Catalina Island’s relaxing island ambiance may make it seem like an incongruous place to celebrate the holidays, but for thousands of families over the years, Santa Catalina Island has become the perfect spot to welcome Santa Claus. Other families, stranded on the mainland, find a way to bring the island to them, imbuing their holiday festivities with a Catalina Island flair.
Wherever you choose to celebrate, here are:
Seven ways to celebrate Christmas Catalina Island style
Spend the holidays on Catalina Island. Whether you’re escaping to a cozy ocean view room for just the two of you or booking several vacation homes with dozens of family members, spending the holidays on Catalina Island is magical. Start a new tradition of Christmas morning walks on the beach; book a special meal at a local restaurant or take in the Christmas lights reflecting on Avalon Harbor – no matter what you do on your Catalina Island holiday celebration it will be a time the whole family remembers forever.
Give a Catalina Island holiday. Want to make a big impression with a gift too big to fit under the Christmas tree? Book a Catalina Island vacation for the entire family and let them know about it on Christmas morning. From a subtle message in a holiday card to having them unwrap a new set of luggage then springing the surprise, there are myriad ways to let your family unwrap a Catalina Island getaway. Book a Best of Winter Boat & Hotel Package, which combines Catalina Express ferry tickets with Catalina Island hotels at special winter rates, valid for travel through March 26, 2020.
Grab a last-minute gift: Many Catalina Island activities and experiences offer electronic gift certificates than can be delivered nearly instantaneously. Turn an “oops” moment into an “aww, it’s perfect” moment by clicking to your favorite Catalina Island activity and gifting an experience. Whether it’s ziplining, kayaking, scuba diving, hiking, parasailing or snorkeling, the many things to do on Catalina Island offer a never-ending buffet of gift-giving options.
Add a subtle hint of Catalina Island to the Christmas tree: Several Avalon shops sell an array of ornaments, including shells, Catalina Casino replicas, Santa starfish and more. Hang an Island memento on your tree as a reminder of the great times your family has spent on Catalina Island – and as an inspiration for your next Catalina Island getaway.
Give a Catalina Island gift: There’s something for everyone on Catalina Island, including art, apparel, home décor and more. From collectible Catalina Island pottery to an Island ballcap, there are endless opportunities to add Catalina Island to your Christmas list. Not going to visit the island before the holiday? Many island shops are willing to ship, just give them a call.
Give a Catalina Island gift certificate: Can’t quite decide what to give? Give it all. The Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau offers gift certificates that can be redeemed at dozens of their member businesses. Most restaurants, activities, shops and accommodations all accept the certificates, making them an ideal gift for the Catalina Island fan in your life.
Give a gift to Catalina Island: Ready to give back? There are several organizations on Catalina Island that make it easy to do just that. The Catalina Island Conservancy, which is responsible for preserving nearly 90 percent of the island in its undeveloped state in perpetuity, is a natural choice for nature lovers. In Avalon, the Catalina Island Museum protects and displays the island’s human history along with an ever-changing array of temporary exhibits. The Catalina Island Medical Center Foundation, the Catalina Island Humane Society and the Catalina Youth Arts Exchange are just some of the many non-profits serving the Catalina Island community, alongside service organizations such as the Avalon Rotary Club, the Lions Club of Avalon and the Catalina Island Women’s Forum. Whichever organization you choose to support, your gift to Catalina Island will work to improve the island and the community of people who love it.