Avalon is a Southern California gem, and here’s why it’s the perfect alternative to the coast’s most popular beach destinations.
In just about 60 minutes, residents of San Pedro, Long Beach, or Dana Point can take a high-speed ferry to marvelous Catalina Island. Those who spend a weekend or a few days on this magical island will return refreshed and more grateful for all that LA has to offer. Visitors to Catalina Island will enjoy an endless number of unique activities and witness various iconic attractions during their time there.
They’ll marvel at the Descanso Beach Club, enjoy an Eco Tour zipline, visit Luau Larry’s tiki bar, stay at the beautiful Pavilion Hoss at the Catalina Island Museum. One can even enjoy a free visit to Catalina Island on their birthday thanks to Catalina Express, which offers free rides to and from the island on their birthday! However, one of the most unique places on Catalina Island is the fascinating city of Avalon. Here’s what to know about it.
Here’s What to Know Before Visiting Avalon on Catalina Island
Avalon is the only incorporated city on Catalina Island. It is located at the southeast end of the island, wrapping around beautiful Avalon Bay. Additionally, the city is the southernmost city in Southern California. For more than a century, Avalon has attracted large numbers of tourists with the unique beauty of this historic seaside destination. From presidents and movie stars to dignitaries, Avalon has been a wonderful escape for many and still retains its allure and charm to this day.
This Catalina Island town is also home to various beaches, land and ocean adventures, restaurants, spa experiences, numerous hotels, a golf course, and a host of recreational activities. Anyone visiting Avalon will be amazed at the experiences and attractions they will witness in the city.
- How to get there: People reach Avalon on a high-speed ferry where they will dock at the Cabrillo Mole pier. After that they reach the central part of the city by a short walk.
Visitors staying at the Atwater Hotel or Avalon’s iconic Pavilion Hotel can take advantage of luggage service. As for those staying at Mount Ada, they will benefit from private transport.
This street in Avalon is famous for its scenic boardwalk
The main street surrounding Avalon Bay is called Crescent Avenue, although locals call it Front Street. The latter features a panoramic walkway full of architectural elements, such as the marvelous Wrigley Fountain and the Serpentine Wall. The iconic fountain is adorned with authentic Catalina tiles. People can also find several shops, beaches, and restaurants along Crescent Avenue. Near the junction of Catalina Avenue and Crescent Street stretches the Green Pier into the harbor. This location is the starting point for all the ocean tour companies offered on Catalina Island. These include the Glass Bottom Boat, Submarine Expedition, Two Port Discovery, Flying Fish seasonal trip and other ocean excursions.
Between Catalina and Summer Avenues, one block from the beach, people can find the Tour Plaza. The latter is the starting point for all land tours offered by companies on Catalina Island. These include Journey to the Sky, Discover Avalon, Ridgetop Eco Adventure, Bison Expedition and other overland tours.
- Where to find tickets: People wishing to book sea excursions or shore excursions in Avalon can visit the Catalina Island Company ticket offices at the Green Pier, Tour Plaza, Catalina Casino and the ferry terminal.
This beach club and museum is a must-see in Avalon, along with other unique attractions
The Descanso Beach Club is famous for its motto “Toes in the sand and a drink in the hand”. This iconic restaurant and bar is located directly on Avalon Beach. People visiting the Descanso Beach Club enjoy a seafood banh mi, a poke bowl or a burger with Newcastle ale, a pina colada or a rum punch.
- Recommended: For a more unique and exciting experience, visitors to the Descanso Beach club are advised to rent a cabana or lounger to enjoy the most relaxing and relaxing afternoon.
Avalon is also home to the charming Catalina Island Museum, which has various exhibits on the island’s history that are of interest to pop culture fans. Some exhibits at the iconic museum have focused on The Beatles, Charlie Chaplin, Marylin Monroe and the Chicago Cubs. The permanent collections at the Catalina Island Museum include Catalina clay products from the 1920s and 1930s, photos, and other artifacts related to the island’s history.
William Wrigley bought most of the island in 1919. He was the heir to chewing gum, and there’s a botanical garden in Avalon that honors him. The garden is accessible by waking Avalon Canyon for 30 minutes.
- Recommended: Visitors to the Wrigley Memorial and the Avalon Botanical Garden enjoy the various hiking trails and the most breathtaking views of the city and ocean.
Other places of interest in Avalon include Lovers Cove Marine Reserve, Casino Point Dive Park, Catalina Casino, and more.
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