What’s happening on Catalina Island
Concerts, hikes boat tours, wine festivals and beach parties are only a few of the events planned for visitors and boaters to partake in on the island this summer. Whether you’re staying for a day or a week, Avalon and Two Harbors have several events to keep you entertained during your time on the island.
Take a tour
One day each year the Catalina Island Museum partners with the Tuna Club of Avalon to reveal the rich history and traditions of Catalina Island’s most private club to the public. On Aug. 13 the club will open its doors to the public and provide tours of the world famous Tuna Club, a nationally registered historic landmark and the world’s oldest fishing club.
Access to the historic clubhouse founded in 1898 is restricted to club members only, but once a year, when it opens its doors to the public to benefit the Catalina Island Museum. It is the birthplace of sportfishing. Trophies, artifacts and photographs are among many relics exhibited in the club, documenting the history of big-game fishing and the first recorded rod and reel catches of tuna, marlin and broadbill swordfish. Tour times: 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Cost: $30 for members; $35 for non-members. Register at catalinamuseum.org.
The 30th annual Jimmy Walker Buffalo Chip Toss is a must-do for those visiting the island in September since the competition is not only unique to the isthmus but also provides the winner some bragging rights. Participants will test their athletic skills and compete for the farthest toss. Prizes are awarded for the farthest throws. All chips will be provided. Pick your chip wisely! When. Sept. 3. Time: 10-11 a.m. Information: visitcatalinaisland.com.
No matter the season, there is always something new to experience on the island from the Microbrew Fest at Two Harbors on Sept 10 to Bucanneer’s Weekend on Sept. 29 when pirate-themed everything takes over the island for four days of fun.
Or, if sipping on wine on a chaise lounge on the sandy beaches of Avalon are more up your alley, you’ll want to check out the Catalina Island Women’s Forum Wine Festival on Sept. 17 (catalinawinefestival.com) or the Catalina Wine Mixer on Sept. 23-25 at Descanso Beach. Information on all these events can be found at visitcatalinaisland.com for tickets and more.
Eat and Dance
Avalon’s urban-chic restaurant, Avalon Grille, comes alive on select Saturday nights with live DJs spinning from 10 p.m.-1 a.m. The restaurant offers diners fine dining while overlooking Avalon Bay. Information: visitcatalinaisland.com/dining-nightlife/nightlife/after-hours-avalon-grille.
More Fun Events
Descanso Beach Club Parties: Guests can enjoy the white sand beach and an afternoon of music. The afternoon kicks off with DJs spinning, happy hour specials and live musical acts. When: July 30-Sept. 24. Where: Descanso Beach. Full lineup is available at visitcatalinaisland.com.
Summer Beach Bingo: Bring your beach chair and some friends to the South Beach Lifeguard stand. Bingo cards are $1 each and participants can win fun local prizes. Time: 6-7 p.m. When: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Information: 310-510-0220 ext. 231, cityofavalon.com.
Catalina Film Society: An opportunity for film enthusiasts to enjoy, discuss and celebrate brand new unreleased independent films on a monthly basis. When: Third Wednesday of every month. Where: Overlook Hall. Cost: Suggested donation of $10 for nonmembers. Information: 818-787-1946, catalinafilm.org.
Live @ Descanso Beach Club: Guests can boogie beachside to the beat of live bands. Coleman Hell will perform on Aug. 12 and The Wailers on Sept. 3. When: Aug. 12 and Sept. 3. Where: Descanso Beach. Tickets: visitcatalinaisland.com/liveatdbc.
Catalina Island Summer Concert Series on Wrigley Plaza Stage: The Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce and Xceptional Music Company present “Xceptional Dance,” a free, family-friendly summer concert, next to the Bay on Wrigley Plaza Stage. A Beer & Wine Garden will be available at all concerts. Time: 8-10 p.m. When: Aug. 27-September. Where: Wrigley Plaza Stage. Information: 310-510-1520, catalinachamber.com.
Kid’s Fishing Derby: Bring your own rod and reel or drop a line and join a fishing guide. Prizes awarded every week following the derby; bait and gear also available on the pier. Time: 7-9 a.m. When: Wednesdays (Aug. 31). For more information: 310-510-0220 ext. 231, cityofavalon.com.
Catalina Channel Crossing: The 57th annual U.S. Outrigger Championships is the longest Polynesian canoe race in the continental U.S., 26 miles from Newport to Avalon. The race can be watched from Casino Point. After race Hawaiian festivities will be held at the center of town after the race. On Sunday, racers will depart from Lovers Cove. When: Sept. 10-11. Information: 858-442-2536, catalinacrossing.org.
Festival of Art: This 58th annual event brings artists from all over the country to exhibit their work along Crescent Avenue and sell their works of fine art, sculpture, crafts and photography. When: Sept. 16-18. Information: Catalina Art Association, 310-510-2788, catalinaartassociation.org.
Catalina Film Festival: One hundred films will be screened at multiple venues around the island during this event that include live music, nightly events and VIP parties. When: Sept. 28-Oct. 10. Information: 818-787-1946, catalinafilm.org.