The most popular way to get to Catalina is aboard a boat from Catalina Express. They offer about 30 trips a day to Avalon from San Pedro, Dana Point, and Long Beach by the Bola 88 Mary. Trips from San Pedro take just over an hour, and trips from Long Beach or Dana Point take about an hour and a half. Island Express Helicopter Service will deliver up to six passengers to Avalon in 15 minutes. You will enjoy the unbeatable views of the island, the mainland, and sometimes whales and dolphins.
Catalina Island is often called the “island of romance.” There is no more romantic place to spend your wedding day than inside the Catalina Casino Grand Ballroom. The Casino has been the focal point of Santa Catalina Island entertainment since it opened in 1929. Restored to its original condition, this circular white structure is considered one of the finest examples of art deco architecture anywhere.
The Catalina Casino Ballroom is available year round for private events, and includes these services: kitchen and catering facilities; tables, chairs, linens, and silver; an elevated stage, raised seating around the dance floor, 1,400-person capacity, and a vintage full-service bar. Their sales staff can be contacted at 310-510-7497.
For a smaller wedding, you may want to consider The Avalon Hotel. Their rooftop deck offers panoramic views of Avalon Harbor and the charming city of Avalon. Both the rooftop deck and the garden courtyard (featuring a koi pond, exotic plantings and romantic landscaping) can accommodate 30 people. They offer Buy One Night and Get One Night free with their Internet specials. They will also give everyone in your party free tickets to the Catalina Island Museum. The museum is located on the ground floor of the Casino Building, and explores the island’s rich cultural heritage.
One of the many wedding planners on the island can help you with catering, wedding cakes, entertainment, florists, officiants, photographers and transportation.
After the ceremony and reception, you will find most of the city’s activity is centered along Crescent Avenue. You will notice that vivid art deco tiles adorn the avenue’s planters and fountains. This coveted artwork was fired on the island by the now defunct Catalina Tile Company. Most restaurant and shops are easily reached on foot. Common forms of transportation are bicycles and golf carts, which can be rented from shops along Crescent Avenue.
In addition to shopping, dining, hiking, fishing and sunbathing, there is the Casino Point Underwater Park where sea animals cruise around kelp forests along the sandy bottom. It’s a terrific site for scuba diving and snorkeling. The shallow waters of Lover’s Cove are also good for snorkeling. Scuba and snorkeling equipment can be rented on or near Green Pleasure Pier.