility of the water tends to be more clear during the winter months. With the cold water moving in, the giant kelp forests start to thrive. Growing up to 2 feet a day, it the fastest growing algae in the world. Ocean plants and algae provide roughly 70% of the worlds breathable oxygen. When these forests are in full bloom they are nothing but breathtaking. Cons of visiting in the winter include dropping water and air temperatures. However, this can be easily handled with thicker exposure suits and warmer clothing. It's also harder to take family vacations when kids are in school, but the party life is extremely tame in the off season.
Pros for visiting in the summer include rising water and air temperatures, a plethora of activities for the entire family, an amazing beach life and many celebrations including the 4th of July holiday. The festivities kick off on July 3rd with the USC Marching Band performing on Wrigley Plaza Stage from 3:00 to 4:00pm. There is a 4th of July Parade and Fireworks show which draws crowds down to the waters edge along the entire town of Avalon. These crowded times can definitely be considered a major con for certain people, but if you like hustle and bustle and night life, the summer months are for you. More cons include higher hotel and housing costs, congested tours and possible sold out activities. So please plan ahead and schedule your tours in advance. The summer months also provide warmer air temperatures which make for amazing camping, hiking, biking, mountain biking, paddle boarding, kayaking, surfing, and rock climbing to name a few. Catalina Scuba is standing by to help you plan every aspect of your vacation no matter how large or small your needs are.
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