Wavy Turbans, Tile & Lots of Fun! Santa Catalina Island, California
Posted by Jody on August 25, 2011
I’ve never been to Catalina Island, California in the summer. Every time I’ve visited this enchanting Southern Channel Island has been during the winter; December and January to be specific. This means only that I can’t personally tell you about the summer weekend crowds at any of the beaches. I do know that in the sleepier winter months the City of Avalon is beautifully decorated for the holidays. I can also tell you that getting to Catalina Island is half the fun, no matter what time of year.
Santa Catalina Island (aka: Catalina), is located 22 miles off the coast of California, SSW of Los Angeles. The best way to get to Catalina Island, unless you have a private boat, is via commercial high-speed vessels which leave from several different terminals on the mainland. You can catch a commercial boat to either the City of Avalon, or the more remote unincorporated town of Two Harbors, from Long Beach, Newport Beach, San Pedro, Marina Del Rey, or Dana Point. The trip will only take 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes depending on your departure and arrival plans.
Be on the lookout for frolicking dolphins and spouting whales along the way! Try not to be disappointed if they don’t show up as the cruise entertainment, though. On our visits to Catalina Island we’ve spotted many dolphins and gray whales from land, near the Green Pleasure Pier and amongst the boats anchored in Avalon Bay. And remember, there’s always the return trip!
Catalina Island has something for everyone including scuba, kayaking, snorkeling, swimming, sun bathing and beachcombing. It’s fun, easy, and doesn’t cost a cent to simply meander around the charming seaside City of Avalon, taking in the beautiful tile work for which Santa Catalina Island is known.
Note: The Catalina Clay Products plant (1927-1937) stood on Pebbly Beach. Notice the bright blue, orange (stamped “NA”), and yellow pottery bits and pieces of tile, along with wavy turban seashells, in this photo of our collected island beach treasures.
I highly recommend a leisurely walk up Pebbly Beach Road. The sounds of the waves lapping at the rocks and tumbling the pebbles, seashells & what-nots are absolutely indescribable. Stop, listen and enjoy!
Santa Catalina Island has a rich history. Most notably for baseball fans: The Chicago Cubs held Spring Training in Avalon (but not on the beach) from 1921-1941 & 1946-1951, thanks to owner William Wrigley Jr. “Let’s Play Two!”
Related Catalina Island posts:
Pebbly Beach: Beachcombing for Little Pieces of the Past