Photo Provided By: Catalina Express
Photo Provided By: Catalina Express

5 Reasons We’re Heading to Catalina Island This Fall

Why You Need to Plan a Fall Trip to Catalina ASAP!

Catalina Island is a serene island oasis that is a mere 1-hour boat ride from the Southern California mainland with ferries operating out of San Pedro, Long Beach and Dana Point. From snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters to embracing Catalina’s culture at the Catalina Museum for Art + History (formerly known as the Catalina Island Museum) there is no shortage of fun to be had on this island paradise! Here’s what we’re looking forward to these next few months. Catalina Island Museum Events


Titanic Exhibit 

Photography Provided By: Catalina Museum

Having recently been rebranded in order to showcase more of the history and culture of Catalina, the Catalina Museum for Art + History has been telling the story of this magical island for almost 68 years. According to Gail Fornasiere and Johnny Sampson at the Catalina Museum for Art + History, the island acts as a sort of time capsule, taking you back to enjoy the island nearly exactly as it was 100 years ago. Currently, the museum is running the Titanic Exhibit, which features never-before-seen artifacts and archives that tell the story of what really happened on that infamous evening in the Atlantic. “It’s really amazing; one of the women who survived actually ended up on the island later in life!” says Sampson. “We even have music and images of Wallace Hartley, the band leader who famously played his violin until the very end.” Kids can enjoy exploring the innovative technology and try their hand at learning morse code at the exhibit, while parents can indulge in the stories of those who endured this tragic event. “This exhibit allows us to peek in on the lives of these people and see the love that existed between them,” explains Sampson. “The Titanic not only changed those who survived it—The Titanic changed the world.”

Catalina Island Museum Events

Annual Oktoberfest

Rather than taking a trip all the way to Germany, simply hop over to Catalina for the museum’s annual Oktoberfest! Every October, guests can enjoy an authentic Bavarian polka rock band, free giveaways, fun art projects for kids and of course, top-notch German beer for the adults. When it comes to food, snack on traditional German bites like bratwurst and add all of your favorite toppings. 

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Dia de los Muertos

Show your appreciation of traditional culture by participating in the museum’s annual Dia de los Muertos celebration. “Dia de los Muertos is a great way to get our local community together to participate and learn about this beautiful holiday,” explains Fornasiere. “We have everything from a taco bar and live music to an ofrenda-making contest for the kids. We also have staff there to watch the children so that the parents can enjoy their night dancing and mingling with other locals.” 

Catalina Island Museum Events

First Fridays

Located at the outdoor Ackerman Family Amphitheater, the museum’s First Fridays film series screens classic movies on the first Friday of every month. From Titanic to Edward Scissorhands, sit back and relax with some popcorn and a soda while you enjoy the island’s coastal breeze and starry skies.   


Family Free Day 

Overall, Catalina is an incredibly family-friendly destination chock-full of activities, like ziplining and snorkeling, that will have the whole family smiling. On top of that, the Catalina Museum for Art + History offers free admission to families every quarter. “Family Free Day allows the family unit to come in for free to enjoy the museum,” says Fornasiere. “Also, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., we offer a free art project for the families, giving them the opportunity to get creative!”

Catalina Island Museum Events

Catalina Museum for Art + History
217 Metropole Ave
Avalon, CA 90704

Photography Provided By: Catalina Museum

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Allie Lebos graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2017 with a BA in Communication. While in school she was a staff writer at The Daily Nexus for nearly two years. Since graduating she has written for The Palisades Magazine, as well as Hidden Hills Magazine. Currently living in Santa Monica, Allie loves to indulge in good food, hot yoga, and daily walks along the beach; writing articles on travel, special events, as well as features on local businesses and individuals.


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