Catalina Island’s history is filled to overflowing with fascinating facts, colorful characters and a rich cultural identity that spans more than 8,000 years. This Southern California vacation destination has been home to smugglers and spies, baseball players and Hollywood icons, cowboys and pirates. For hundreds of generations it was home to native islanders who revered its beauty and bounty alike. Visited by iconic explorers and home to intrepid individuals, the Catalina vacation spot we know today has a history that would take a lifetime to explore.
For the last half century, the only way to explore fascinating Catalina history was in a cramped exhibit space in the basement of the Catalina Casino. That will all change this summer when the Catalina Island Museum opens its expansive new facility. Located in the heart of Avalon on Metropole Avenue, the Ada Blanche Wrigley Schreiner Catalina Island Museum will debut to the public beginning on June 18. With white walls and a red tile cupola, the new facility pays homage to the museum’s previous home in the Catalina Casino and it won’t be long before it’s an architectural icon in its own right. Permanent and temporary exhibits will provide a dynamic place to explore Catalina history and Southern California pop culture. Outdoor gardens, an auditorium and an indoor digital theater will provide plenty of space for special events. As one of the largest construction projects in Avalon in decades, the new museum has been years in the making, with visitors and residents alike eagerly awaiting its opening.
The Grand Opening of the Ada Blanche Wrigley Schreiner Catalina Island Museum will be celebrated with a series of activities after its sneak peek for museum members on June 17.