Plan a Cruise to Catalina Island

by Marcia Frost

Whether it's a cruise to the California coast or a west coast getaway, when you plan a cruise, you'll have the chance to visit historic Catalina Island. Even though Catalina is only a short trip from Los Angeles, you'll feel like you're pulling up to the Caribbean when you arrive. From Catalina Island, activities like touring the Avalon Theater to kayaking through pristine water, this little island offers some big surprises.

Go Back in Time

The Catalina Casino, believe it or not has nothing to do with gambling. Built back in 1929 by William Wrigley, Jr., the chewing gum magnate who developed Catalina Island as a resort, the casino (from the Italian word for "gathering place") became the place to party on Catalina, complete with a breathtaking balcony, Art Deco masterpieces, the Avalon Theater (which can accommodate 1,250 guests), and the largest circular ballroom in the world.

The casino is not the only property in Catalina that Wrigley put his mark on. Mount Ada, named for Wrigley's wife, is a grand 1921 mansion and former Wrigley estate. You can visit this famed locale, located high atop a hill, and take in the beautiful vistas that surround it.

Further through scenic Avalon Canyon is the home of the Catalina Botanical Gardens, built in 1935 by Ada Wrigley. A 37.85-acre expanse, these gardens boast plants from around the world. As you stroll through this serene, sun-dappled place, look for the Wrigley Memorial, which is the centerpiece of the gardens. Made from the island's own stones, this memorial pays tribute to the many improvements that the Wrigley family brought to Catalina.

Get Active

From the 1930s to the 1950s, the Chicago Cubs traveled to Catalina Island for spring training. Once you've seen their former training ground, you'll be inspired to exercise on the island. Embark on a kayak expedition through the coastline and learn about local wildlife from conservancy-trained expert guides.

If you want to take a closer look at Catalina's bustling sea life, take a dive on a snorkel tour of Lovers' Cove. After you float over rock reefs and kelp forests, you can try your hand at feeding the fish.

Be Creative

Love pottery? Silver Canyon Pottery, based in Catalina, offers studio tours and opportunities for you to make your own pottery. Silver Canyon products are also sold at the Catalina Island Museum, as well as various retail outlets.

Ready to experience the wonders of Catalina Island? Plan a cruise to the California coast.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

On your next California coastal cruise, make sure to visit beautiful Catalina Island.
Visit Catalina Island.