You may consider Catalina Island a summer destination but there is so much to enjoy year-round. Catalina has a variety of cultural and educational activities that showcase the positive impact this island has had in history. From hands-on tile making to hiking in a historical memorial, Catalina Island has something for everyone to experience.
One of the first things you notice when you visit Catalina Island is the beautiful tile work that is displayed all over Avalon. From the sign welcoming you to Avalon to the gorgeous fountain located in the center of town. Did you know you can make your own Catalina tile? Bring a piece of that rich history home with you with Catalina Island Tile Experience. On this 90-minute tour you will be able to get your hands dirty and make your own Catalina Tile. You will also learn the history of tile making on Catalina Island and why there is so much around to enjoy in Avalon. This activity is great for adults and children alike.
The Catalina Casino is the most famous landmarks on the island. Have you ever wondered how it came to be and what it looks like on the inside? Take the Behind the Scenes Casino Tour to find out. Celebrate the unmistakable beauty and storied history of Catalina Casino on a narrated 90-minute walking tour that reveals the secrets of this iconic masterpiece. From the Casino’s world-renown acoustics to the 105,000 Catalina clay tiles that adorn its pointed rooftop, this tour shares why this building is known for its award-winning architecture. You will tour areas of the Casino once closed to the public for 70 years. This is a must-do tour for those who want to dive into the Casino’s history.
Catalina Island has a long and storied history and visiting the museum is a great way to take a step back in time. The newly redesigned museum has a variety displays immersing you in the history of the Island from its Native American origins to the present day. There are always exciting exhibitions that put a Catalina twist to a variety of subjects. It’s current Titanic exhibition really brings the stories of the people on board that fateful trip to life with artifacts from the actual ship. Don’t forget to visit the gift shop to make sure you take a little bit of Catalina history with you.
Are you short on time but still want to learn about the Island’s history? This 50-minute tour is a great introduction to the island. It’s a delightful journey along the beachfront, up the hillsides, and through the heart of this friendly and historic town. You’ll see and learn about colorful local attractions as your guide shares interesting Catalina Island history and folklore from the comfort of our open-air passenger vehicle. You will have a chance to see some amazing views so don’t forget your cameras.
As the weather cools, hiking on Catalina becomes a must do activity and the Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Garden is a great place to start. As you explore the botanical garden’s many California island endemic plants, make your way to the beautiful Wrigley Memorial. The memorial was built from 1933 – 1934 using local materials and honors the memory of William Wrigley Jr. With its commanding views of Avalon Bay, the Wrigley Memorial is the centerpiece of the Botanic Garden. Its beautiful architecture is a sight to behold.
Catalina Island has a rich and beautiful history that should really be explored in depth. Catalina is not just a water and beach destination. It can really open your eyes to a whole other side of the Island. One that is informative as well as fun. Visit CatalinaExpress.com and start planning this historic getaway today.