With its crystal clear waters, gently lapping shore and peacefully bobbing boats, Avalon Harbor on Catalina Island is a magnet for sightseers and adventurers alike. From dinghies to megayachts, in the summer, nearly every vessel imaginable can be found in the harbor. Also floating atop are kayaks and paddleboards as well as rowboats and pedal boats. Swimmers and waders take the plunge, finding Avalon Harbor’s waters irresistible. Generations of kids have laid claim to the swim float off South Beach and, this year, water polo is a new attraction.
Beneath the surface, Catalina Island’s most popular harbor is home to a wide variety of marine species. Nearly everyone sees the distinctive orange garibaldi that are almost always visible near the boat terminal, but dozens of other species can be found as well. Bat rays, thornback rays and guitarfish can been seen in the shallows. Kelp bass, opaleye and sheepshead hang out beneath the pier. And octopus and spider crabs forage on the harbor’s sandy bottom. Attracted by the bounty, sea lions hunt the midwater, periodically popping up to announce their presence with raucous barks.
This confluence of humans and nature invites discovery, just one more reason to take the plunge and experience all that Avalon Harbor has to offer.