Avalon Things to Do

  • THE CASINO OF SANTA CATALINA
    THE CASINO OF SANTA CATALINA
    by travelgourmet
  • CATALINA ISLAND IN TOWN SANDY BEACH
    CATALINA ISLAND IN TOWN SANDY BEACH
    by travelgourmet
  • Things to Do
    by Yaqui

Most Recent Things to Do in Avalon

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    Nature Center of Avalon Canyon

    by Yaqui Updated Sep 8, 2013

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    Founded in 1972, the Catalina Island Conservancy is the oldest and largest private land trust in Southern California. It protects nearly 90 percent of Catalina Island, including more than 60 miles of unspoiled beaches and secluded coves—the longest publicly accessible stretch of undeveloped coastline left in Southern California. Catalina Island is home to 60 plant, animal and insect species found nowhere else in the world.

    The Nature Center at Avalon Canyon is a twenty-minute stroll up Avalon Canyon from town center. Or, take a quick ride by golf cart or bike, or by trolley. Its close proximity to the Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden and the Hermit Gulch Trail Head make this a perfect place to start your visit to Catalina.

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    Wringley Memorial

    by Yaqui Written Sep 7, 2013

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    With its beautiful view of Avalon Bay, the Wrigley Memorial is the centerpiece of the Botanic Garden. Built in 1933-34 by the Chicago architecture firm Bennett, Parsons and Frost. The Wrigley Memorial honors the memory of William Wrigley Jr., who lived from 1861 to 1932, founder of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company chewing gum manufacturer. He truly loved the island and he brought numerous improvements such as public utilities, new steamships, a hotel, the Casino building, and extensive plantings of trees, shrubs and flowers. The Wrigley Memorial was to use as much Catalina materials such as blue flagstone rock on the ramps and terraces comes from Little Harbor. The red roof tiles and all the colorful handmade glazed tiles came from the Catalina Pottery plant, which was in operation from 1927 to 1937. The marble inside the tower was quarried in Georgia.

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    Wringley Memorial Gardens

    by Yaqui Written Sep 7, 2013

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    The idea for a garden came from Mr. Wrigley’s wife, Ada. In 1935, she supervised Pasadena horticulturalist Albert Conrad, who planted the original Desert Plant Collection. Catalina Island’s temperate marine climate made it possible to showcase plants from every corner of the earth.

    In 1969, the Wrigley Memorial Garden Foundation expanded and revitalized the garden’s 37.85 acres. Along with the new plantings came a new attitude. In the same way that the Wrigley Memorial uses primarily native building materials, the Garden places a special emphasis on California island endemic plants. (Plants, which grow naturally on one or more of the California islands, but nowhere else in the world.) Many of these plants are extremely rare, and some are on the Endangered Species list, including the rare Catalina Ironwood.

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    Golf Cart Tour~Enjoy the Views

    by Yaqui Updated Sep 7, 2013

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    We ultilized what Catalina's Island Golf Cart Rental Company that provided a guided map of some wonderful sites to see on the island. Well worth the time.

    Guided Map

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    BEST UNDERWATER VIEWING IS BY SEMI-SUB

    by travelgourmet Updated Mar 21, 2013

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    ALL ABOARD
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    What beats the glass bottom boat ride at Avalon? Why, the semi-submersible vessel, that's what. A real thrill for young or old. If you can be in a semi enclosed area (stairs lead to outside deck) with A/C and large viewing windows underwater, then this is the ride to see all the little fishies in the sea as well as a close up of the giant kelp.

    Lasting almost an hour in length, the vessel rides through the Lovers Cove area of the Avalon Bay. Great seating and viewing windows with a live tour guide on board. So, batten down the hatches and be ready to see underwater, up close and personal with the fish and the beautiful kelp beds, without getting wet. I have an under the sea video of the kelp beds and the fish during this boat trip. Visit the Discovery Tours website for details.

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    Gotta see the Bay from up above!!!

    by cyndec Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Ya' gotta see this for yourself!

    There are several ways to get up high enough to see this view...but the one I recommend is taking the Avalon Scenic Tour. You get great information about the Island and its history in addition to the most beautiful view of the Bay!

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    HAVE A BUFFALO MILK ALCOHOLIC DRINK ON THE BEACH

    by travelgourmet Updated Jun 4, 2009

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    HEAD FOR THE BUFFALO MILK CONCOCTION
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    Attention all you booze cruisers. This is the only beach in Avalon that you can drink alcohol while trying to get a tan or for the ladies, a man. The bar drinks are wild concoctions and there are snacks to eat as well.

