Disney Information Station Logo

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Disneyland > Disneyland Trip Reports > California & the West Trip Reports
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
 
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS UpdatesDIS email updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 07-30-2012, 10:41 PM   #1
Sherry E
Willing victim of the Disney Snowball Effect...
Okay so after a coffee and lunch break I am back!
 
Sherry E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 15,094
DISboards Moderator

Catalina Island- My Solo Day Trip- 7/21/12; Highlights from 2013 & 2014! STAY TUNED!

I’m not used to posting in this section of the DIS, but I wanted to share some photos from my recent solo day trip to Catalina Island on July 21st – specifically, the main town of Avalon – and this is the place to do it! I guess we could call this a “photo report,” as opposed to a regular trip report.

In our Disneyland and Southern California forums, there are a lot of DIS’ers who travel from other states or countries to visit Disneyland…but who also want to see some other sights around town. On many occasions folks will spend at least a full week – if not 2 full weeks – in Southern California, and would like ideas for day trips outside of the Disneyland Resort.

While there are many interesting things to do and see in SoCal (Knott’s Berry Farm, Universal Studios, the Original Farmers Market & The Grove, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the La Brea Tar Pits, Hollywood Boulevard, the Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach, the Aquarium of the Pacific, the Queen Mary, San Diego, etc., etc.), I have always thought Catalina Island was a great place to make a day trip. It’s about a one-hour boat ride away (give or take 10 minutes), and you can depart from San Pedro or Long Beach on the Catalina Express, and Marina Del Rey or Newport Beach on the Catalina Flyer. I prefer the Long Beach location for the Express, as it has the most departures and arrivals, especially during the summer, which allows more flexibility and room to do more things.

Just some quick background: I’ve been to Catalina/Avalon many times in the past. I fell in love with it back in 1988, after looking at some of my grandmother’s old photos of her Catalina trips in the ‘50s and ‘60s and deciding to round up some of my friends to go there for a day. In fact, Catalina is my ‘other’ favorite place in SoCal aside from Disneyland Resort. I just love it. There’s a certain charm about it that lures me in.

But, alas, I had not gone to beautiful Avalon for many years - until this month, when I took advantage of the Free Round Trip birthday boat ride with Catalina Express (which is being offered through at least April 2013, if not beyond that). It is approximately a $72 value, so it’s a great deal. This is the second year in a row that the free birthday boat trip is being offered.

I’ve been to Catalina with and without friends before – sometimes I have had one friend with me; sometimes a big group of friends. Sometimes I have gone totally by myself. I’ve stayed for a weekend. I’ve stayed for extended holiday weekends. I’ve stayed for a full 7-night/8-day week. I’ve also done a few one-day trips. I’ve had very busy trips where I was rushing from one tour to another to another, and I’ve had very laid back trips in which I did not do much more than wander around and enjoy the beachy ambiance.

As it had been so long since my last Catalina visit, I wanted to have a lot of ‘wander around time’ to check out all the things that had changed or stayed the same. I also wanted to do one of my favorite things – rent a golf cart, go up in the hills and visit the Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Garden. I succeeded in both wandering around and renting the golf cart, but I didn't have nearly as much time as I would have preferred.

I am a bit of a picture-taking fanatic too. I take pictures of anything and everything. So I do hope you will join me on this photographic report of my one-day solo trip on Saturday, July 21, 2012. I have a lot of photos to share!

I normally do a much more detailed, vaguely humorous written report to go along with all the photos, but I am currently working on my holiday 2011 Disneyland TR over in the Disneyland TR section (7 months late!), and that’s where all of my detailed written efforts are going for the time being! Right now I just want to share some photos of Catalina to show people out there who may be interested in visiting and would like to see more of what Avalon looks like.


…Arriving at the Catalina Express terminal at the Downtown Landing in Long Beach, just after 5:00 A.M. (my boat was set to depart for Avalon at 6:15 A.M.), I attempt to wake up!!











Inside the terminal, a bison – one of Catalina Island’s famous furry residents – greets you…







A map of the Island (reflections from lights in the terminal made it impossible to get photos of this map with or without a flash!)…











I took my spot in the line building outside and waited to board my Catalina Express boat…









Thankfully, this Aquabus was not my boat!








The sun was starting to rise…






And it’s time to board! I found a seat on one of the upper outside decks, by the railing, as I planned to scout for dolphins and other sea life. Dolphin sightings are an almost daily occurrence on the Catalina Express boats, and at times there may be so many of them leaping out of the water that the captain of the boat will actually slow down or stop to let the passengers take photos.

On some of the Express boats, the backs of the chairs are facing the ocean – so you essentially miss out on the action, if there is anything to see, or you have to turn your body all the way around to be able to see what’s going on.




On other Express boats the chairs are positioned a little differently, where the sides are adjacent to the railing of the boat, making it a little easier to look out at the ocean.










And we are setting sail! Here are some views of Long Beach as we pass through the harbor…












As you can see, the water is very still and placid in this part of the harbor. It changes a bit when you get out on the open water.



__________________
**...Rockin' my Disney Side since 1972 ... Now taking on the holidays, one photo (and one Superthread!) at a time...**

Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014

Last edited by Sherry E; 07-23-2014 at 11:47 AM. Reason: typo
Sherry E is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2012, 10:43 PM   #2
Sherry E
Willing victim of the Disney Snowball Effect...
Okay so after a coffee and lunch break I am back!
 
Sherry E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 15,094
DISboards Moderator

Continuing on…








There she is! The regal Queen Mary…





















Suddenly the sun hit us…









Yep…there’s a whole lotta ocean out there…perfect for a dolphin sighting…and the dolphins decided to appear on the other side of the boat, where I couldn’t see them!






