Leave the hustle and bustle of the "mainland" behind. Two Harbors Dive & Recreation Center also rents paddleboards, boats, tennis rackets, volleyballs, bocce balls, fishing skiffs, wetsuits and more. Catalina's history as a resort destination began about 125 years ago. 3 of the Best Beaches in Southern California. The hit song “26 Miles” romanticizes the island…but it’s not exactly accurate. The ferry from Long … In 1919, chewing gum entrepreneur William Wrigley Jr. bought nearly every share of the Santa Catalina Island Company until he owned a controlling interest. Catalina Island Museum: The Catalina Museum is a great way to learn about Catalina Island’s history and culture. Best Catalina Island Beach Hotels on Tripadvisor: Find traveler reviews, candid photos, and prices for 13 waterfront hotels in Catalina Island, California, United States. Descanso Beach Club sells floaties in all sorts of fun shapes and sizes such as swans, lobsters, and pineapples, or just bring your own. Once you get there, the beach is well worth the effort, as it is possibly the most beautiful of all Catalina Island beaches. For the ocean enthusiast, it’s a place where they can snorkel, scuba dive and kayak through the waters. Enjoy the island experience and visit the best beaches in Southern California by making a reservation on board Catalina Express! The island is located about 29 mi (47 km) south-southwest of Long Beach, California. Once you get to the kelp forest, the ocean opens up to underwater wonders. Explore Avalon while learning about the history & culture of Catalina Island . South Beach, Middle Beach and Step Beach are … Well, my adventurous friend, there IS, in fact, a place to take a dip in the buff on Santa Catalina Island. The oldest and largest private land trust in Southern California, the Conservancy has a continuing mission to "be a responsible steward of our lands through a balance of conservation, education, and recreation.". The Banning Brothers established the Santa Catalina Island Company in 1894 and began developing the island into a resort destination, building hotels, attractions, and roads into the island’s rugged interior. Shark Harbor is adjacent to the popular beach at Little Harbor Campground. South Beach is surrounded by hotels, shops, restaurants, … Pick up the Descanso Beach shuttle near the Casino Way arch. Discover paradise on Catalina Island with daily ferry trips to and from the island. ... Long Beach. Just be sure not to catch them! Features a full kitchen with panoramic ocean views. Each beach is excellently maintained with imported white sand that’s very soft and nice. From plush hotels to quaint Bed and Breakfast Inns, vacations rentals and camping, you’ll find a great place to stay. It also became a popular location for production companies to shot movies. The Banning Brothers established the Santa Catalina Island Company in 1894 and began developing the island into a resort destination, building hotels, attractions, and roads into the island’s rugged interior. You literally dive in and the Garibaldi are about a foot away. The Island is about 20 miles off the California mainland and by boat it takes a little more than an hour to get to the … In 1975, Philip Knight Wrigley, his wife Helen, and his sister, Dorothy Wrigley Offield, deeded 42,000 acres of Catalina Island to the Catalina Island Conservancy, a non-profit organization they had established three years earlier in 1972. You can also rent kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and snorkeling gear. The team continued to train on the island until 1951. You’ll also never deal with cars or traffic on our beaches. With so many activities at your fingertips, you’ll embark into one of the best beach adventure vacations you’ve ever experienced. Catalina Island News. More than one million travelers choose Catalina Island as their getaway each year and Catalina Express' large fleet of boats make the trip in about an hour, operating every day, year round from three mainland ports - Long Beach, San Pedro and Dana Point. The first Europeans to arrive claimed the island for the Spanish Empire. The Descanso Beach Club has a romantic atmosphere ideal … Catalina Island is the perfect place to take a break from the demands of daily life. Part of the fun of a Catalina Island vacation is getting here. South Beach is also a hot spot for some delicious eating & drinking events, such as the Women’s Forum Wine Festival and the annual Catalina Island Chili Cook-Off. It was later turned over to Mexico and then to the United States. The first step to enjoying the beautiful wildlands of Catalina is to schedule a way to get here. Avalon has three public beaches and one private beach. By continuing to use our site, you agree to our Privacy Policy. … They are such beautiful fish that will stare at you like you’re their best friend. Before planning your next SoCal beach getaway, take a look at these three amazing Catalina Island beaches for some travel inspiration. Catalina Food Tours. Located right near the beach and on Collins Avenue, it offers two restaurants, two pools … In summary, Catalina Island is home to some of the best beaches in Southern California. The island has served as a stop for smugglers, gold diggers, pirates, hunters, the Union army and missionaries. The Banning brothers built hunting lodges, like the Banning House Lodge, and ran stagecoach tours around the island. There are several options for transportation to Catalina Island, including boat and helicopter.The most convenient for central Orange County is the Catalina Flyer, which is operated by Catalina Passenger Services out of Balboa Island in Newport Beach. Regardless of how you obtain your wetsuit, the water is usually around 70 degrees so it’s extremely refreshing. One of the best things to do on Descanso Beach is to get a floatie and drift on the ocean water shores. These two beaches are separated […] See details . The island is 22 mi (35 km) long and 8 mi (13 km) across at its greatest width. You can also get in by buying a drink at the bar because that is considered to be paying your way in. The best place to snorkel is right by Catalina Casino. He then invested millions