Santa Catalina Island

The Green Pleasure Pier, built in 1908

On January 5th, 2022, we decided to take a trip to Santa Catalina Island for three days to explore the island on our E-bikes. We boarded the Catalina Express from Dana Point and had a blue-bird day crossing the sea to the town of Avalon. We saw whales and dolphins on the way. We checked into the Atwater Hotel just a short ride from the ferry terminal and after joining the Catalina Island Conservancy in order to be able to ride on the roads, we started to explore the Island. We rode our bikes up to the Airport in the Sky Restaurant at 1,600 feet elevation. We rode over 2,000 feet of elevation gain to get there, thank god for E-bikes, and the views were spectacular. Great lunch on the deck with a huge view, before descending back to Avalon, big downhill ride. The sun was beginning to set as we rode down the hill with a beautiful soft, pink, glow over the ocean. Click on thumbnail to view image

The next day we rode to the Wrigley Memorial and Botanic Garden, 30 minutes from the Atwater Hotel. The Wrigley Memorial honors the memory of William Wrigley Jr., who lived from 1861 to 1932, the chewing gum entrepreneur. He purchased the Island in 1919 and played an instrumental role in the history of Santa Catalina Island. The Wrigley Memorial, built in 1933-34, after his passing, is the centerpiece of the Botanic Garden. The goal in building the Memorial was to use as much Catalina materials as possible. The blue flagstone rock on the ramps and terraces comes from Little Harbor, on Catalina’s “back’ side. The red roof tiles and all the colorful handmade glazed tiles used for finishings came from the Catalina Pottery plant, which operated from 1927-1937. We walked around the Memorial and wandered through the Botanic Garden, spotting a cute fox on the trails. Click on thumbnail to view image

Then we rode our e-bikes through Avalon to the west side of the Island, a rough rode and a long climb to the top for great views from the west side. What a great day on the bikes, back in Avalon we enjoyed a fabulous well-deserved dinner at the Avalon Grille. The next day we explored the iconic Catalina Casino, opened on May 29, 1929, for nearly a century. Dominating the Avalon landscape from its regal perch on the edge of Avalon Bay, exemplifies the style and romance of Catalina Island. There has never been gambling at the Catalina Casino, it is available year-round for private and corporate events. We will definitely return to this romantic Island and explore Two Harbors on our e-bikes, of course!!! Click on thumbnail to view image

Catalina Island