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Posts Tagged ‘Pebbly Beach Catalina Island’

Beachcombing for Little Pieces of the Past

Posted by Jody on July 19, 2012

Catalina Island, one of our favorite haunts, offers up some really fun and colorful one-of-a-kind beach treasures!

View of Avalon Harbor from The Inn on Mt. Ada, Catalina Island

We begin with a short history lesson: From 1927 to 1937, Santa Catalina Island (located 22 miles off the coast of Southern California) produced richly colored pottery and decorative tile.  In the beginning, Catalina Clay Products manufactured only building materials such as bricks and roofing tiles from reddish-brown clay deposits found on the island in the 1920’s. In 1932 white clay was imported to increase the durability of an expanding product line.  Today, artistic, stylish decorative pieces and colorful dinnerware made after 1932 can be identified by their white clay bodies.  Known as Avalonware (aka: Catalinaware), intact pieces are collected by enthusiasts for the history and uniqueness of this colorful Catalina Island art form.

Pebbly Beach, Catalina Island, California

Now to the beachcombing: It’s always fun to comb Catalina’s aptly named Pebbly Beach. You can still find little bits and pieces of that decade of Catalina Island’s rich history on its shores, just around the bend from the shopping district of the little town of Avalon. Decorated tile pieces, wave tumbled pottery, sea glass and Wavy Turban seashells are all easily discovered on the pebbles and rocks of this section of Catalina Island’s picturesque coastline.

Tile and pottery found on Santa Catalina Island, California

Keep your eyes open as you walk along Avalon’s Crescent Avenue and/or head to the delightful Catalina Island Museum, located on the ground floor of the Casino Building, to see many, many more examples of the famous Catalina Tile.

Crescent Avenue, Avalon, Catalina Island

If you would like to read more, has a wonderful article on the history of Catalina Tile and Pottery.

You might also enjoy these other posts ~

Catalina Island: Wavy Turbans, Tile & Lots of Fun!

Wavy Turban: The Seashell, Not the Fashion Statement

Happy beachcombing!


Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Southern California Beaches | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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.

Avalon in the Summer, Santa Catalina Island, California (Photo by Tom Gally, from Wikimedia Commons)

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.

Beachcombing on Pebbly Beach

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!

Beachcombing Treasures, Avalon (Wavy Turbans, Pottery and Tile) -Photo by Jody Diehl-

Beach Treasures from Catalina Island (Wavy Turbans, Pottery & Tile) ©Jody Diehl

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

Wavy Turban: The Seashell, Not the Fashion Statement


Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Sand and Shoreline, Seashells, Southern California Beaches, Whales and Dolphins | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

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