Mother Nature has graced Southern California with mild weather year round, so seasonal changes tend to be more subtle on Catalina. This island paradise has its own rhythm and its own way marking the year’s passing – here are seven sure signs that spring is here.
Spring has traditionally been a time when local businesses introduce new activities and attractions and this year is no exception.
One of the most dramatic new Catalina attractions opened last month at the museum. Internationally renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly’s Southern California exhibition is now dazzling residents and visitors alike with awe-inspiring glass installations throughout the Catalina Island Museum.
Several new things to do on Catalina Island will also debut this spring, including Cyclone, a high-speed adventure boat that also offers transportation to Two Harbors from Avalon; the Catalina Aerial Adventure, an obstacle course in the trees, opening this spring in Descanso Canyon; and Harbor Sands, a cabana and chaise lounge retreat now open on the beach at Two Harbors.
Thanks to the drought-busting rainfall Southern California received this year, Catalina Island is once again home to traditional signs of the season -- wildflowers are springing up all over.
Repeated storms over the winter have brought the re-emergence of verdant hillsides dappled with the bright colors of Catalina wildflowers. Shooting stars, poppies and Indian paintbrush dot the hills, along with lupine, mariposa lilies and wild sweet peas. This explosion of wildflowers has made this spring the perfect time to get out and explore Catalina’s rugged interior. A bonus this year – also thanks to that generous rainfall – Catalina water holes and waterfalls that haven’t been seen in years are back, including Haypress reservoir and Cottonwood Falls.
Once upon a time, Catalina businesses closed their doors in September and didn’t reopen until the following spring. Those days are long gone and the Island has become a year-round destination. You will find, however, that spring brings longer hours and greater availability for Catalina restaurants and things to do.
Whether paddling atop the surface on a kayak or plunging beneath the surface for scuba, water-based activities are always more fun when the water is warmer. Catalina’s water adventures abound and spring’s warmer waters and bright sunshine make taking advantage of those adventures irresistible. Swimming, stand-up paddling and snorkeling will soon attract visitors and locals alike into Catalina’s crystal clear waters.
Avalon’s picturesque waterfront is the perfect place for al fresco dining. Warmer spring temperatures make meals outside even more appetizing.
Whether you are planning to grab a quick order of fish and chips on the pier or prefer a relaxed evening with a chef’s culinary creations tempting your taste buds, Catalina’s outdoor restaurants are sure to please in the spring.
While spring is not nearly as bustling as summer, Catalina Island is in much higher demand in the spring. Planning your travel times, accommodations and activities ahead of time and making reservations will prevent disappointment.
Return of summer activities:
Springtime on Catalina Island means there’s much more to do. Activities that take a hiatus during the winter are returning, including some tours, snuba – a combination of snorkeling and scuba -- and jet ski rentals.
by Sherri Cline