    A couple of hours chilling out here will have you ready to take on the tourist ticky-tac souvenir shops in town. Yes, this must be the beach to be at. Not as sandy as the beaches by the Pleasure Pier, but more secluded and with all the amenities much nicer. It's just a little walk past the Casino. You can rent snorkel and kayaking gear at the Ocean Sport location on the Beach. There is a small fee to get in but it is open to the public. The trolley in town will take you there as well, if walking is out.

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    A VIEW BELOW WHILE STILL ABOVE

    by travelgourmet Updated May 29, 2009

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    LOOK DOWN INTO WATER FROM INSIDE BOAT
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    The glass bottom boat ride is a must for every first time visitor and a great way to see the bottom of the sea. A teaching tool for the children, to better understand what lies beneath our oceans. The sight of the elephant kelp rising 15-20 feet from the bottom sands is amazing.

    Many fish populate the kelp with the orange Garibaldi fish the one that draws the oohs and ahhs of everyone on board. The trip lasts less than an hour and is not expensive. If you are not claustrophobic then try the semi-submersible boat ride. It puts you right with the fish.

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    BEACH IN TOWN

    by travelgourmet Written Nov 20, 2008

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    CATALINA ISLAND IN TOWN SANDY BEACH

    Get off the boat, walk a couple of blocks and you are at the town of Avalon's beach. No waves as this is the harbor and many boats are tied up or anchored down, but the sand is good enough to lay down and get some rays or to catch a few winks before walking the shops and restaurants of Avalon. Hey, this is an Island off the coast of California, so hit the sand, man.

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    THE CASINO OF AVALON

    by travelgourmet Written Nov 20, 2008

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    WALK TO THE AVALON CASINO, SANTA CATALINA ISLAND
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    The name Casino in the 1920's actual meant a grand dance pavilion. Not gambling, no James Bond, just a grand place to see and go to visit the museum or the ballroom. Any one for "Dancing with the Stars".

    The Casino was built during the 1920's and completed in May, 1929. At that time, it was a state-of-the-art theatre and ballroom. Today, restored to the glory Art Deco days, it sits proudly on the waters edge in the harbor of Avalon.

    When visiting Catalina, try to walk over to the Casino and see the beauty of the building closeup. Take the tour that lets you see the pipe organ that played with the movies in 1929.

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    Enjoy the beach

    by Gypsystravels Updated May 1, 2006

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    The Pier

    Find yourself lounging on the beach or take a walk on the pier. The weather is always great and Catalina is a great place to just lounge and soak up the beautiful weather.

    We spent the day at the beach and then took a walk along the pier.

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    Catalina Casino

    by Gypsystravels Written May 1, 2006

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    You'll take a trip down memory lane when you visit this old hollywood Icon.

    You'll see the extraordinary Art Deco murals and a classic 1929 pipe organ inside the Still showing Avalon Theatre, which still shows movies on its massive screen.

    As you tour the beautiful building you will come to the world-famous Casino Ballroom, a masterpiece of design and a long-standing venue for the world’s best musical performers and big bands. You’ll soon understand why many call this the most romantic place in Catalina.

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    Glass Botton Boat

    by Gypsystravels Written May 1, 2006

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    Famous for its crystal clear water a glass bottom boat is a perfect way to have some fun and discover the variety of sealife.

    The boats are fairly larg and comfortable vessels and brings the undersea world right to you.

    You'll visit the Lover’s Cove Marine Preserve, where colorful fish and marine plants thrive among the kelp forests. At night a whole new batch of marine creatures comes out to play. Join in the search for nocturnal creatures such as spiny lobsters, moray eels and horn sharks.

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    Hiking

    by jancola Written Feb 10, 2006

    To hike in Catalina, you are supposed to get a permit at the Catalina Island Conservancy. To get this, go to the Conservancy House in Avalon, at 125 Claressa Ave (open daily from 9:00 to 5:00, weekends closed for lunch). This is free, it is just a formality to make sure people don't go when it is unsafe or harmful to the environment (eg, after a heavy rain).

    There are some great hikes around Catalina. The one we took started from near the Wrigley Memorial and wrapped around the ridges of hills surrounding Avalon and dropped us at the east side of town, five miles later. You can get maps of these hikes at the Conservancy. Just be aware they are longer than they look on the map!

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    Casino - not for gambling

    by jancola Written Jan 30, 2006

    When you visit Avalon, check and see if there are any events at the Casino that pique your interest. This is not a place for gambling, it is the big majestic building on the far side of Avalon where public events take place. There are movies every night, as well as art shows, ballroom dances, and fireworks on the fourth of July. On the weekend before Valentine's Day, my boyfriend and I went to a dance at the ballroom here and it was really spectacular.

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Avalon Things to Do

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