Our Favorite Sites for Catalina Island Tours
Our group’s trip from Dana Point to Catalina Island began with a 1.5 hour, 25-mile, scenic cruise across the channel to the town of Avalon.
There is so much to see and do on the island. Activities we looked forward to and were captivated by once we experienced them included the glass bottom boat tour, the Zip Line Eco Tour and the Catalina Aerial Adventure.
Tours of Avalon and the Nature Center
Our group took a tour of Avalon and it was just as funky as it looked and sounded when we reserved it. Our students thought it was pretty funny to see a post office that never receives mail, a house built from a recycled boat and a bird park with no birds. Of course the postcard views of the harbor are incredible which makes it a must do activity during a visit.
The Nature Center at Avalon Canyon, operated by the conservancy, features self-guided exhibits that describe the natural history and conservation efforts on the island. We learned that the group stewards 42,000 acres of land and more than sixty miles of shoreline on the island.
Wrigley Memorial and Botanic Garden
The Wrigley Memorial & 37-acre Botanic Garden located nearby is where we saw many plants including some unique only to Catalina Island. The memorial for William Wrigley Jr. honors the man who was instrumental in the history of the island.
Originally developed by Wrigley to be a playground of the stars, the island has a fascinating history which can be discovered in an exhibit at the Catalina Island Museum. Many movies have been filmed here we learned, “The Ten Commandments” and “Mutiny on the Bounty” are two we were familiar with. Famous visitors included Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart and Charlie Chaplin. The Wrigley’s brought the Chicago Clubs to Catalina Island for spring training between 1921 and 1951.
We took a tour of the island interior and learned that it is mostly managed by the Catalina Island Conservancy. The conservancy was formed in 1972, its mission is “to be a responsible steward of its lands through a balance of conservation, education and recreation”.
The Treasured Wildlife on Catalina Island
Animal life on Catalina Island is a big focus of the conservancy in the interior of the island. Bald eagles, bison and feral cats are being studied in varying degrees in regards to their sustainability and their threat potential to native species. The nature centers and tour guides are knowledgeable and provided us with much detail about the multiple studies and programs that currently exist. To see baby eagles hatching take a look at this webcam
We spent the evening on the island in Avalon and dined in town. The casino movie theatre provided our nighttime entertainment.
Interested in seeing Catalina Island as a part of your student’s Southern California educational tour? Explore our STEM tours and learn more about the travel itineraries we can provide for you to enhance your student’s science, technology, engineering and math learning experience.
Sources: Catalina Island Company, Visitcatalinaisland.com, Catalina Chamber of Commerce, Dreamscape.ca