Catalina & Botanical Gardens

AVX-110 | Catalina Island, California | See Special Notes

from $54.95*

*Price displayed in US Dollars unless otherwise noted; excursions priced in other currencies may be available on select voyages only. Prices are based on the amount Princess typically charges for each excursion, but your price may vary by voyage date and departure time.

Tour at a Glance

You will visit:

  • Avalon Avalon
  • Botanical Gardens Botanical Gardens

You will see:

Moderate

Excursion Length:
Approx. 1.75 hours

Tour Overview

With its sparkling blue waters and breathtaking landscape, Catalina Island has drawn visitors to its shores since the mid-1820s. But its true popularity dates from 1919 when Chicago chewing gum magnate William Wrigley, Jr. purchased Catalina Island for development as a resort.

You'll have the opportunity to explore the beauty of the island as well as the legacy of the Wrigley family during this 1-hour 45-minute tour.

Begin at the Island Tour Plaza just a short walk from your pier, where you will be greeted by a friendly guide. Then step aboard your mini-bus and relax as you embark on a picturesque drive. Have your cameras at the ready as you'll be treated to vistas of the glistening Avalon Harbor, filled with colorful sailboats and yachts bobbing to the rhythm of the ocean currents.

Winding coastal roads and rolling hills beckon as you climb 400-feet past elegant Mount Ada, the 1921 Georgian colonial mansion that was the original Wrigley estate. Named for his wife Ada, William Wrigley chose the stunning location high atop a hill because it received first sunlight in the morning and the last rays at sunset.

Continue through rustic Avalon Canyon past the Catalina Golf Course and the former spring training site of the Chicago Cubs! The team was owned by, you guessed it, William Wrigley who invited them to the island to train.

Step off your minibus and step into the natural wonder of the Catalina Botanical Gardens. Built in 1935 by Ada Wrigley, these lovely gardens feature plants from every corner of the planet. Mrs. Wrigley supervised famed Pasadena horticulturalist Albert Conrad, who planted the original Desert Plant Collection. And in 1969, the Wrigley Memorial Garden Foundation expanded and revitalized the garden's 37.85 acres!

You'll have the pleasure of experiencing the results of this revitalization as you stroll along the serene, sun-dappled pathways of this gardener's paradise. Take in the fresh sea breeze as you marvel at such botanical flora as: The Catalina Cherry, St. Catherine's Lace, the California Holly and many others! All of which thrive in the island's temperate marine climate.

The garden's centerpiece is the majestic Wrigley Memorial. Made from quarried Catalina stones, this monument was completed in 1934 as a tribute to William Wrigley, whose enthusiasm and energy brought numerous improvements – public utilities, a hotel, The Casino building – to Santa Catalina Island.

As you bask in the commanding views of the bay at the memorial site, imagine a time when this rugged island was home to the Gabrielino Indians who fished its waters, rich with marine life. Then imagine an era in the early part of the century when it served as a playground for wealthy magnates and movie stars. Finally, appreciate the moment you are in. Because today, thanks to Wrigley's remarkable vision and plan for the future of Catalina Island (that it remain protected for all generations) you can enjoy the pristine, unspoiled beauty of California's only island resort.

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Detailed itinerary

Tour timeline may vary to avoid overcrowding, etc.

Special Notes