For many travelers, selfies are an integral part of the vacation experience, spotlighting a destination’s attractions and adding a personal touch to the adventure of travel.
Here are our top nine spots to take a selfie on Catalina Island
On Old Ben – At the end of the 19th century, Catalina Island was home to a friendly bull sea lion, who quickly realized that Avalon’s visitors and residents were more than happy to provide him with a free meal in exchange for a bit of interaction. Old Ben, as he was known, graced photos and postcards of the time and was a cherished memory for those who interacted with him. Those memories – and the memory of Old Ben – are immortalized in the bronze statue and the park named after the friendly sea lion. The park is located overlooking Avalon Harbor on Pebbly Beach Road and a selfie with Old Ben is an ideal way to kick off your visit to the island.
Underwater – Catalina’s undersea wonderland has been attracting visitors for more than 100 years. See what all the fuss is about by taking the plunge via snorkeling, scuba or snuba -- just make sure you know your phone’s water resistance before taking it with you.
At the Little Harbor Overlook – Known by locals as “the Backside,” Catalina’s windward side abounds with spectacular vistas and stunning seascapes. A favorite is certainly the Little Harbor Overlook, which perches above Shark and Little harbors and provides panoramic views that are sure to take your breath away. Get yourself in the shot for a perfect Catalina Island selfie.
At Buena Vista Point – Avalon’s scenic harbor and Catalina’s iconic Casino have been the subject of millions of photos, postcards and paintings. Become part of that history with a selfie at Buena Vista Point, which offers – arguably – one of the best views around. It’s located above the Cabrillo Mole, just below the Inn on Mt Ada.
On the beach – You are on an island, you must take a beach selfie. There are several great beaches on Catalina Island to accommodate the perfect vacation selfie.
- The most accessible are those in Avalon, including South Beach, Middle Beach and Step Beach – all three provide great backdrops of Avalon Harbor. Descanso Beach, located just past the Catalina Casino building is another popular spot for an Avalon selfie. Add to the fun with a drink in your hand – Descanso Beach is one of the only beaches in California with cocktail service on the sand.
- Venturing farther afield will bring you to some of Catalina’s remote beaches, including those on the windward side, where island, sea and sky come together to conjure spectacular sunsets and unrivaled natural beauty. Those vistas can be accessed on some tours as well as via the Wildlands Shuttle and along various Catalina hiking trails.
At the Wrigley Memorial – High above Avalon is the Wrigley Memorial, built to honor the man whose vision transformed Catalina Island into one of California’s top attractions. This Romanesque edifice was hewn from Catalina materials and includes a beautiful installation of Catalina tiles. Located at the top of Avalon Canyon and accessible through the Wrigley Botanic Gardens, the memorial offers a unique spot to commemorate your island visit.
While eating – or drinking – something delicious – Catalina’s restaurants and bars offer myriad opportunities to snap a selfie with you and your mates. Whether dining in upscale luxury or consuming a local libation, preserve a taste of vacation with a quick snap.
At the Catalina Casino – Nothing says Catalina Island like the Moorish masterpiece that dominates Avalon Harbor. The spectacular building offers a plethora of photographic opportunities, ranging from the promenade around the Casino Ballroom to the historic murals in the loggia. Take a tour, take in a movie or just take a stroll around the building to see the possibilities.
At the summit – High above Avalon is the Summit, a covered viewpoint with sweeping views of the Pacific and – on a clear day – the mainland. Getting there requires a challenging walk up about 1500 feet above sea level or – if you’d rather save your energy for other island adventures – a stop on a tour bus. Either way, nothing says island selfie like the view of the mainland behind you.