Things to Do on Catalina Island

Tours: Golf Cart Rentals

Putt-Putt Around the City of Avalon in Your Own Golf Car

Ask anyone who has visited Catalina Island even once, and especially those who've been visiting regularly since childhood, to name particular reasons for the island's special appeal, and almost without fail golf carts–or "golf cars," as some folk like to call them–make the short list.

It's easy to understand the appeal of golf carts in Avalon. Full-sized automobiles, buses, and delivery trucks are severely restricted on the island, and golf carts are the primary motorized means of transportation. Most island residents themselves own only golf carts for transportation–which explains what may at first seem the oddly tiny driveways at most homes in Avalon's residential areas.

With golf cart speeds topping out at just about 15 miles an hour, and in-town speeds far slower than that, traffic in Avalon moves literally to a gentler pace. Were it not for the lively social scene to be found all around town, the golf carts might bring to mind a retirement community. But most people are more often moved to compare the gentle putt-putt of golf carts up and down the town's streets to the childlike wonders of Disneyland's famed Autopia ride!

Better still, as you would for a ride at Disneyland, all you have to do to join in the fun in Avalon is to get in line (in fact, usually a very short line, if there's any line at all) at one of the town's golf cart rental businesses. The gasoline-powered carts are only rented out on an hourly basis, usually with a two-hour maximum rental time. Two hours or even one, however, will give you plenty of time to tour the entire one-square-mile town.

With a widely available tourist map in hand, whether you get one in advance or request one from the golf cart rental business, begin your adventure by cruising up and down the streets of the main business area to get the hang of the cart. Then explore some of the charming residential cottages. Finally, head for the hills, literally, perhaps driving southwest up Avalon Canyon Road to see the Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Garden; or east up Wrigley Terrace Road towards the Inn at Mount Ada; or west up Stage Road to get a small taste of the outskirts of the island's interior. All these farther-flung routes will yield breathtaking views–without the need for you to stop to catch your breath after what would otherwise have been a healthy hike!

Renting a Golf Cart in Avalon
Golf cart rental businesses are within easy walking distance of harborside Crescent Avenue and all of Avalon's hotels and tourist destinations, and are open for business during daylight hours.

Carts rent by the hour and generally come in two sizes: a 4-passenger cart, which rents for about $40 per hour; and a 6-passenger cart, for about $60 per hour. Two-hour maximum rentals are common. Check signage for the most up-to-date prices, and to see if any special rates are available. Expect to pay cash. Carts are especially in demand in the afternoon, so you might want to consider a morning rental for greater convenience.

Golf carts are only rented to adults 25 years and older who carry valid driver's licenses. All rules and laws of the State of California Motor Vehicle Code apply to golf cart operation, including absolute prohibition of alcoholic beverages or drugs in the carts. So, although driving golf carts may indeed feel like playtime or an amusement park ride, always observe absolute precaution and be ever vigilant of pedestrians and other drivers!

Time to Allow: One to two hours.
Reservations are not required.
Prices and availability are subject to change.