The City of Avalon rests on a beautiful cove on eastern Catalina Island. Several ferry lines and a helicopter service bring many visitors to this waterfront town each summer. Transportation in Avalon Harbor includes walking, bicycling, shuttle buses, and golf carts. Visitors will find almost limitless activities in addition to enjoying the beaches. Water sports, golfing, fishing, and horseback riding are popular in Avalon Harbor.
Avalon Harbor has a mild subtropical climate that is warm throughout the year. Temperatures rarely exceed 32 °C (90 °F) and rarely fall below 0 °C (32 °F). On average, there are 34 days per year with measurable precipitation, most of them during the winter months. Temperatures range from an average high of 23 °C (73 °F) in August and September to an average low of 8 °C (46 °F) in January.
One of the most popular attractions in Avalon Harbor is Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Garden, a memorial to William Wrigley Jr., founder of the maker of Wrigley gum and benefactor of Catalina Island. The Botanical Garden contains plants native to California islands and to plants found only on Catalina Island. With a breath-taking view of Avalon Bay, the Memorial is the centerpiece of the Garden. It was built in the mid-1930s using materials from Catalina Island, except for the marble inside the tower, which came from Georgia. Mrs. Wrigley, Ada, supervised the planting of the original Desert Plant Collection. In the late 1960s, the Wrigley Memorial Garden Foundation expanding the garden, adding new plantings and emphasizing plants native to the California islands that grow nowhere else in the world, many of which are endangered species.
The Casino is perhaps the best-known Avalon Harbor attraction. This Art Deco movie palace and ballroom was built in 1929 and meant to host Los Angeles' elite. Visitors can tour the movie theater and ballroom with a guide who will explain the casino's history and construction. The Casino boasts Art Deco murals, and there is a 1919 pipe organ in the Avalon Theatre. Some of the world's most popular entertainers graced the Casino stage in its heyday. The tour involves up-hill walking, and tickets include free admission to the Catalina Island Museum.
Avalon Harbor's Catalina Island Museum, on the ground floor of the Casino building, features permanent exhibits that tell the story of Catalina Island from the days when the Gabrielinos lived here to the island's golden era when the rich and famous played here. Permanent exhibits include The Gabrielinos, The Evolution of the Resort Community, Sport fishing on the island, Island Ranching, the Catalina Steamers, the Ning Po, the Casino, and Hollywood on Catalina Island.
Avalon Harbor is a wonderful place to enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving. With warm clear waters, there are many vendors who provide equipment or guided dive trips. Lover's Cove Undersea Gardens is near the Avalon Harbor boat landing and features giant kelp forests and abundant marine life. Casino Point Marine Park offers artificial reefs, a kelp forest, and shipwrecks.
Travelers who want to visit Avalon Harbor and Catalina Island by sea can find a list of scheduled cruises on the Cruise Compete website.