Santa Catalina Island Things to Do

  • Beach Cottages and Golf Carts on Catalina Island
    Beach Cottages and Golf Carts on...
    by atufft
  • House Made From Boat on Catalina Island
    House Made From Boat on Catalina Island
    by atufft
  • Walking Around Avalon
    Walking Around Avalon
    by atufft

Most Recent Things to Do in Santa Catalina Island

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    Wrigley Memorial Gardens, Part 3

    by atufft Written Apr 19, 2012
    Wrigley Memorial on Catalina Island
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    At the box end of the canyon, William Wrigley had commissioned a tomb for himself, since he loved the islands so much. However, his family took his body for burial back in Chicago. The structure features materials and architecture popular to Catalina generally--exposed aggregate and colored tile. But, there are also materials imported at great cost, including bronze doors from Chicago and granite from Georgia.

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    • Eco-Tourism
    • Architecture
    • Museum Visits

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    Wrigley Memorial Gardens, Part 2

    by atufft Written Apr 19, 2012

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    Wrigley Gardens species endemic to California
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    Perhaps the most important part of the botanical gardens show cases species found only on the California Channel Islands. There is a video that explains how each island has plant species unique to it's own environment. Since visitors rarely visit the other islands, this garden show cases much of the beauty of all the islands.

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    • National/State Park
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Photography

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    Wrigley Memorial Gardens, Part 1

    by atufft Written Apr 19, 2012
    Wrigley Memorial Gardens Cactus Section
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    The Catalina Island Botanical Gardens were a Wrigley inspiration, where the section just past the entrance displays unique cactus and succulent species from all over the world, some planted at a time when these plants were not widely appreciated elsewhere. Spiny cacti are unique to the western hemisphere, whereas succulents are found in dry regions throughout the world. These plants are well acclimated to the Catalina Island climate within the sunny and protected canyon where the garden is located.

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    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park

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    Dog Walk Avalon's Historic Residential District

    by atufft Written Apr 11, 2012

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    Beach Cottages and Golf Carts on Catalina Island
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    The Wrigley's bought the island, but apparently some properties were nevertheless wrested from their control. Some of these are properties the family itself donated or sold to a devoted worker, such as was the situation for the relative of our host--who was a beloved accountant for Wrigley. Thus, Avalon is an incorporated town separate from the Wrigley holdings, while a large proportion of the commercial property that is nevertheless leased out by the family. Anyway, a block off the beach on the flats are several blocks of small beach houses, some with considerable heritage, and all with considerable real-estate value. Some of these can be rented or leased for vacation purposes, as the owners visit them only occasionally. We staying in such a place, a small one bedroom home with living room, bathroom, and kitchen, which I found adorable and quite suitable for a life of retirement in this island paradise. The only thing was I would have to sell my half acre waterfront property, four bedroom, 3 bath house in Stockton before I could move in. And then, I would still need to finance an additional five hundred thousand or so. Some homes are particularly noteworthy--check out the place one 3rd and Descanso, which is made from the remains of a ferry boat. We carried baggies to clean up after our dogs as we walked the neighborhood several times a day--a favorite activity here.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Travel with Pets
    • Budget Travel

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    The Inn on Mt. Ada

    by Erin74 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Inn on Mt. Ada

    The Inn on Mt. Ada is one of the nicest places to stay on Catalina Island. Even if you choose not to stay there, you should still pay it a visit and check out its lovely details and fantastic view.

    The Inn is the former of of William Wrigley Jr., the man who owned and developed most of the island in the 1920s. Mr. Wrigley was the heir to the chewing gum fortune and the owner of the Chicago Cubs.

    The Inn stands 350 feet above the town of Avalon and the harbor. It was finished in 1921 and served as Wrigley's private home for may years. The hilltop was named Mt. Ada after Mr. Wrigley's wife, Ada. In the seventies, the home was given to USC to be used as a conference center. USC and the Santa Catalina Island Conservancy now own it and renamed the property The Inn on Mt. Ada.

    The Inn is open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.

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    • Historical Travel
    • Luxury Travel
    • Beaches

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    On Catalina, the casino isn't for gambling.

    by Erin74 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Casino on Catalina Island

    The Casino is one of Catalina Island's major landmarks. Built in 1929, the Casino is located on Sugar Loaf Point, just a short walking distance north of Avalon Harbor. This casino was never used for gambling, but rather a place for dancing and entertainment. It houses an enormous ballroom where famous swing bands used to play and an grand theatre complete with pipe organ. The Casino is filled with art deco charm and detail. Two major events that take place in the Casino these days are the Silent Film Festival and the Swing Camp Catalina, both held in the summer and dedicated to reviving the old pleasures of the Casino. If you visit Catalina, a trip to the Casino is a must!