in his vision to create a "playground for all" on Catalina Island, building infrastructure, a reservoir, Hotel Atwater, Bird Park, and other attractions. In 1929, Wrigley built the iconic Catalina Casino, which boasts the world’s largest circular ballroom and the first theatre designed and built to show talking motion pictures. A fun, 15-minute flight is all that stands between you and an escape to an island … The Island was a popular spot with Hollywood's elite during the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. Because it is a private beach, you have to pay a dollar to enter. Santa Catalina is part of the Channel Islands of Californiaarch… Catalina Casino and Avalon … Shark Harbor is a small beach on the southwest side of Catalina Island. Lastly, there is the Descanso Beach. Catalina Island Yacht Charter & Yacht Rentals. His son Philip Knight Wrigley took over and continued his father’s vision after his passing in 1932. Descanso Beach Club: The South Beach of Catalina - See 794 traveler reviews, 280 candid photos, and great deals for Avalon, CA, at Tripadvisor. Discover paradise on Catalina Island with daily ferry trips to and from the island. Nearby Hotels. Feel free to bring your lunch any day, but please note that alcoholic beverages, animals, and smoking are prohibited on public beaches. During World War II, the island served as a military training facility and was closed to tourists. In 1915, a fire burned down half of Avalon’s buildings. Not all beaches are created equal, and we believe the best beaches in Southern California are found on Catalina Island. Santa Catalina Island has a long and storied history. On this beach you can rent kayaks, beach umbrellas, mountain bikes, and scuba/snorkel gear. Ask true beach fanatics to describe their favorite place to take in the sun, sand and surf, and their answer changes with the tide. After a few failed attempts at a resort development, Lick sold the island to the sons of Phineas Banning in 1891. With its year round Mediterranean climate, it's the ideal place to enjoy ocean air and sunshine. People party and hang out on their boats as others dine on the beach in Avalon on Catalina Island. 2017-07-21 City of Avalon. Picture yourself seaside in Catalina Island You wake in the morning to a fresh ocean breeze and spend the afternoon walking along the sand, picking up seashells. By 1864, Catalina Island was entirely owned by James Lick, who was once considered the wealthiest man in California. This is the most popular Catalina Island beach … Just 19 miles away from Avalon, on the Isthmus of Catalina, is the sleepy town of Two Harbors. The island name is often shortened to Catalina Island or just Catalina. In the summer, you can bring your beach chair for beach bingo from 6-7pm every Tuesday & Thursday (June 20-August 31). Descanso Beach is the most popular Catalina Island beach site in the area. Additionally, there are many community events hosted on South Beach. Catalina Island Casino: The iconic Casino in Catalina Island … For some vacationers, the ideal beach is a place where they can recline with a beverage and darken their skin. To this day, descendants of William Wrigley Jr.still own the Catalina Island Company and carry on his vision to create a world-class island resort. View Tour Book Now. Luxury Liners provides charters departing from Marina del Rey, Newport Beach, and Long Beach. The brothers attempted to salvage their investment, building Hotel St. Catherine in Descanso Canyon to attract new visitors, but they eventually had to sell the island in 1919. They created access to Avalon’s beach areas, like Lovers Cove, Descanso Beach, and Sugarloaf Point, the future site of Catalina Casino. More than one million travelers choose Catalina Island as their getaway each year and Catalina Express' large fleet of boats make the trip in about an hour, operating every day, year round from three mainland ports - Long Beach, San Pedro and Dana Point. Descanso Beach Club is also the starting point for the Zip Line Eco Tour, Catalina Aerial Adventure and the Catalina … It’s on Isthmus Cove in Two Harbors, a quaint California coastal town with a rejuvenating atmosphere. The museum has a great collection of photographs and artifacts documenting life in Catalina Island since the 1880s. Descanso Beach Club is one of California’s last private beaches with public access. Explore beautiful coves while kayaking and snorkeling through hidden caves. With so many activities to choose from, your visit to Catalina Island can be adventure-packed or filled with rest and relaxation. Catalina Island is an adventure just off the coast of Southern California. In 1909, they built the  Pleasure Pier, which still stands today in Avalon Bay. South Beach is a public beach located along Crescent Avenue. Catalina Island’s original custom guided golf cart tour! We use cookies to improve your experience and to analyze the use of our website. If you like good food – and who doesn’t?! This also means it’s one of the only beaches in California where you can bypass the drinking restrictions and pair your favorite alcoholic beverage with a gorgeous ocean view. Book a beach house suite on Catalina Island. Photo by Brandon Richardson. You are allowed to bring your own scuba diving equipment as well as your own fins and snorkels; just be sure to follow the rules for bringing your own gear. Nevertheless, scuba diving near Descanso Beach is an unforgettable experience. For the athletic, the perfect beach is anywhere with gratifying running, frisbee and hiking activities. For many visitors, it’s easier to rent their gear on the island because it’s convenient and affordable. Santa Catalina Island (Tongva: Pimuu'nga or Pimu; Spanish: Isla Santa Catalina) is a rocky island off the coast of Southern California in the Gulf of Santa Catalina. There have been inhabitants on the island for the past 7,000 years. – Taste of Catalina … The scuba diving in Harbor Sands is insane. Catalina Island beaches - Have fun in the sun and relax with friends and family Avalon Beaches. South Beach is surrounded by hotels, shops, restaurants, restrooms and recreations, making it the most social beach on Catalina Island.