Discover the history of Catalina Island that has inspired artists and musicians for years. From the art-deco architecture to colorful tile murals, history and culture are truly around every corner on Catalina.
Catalina Island Conservancy Trailhead and Toyon Grill
Once you arrive in Avalon, visit Toyon Grill at Catalina’s new Trailhead building for your morning coffee and avocado toast while taking in the beautiful gallery of Catalina Island paintings. Wander through the Trailhead to learn about one of the oldest private land trusts in Southern California and the efforts taken on by the Catalina Island Conservancy to protect and restore the plant and wildlife that calls Catalina home.
Catalina continues to inspire artists with breathtaking views and picturesque landscapes. Walking down Avalon’s waterfront you will come across numerous galleries such as Afishinados and Catalina Art Gallery to name a few. What better keepsake than a piece of art to remember your time on Catalina.
Catalina Pottery and Tile
Catalina is known for unique tile work that is displayed throughout the Island. Take home your own piece of history by joining the Silver Canyon Pottery Basic Tile Making Workshop. The hour-long class allows you to create two of your own tiles, while learning the history of pottery and tile making on Catalina from a local artist.
Catalina Island Museum
Visit the Catalina Island Museum to learn more about Catalina’s history spanning from the Native American tribe, Pimungans, to the Golden Age of Hollywood. On your way, browse the shops where local artists display their pieces. You can find the perfect keepsake to remember your trip to Catalina.
Opened in 1929, this historic icon stands as a reminder of the days of Old Hollywood and Big Band music. Tours are offered to provide a unique perspective on this Art Deco masterpiece, from the first theatre built specifically for “talkies” on the lower level, to the world’s largest circular ballroom on the top level, where thousands once danced the night away to the sounds of big band music.
Wrigley Memorial and Botanic Garden
No trip to Catalina Island is complete without stopping by the Wrigley Memorial and Botanic Garden. The idea for a garden came from Mr. Wrigley's wife, Ada, and continued to blossom under the care Wrigley Memorial Garden Foundation and later Catalina Island Conservancy. The 37.85 acres Garden places a special emphasis on California island endemic plants. It is incredible to wander around and enjoy the beauty of nature.
The Wrigley Memorial is truly awe-inspiring monument. Many of the materials were locally sourced directly from the quarry and the blue flagstone rock on the ramps and terraces from Little Harbor. The red roof tiles and colorful handmade glazed tiles came from the Catalina Pottery plant, which was in operation from 1927 to 1937. The views from the top of the Memorial make it worth the walk and allow you to oversee the beautiful garden.
When you are looking to add a little history and culture into your life, plan a trip to an island that has an abundance of both and continues to inspire generations to come.
By Amanda Bombard