    Related to:
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    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Music

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    Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Gardens

    by Erin74 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Wrigley Memorial Garden sign

    The Wrigley Memorial was built in honor of William Wrigley Jr. (of the chewing gum company), who lived on Catalina for many years and was critical to its development. The monument is a vision of elegant simplicity. Built largely of flagstone and local stones and decorated with gorgeous tile, the monument is a quiet, meditative refuge. It overlooks the botanical gardens and a gurgling stream. The gardens started with a collection of desert plants, but grew to emcompass plants from many regions. It isn't a huge garden, but it is interesting and well-tended. The momument and gardens are a must-see on Catalina Island!

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    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Family Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Hiking the Trans Catalina Trail

    by J_Lyons Written Aug 11, 2009

    This trail opened in April of 2009, and is a must do for any SoCal weekend hiker. From start to finish, the trail is 37 miles long and takes you from one end of the island to the other. Its a well marked, well maintained trail that takes you through the hills of Catalina and allows you to see the ocean nearly the entire hike. 37 miles was too long of a hike for us in two days so we chose to not take the southern loop of the trail. Rather, we started in Avalon, hiked (a LONG DAY) to Blackjack campground where we camped, then finished the hike on Sunday to Two Harbors. It was a gorgeous hike! During the two days, we passed less than 10 hikers and found very friendly locals at Blackjack campground. The best part of the hike was definitely walking among the buffalo who like to hang out on the trail.

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    • Hiking and Walking
    • Camping
    • Beaches

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    whales

    by iam1wthee Written Apr 15, 2009

    There is a boat tour on the island that allows you to view whales. I believe you can dive as well. They say that March is a good time to see them because this is when they are migrating.
    Due to time I was unable to fit this into the schedule because the last tour is at 2pm.

    http://www.catalinaoceanrafting.com/

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    Find Lisa Marie Presley's $500,000 diamond ring!

    by jumpingnorman Updated Apr 12, 2009

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    A boat by Catalina island, California

    Catalina Island is a beautiful rocky island off the coast of California. When you’re in the mood for escaping the hectic streets of Los Angeles, just board a ferry to seek solitude in this little paradise. Just don’t fight with your significant other on the island because you might do something regrettable --- like when Lisa Marie Presley threw a $500,000 ring into the waters after a fight with then boyfriend Nicolas Cage. Hmmmm…

    We chose to board the one-hour ferry from Long Beach (I think it was less than $70). Other ferries depart from San Pedro and Marina del Rey. Newport Beach and Dana Point in Orange County also have ferry rides going to Catalina.

    Once there, just choose from a selection of activities which include a bus tour, glass bottom boat rides to reefs and shipwrecks, scuba diving and snorkeling. Flying fish is known to surround the island as well. Bison herds have also been nurtured in this island - see if you can spot them!

    Have Fun in Avalon, Catalina Island!

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    • Sailing and Boating

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    Dolphin spotting

    by iam1wthee Written Apr 8, 2009

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    When taking the Catalina Express to the island make sure you have your cameras ready because there are a lot of dolphins playing in the water. They are quick which makes it hard to photograph but it is such a wonderful sight to behold.

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    Skyline Drive Tour

    by iam1wthee Written Apr 8, 2009

    This is a scenic drive of the island. The driver is very light hearted and tells a lot of corny jokes which did make it more interesting.

    It lasted a little longer than 2 hours. They changed the time of when the tour started as well so make sure you call to confirm.

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    Undersea Tour by Discovery Tours

    by iam1wthee Written Apr 8, 2009

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    I really enjoyed this trip. It was so beautiful down there. The tour seemed to be more like an hour rather than 45 min. which was great for me.

    There was another tour company doing the same thing as well which is much closer to where the catalina express landed. They allow you to feed the fish and of course are more expensive.
    http://www.catalinadomain.com/nautilus_catalina_island.htm

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    • Adventure Travel

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    Glass- Bottom Boat Ride in Catalina

    by jumpingnorman Updated Feb 5, 2009

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    Kids looking thru boat's glass floor, Catalina Isl
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    Once we got to Catalina, we were on the lookout for what we can do. There are several booths offering day activities. We approached one which read that it offered a “Glass-Bottom Boat Ride” where you can view the varied underwater marine life without getting wet. Sounded good too us because we had our twins with us who just turned TWO.

    These boat rides bring you to fish-dense plots around the island for just under US$20, so that you can see the fish through the transparent glass floors (like snorkelling but without getting wet!). The waters are clear and the kids loved looking at the aquarium-like scenery.

    The boat might bring you the Lover’s Cove Marine Preserve, where colorful fish swim among the kelp forests.

    The boats can also be chartered to leave at night - and this is the time to see nocturnal creatures such as spiny lobsters, moray eels and horn sharks.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Beaches
    • Sailing and Boating

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    Horseback Riding

    by GracesTrips Updated Oct 23, 2007

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    We didn't go horseback riding. My boyfriend wasn't keen on doing this. But I mention it because you can go horseback riding. Most of Catalina is uninhabited and it's probably a wonderful place to go horseback riding at. Riders must be at least eight years of age.

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    • Horse Riding
    • Family Travel

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Santa Catalina Island Things to Do

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