It was around this time when a fellow passenger asked me – as he stared out into the vast sea – if I thought there were sharks out there.





It was a little choppy at this point, but I channeled my inner Gorton’s Fisherman and rode it out without getting sick…










That island in the distance is Catalina – we are fast approaching!













This is Hamilton Cove, an enclave of condos and villas with private golf carts, swimming pools and spectacular views!





__________________
**...Rockin' my Disney Side since 1972 ... Now taking on the holidays, one photo (and one Superthread!) at a time...**

Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014
Sherry E is offline   Reply With Quote
|
The DIS
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 07-30-2012, 10:46 PM   #3
Sherry E
Willing victim of the Disney Snowball Effect...
Okay so after a coffee and lunch break I am back!
 
Sherry E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 15,094
DISboards Moderator

Continuing on…








And here it is! The Casino! This is the iconic building (not an actual gambling casino) that people identify with Catalina. This is the sight that those of us who love Catalina can’t wait to see from the boat as we pull into the Avalon harbor…

There was a cute young couple on the boat – I am thinking that they were Japanese tourists – and when the guy pointed out the Casino to his lady, she literally squealed with delight and pointed at it with glee! I think all of us were a little taken aback by the piercing squeal so early in the morning (it was shortly after 7:00 A.M. when we approached Avalon), and especially over a sight that many of us have probably taken for granted when we visit the Island, but it truly is a lovely sight – for an international tourist or for someone who has not been there in years (yours truly)! I was squealing in silence, though…















There are many, many views around Avalon – both from the Island and from the water – that are postcard-worthy.






This Casino represents so many wonderful trips to Catalina in the past for me…





Hamilton Cove is just a few minutes away from the main hub of activity in Avalon by golf cart or shuttle…













The town of Avalon has a Mediterranean feel to it, from the amazing tile art that you find all over the city to the way the houses and apartments are stacked on the hillsides. It’s very evocative of Spain, Italy or Greece.













One picture-perfect view after another…









I’m still on the Catalina Express at this point!






This is what I was sitting next to on the boat the whole ride over – hey, I’m no fool!









__________________
**...Rockin' my Disney Side since 1972 ... Now taking on the holidays, one photo (and one Superthread!) at a time...**

Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014
Sherry E is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2012, 10:47 PM   #4
Sherry E
Willing victim of the Disney Snowball Effect...
Okay so after a coffee and lunch break I am back!
 
Sherry E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 15,094
DISboards Moderator

Continuing on…

Time to disembark…yay!!







Down the ramp…





And up another ramp…





I’m finally off the boat and on the Island! Woo hoo!





“Mine! Mine!” There are many of these feathered friends all over Avalon – some of them are huge. They seem to be quite used to people as they get very close.





Time to get a locker. You can rent one from the baggage service/storage place near the boat dock. It’s $5.00 for all-day service, with a $10 deposit that you get back if you return the key by 8 p.m., and you can go into the locker as many times as you want all day long for that flat fee, which is great if you pick up souvenirs throughout the day and need a place to store them safely.

There are also lockers you can rent for something like 75 cents each time you open it – those are good if you don’t plan to buy anything and just need a place to store your jacket until evening. Otherwise, I can imagine that it could add up if you have to open the locker many times.

I think the all-day locker for $5.00 is a good deal – knowing myself and how many times I need to dump things out of my bags – so that’s what I got.








And thank you for having me!
































And there’s another feathered friend!









The pathway into town…



__________________
**...Rockin' my Disney Side since 1972 ... Now taking on the holidays, one photo (and one Superthread!) at a time...**

Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014
Sherry E is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2012, 10:49 PM   #5
Sherry E
Willing victim of the Disney Snowball Effect...
Okay so after a coffee and lunch break I am back!
 
Sherry E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 15,094
DISboards Moderator

Continuing on…





The water is murky in this spot, but you can see some of the Island’s bright orange Garibaldi fish swimming around…














Some beautiful flowers, which appear to be thriving in the sea air and sunny weather…
































Notice that this sign is pointing to “businesses across the street”…





And this is what the sign is pointing at! Lol. It’s a hole in the rock – and that hole was not there the last time I was in Avalon! I’m not sure how or why it’s there.









And there is a path leading up to the hole in the rock…I didn’t go up to check it out – I was afraid of what might be in there and I wanted to keep moving at that moment.











__________________
**...Rockin' my Disney Side since 1972 ... Now taking on the holidays, one photo (and one Superthread!) at a time...**

Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014

Last edited by Sherry E; 02-27-2013 at 03:45 PM. Reason: typo
Sherry E is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2012, 10:52 PM   #6
Sherry E
Willing victim of the Disney Snowball Effect...
Okay so after a coffee and lunch break I am back!
 
Sherry E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 15,094
DISboards Moderator

Continuing on…








This is where I will be renting my golf cart from later on in the day…They charge $40 an hour, but you get 3 hours for the price of 2 hours if you rent before 1 p.m.






That building at the top of the hill is called the Holly Hill House – another historical Catalina spot. The last time I was in Avalon it was still intact, but it appears to be undergoing quite a bit of construction…









Number 22 is going to be my cart, as you will see a bit later…






























What’s interesting is that I think this is the same exact sea lion that used to sit out on the actual rocks, overlooking the water and greeting boats as they docked. Apparently someone decided to carve it and part of the rock it sat on and place it in town.


















The postage stamp-sized beach!







This sand is imported. Avalon’s natural beaches are rock beaches, so they have to have the sand imported from other beach cities such as Redondo Beach and others…




__________________
**...Rockin' my Disney Side since 1972 ... Now taking on the holidays, one photo (and one Superthread!) at a time...**

Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014
Sherry E is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
GET OUR DIS UPDATES DELIVERED BY EMAIL



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:50 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

You Rated this Thread: