Top 8 ferry trips

Get your open-water fix, fast and cheap, from an all-day ferry trip amid breaching orcas to a 10-minute ride on California's last family-owned operation

Catalina Island Ferry
Photo by Andrea Gómez Romero; written by Sophie Egan

1-hour rite of passage: Catalina Island Ferry

Onboard: The ride from the busy mainland to sweet Catalina is as classic a Southern California pleasure as screaming on the Matterhorn or eating a Double-Double at In-N-Out. For the true experience, take the original ferry route from San Pedro to Catalina’s unofficial capital, Avalon. Four of the fleet’s eight vessels are high-speed catamarans.

On land: Soak up the sun on Descanso Beach, rent a bike (from $8/hour), or try a guided kayak trip ($48). From $35; catalinaexpress.com

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