A Travellerspoint blog

Catalina Island

Old school Hollywood's playground

If you ever have the chance to visit anywhere on the east coast of California you MUST take a day trip to Catalina Island. I can't believe it's my 4th time to California before I made the trip!! Huge shout outs to my Airbnb hosts Jess and Brandon for the heads up on how unique and beautiful
this place was!! There are ferries from Long Beach or Newport Beach.
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I caught the Catalina Flyer from Newport Beach (Balboa Island), it was bit windy and choppy the day I went, and it's an hour so come prepared!
It has 3 decks and a bar! Not that I could cope with sea legs and a Bloody Mary at 9am! It takes you slowly out of the harbour and some of the houses along it are magnificent with their own boat docks and real beach front living. #dreamhomes
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Once you arrive in Catalina, the town of Avalon is at the waterfront and everything is within walking distance.
You can hire golf carts also to get around the whole island, or take a tour. They have a beautiful golf course too!
Some of the major cruise lines also stop in here, the Carnival Spirit was docked here for the day.
I booked into the casino's behind the scenes tour where I learnt about the history of the island and the casino from our tour guide, Joe.
Catalina Island is mainly owned and was developed by the Wrigley family (as in the chewing gum and Chicago Cubs baseball team).
William Wrigley invested millions in its development and built the Catalina Casino opening in 1929 and it became the party haven for Hollywoods rich and famous. The Casino had no gambling as we know casino's today but was a place of entertainment, big bands and dances were held in its upstairs ballroom. It is still the largest circular ballroom accommodating 3,000 dancers, and it has the most beautiful views of the ocean and island.
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Downstairs it has a dome shaped theatre, beautifully painted murals by John Beckman along the bottom of the dome shaped roof. Its acoustics were beyond its time and New Yorks radio city was designed based on these and its structure. It still operates and they screen movies on a Tuesday and Friday nights.
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The town of Avalon has boutique hotels and many destination weddings are held here, I can see why.
It also has a host of events, dance galas, triathlons, food and wines festivals and if you've seen the movie "Stepbrothers" it holds a Catalina Wine Mixer event in September!

Thank you Catalina for a lovely day, I'll be back for the f@&king Catalina wine mixer for sure!!!
Bahahahahaha (again, see the movie!)

L xx

Posted by mslaurajade 15:54

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