Posts Tagged ‘Catalina’
Our Private Tour Guests from Chicago Love Catalina Island
So many of our private Los Angeles tour guests are unaware of the island paradise only 23 miles away from Los Angeles. Santa Catalina Island (just Catalina to those of us living here) is the largest of the eight Channel Islands just off the southern coast of California. It’s rich history is only a small part of its attraction for visitors to our region as well as locals wishing a little “island” time to get away from the city. Our guides regale our guests with tales of Hollywood celebrities, gamblers and criminals on those days when the island appears through the foggy mist of the marine layer. Even better than stories told about the island while peering across the channel is our private tour out to Catalina (by helicopter, yacht or ferry – our guests’ choice) when we can show off the beautiful city of Avalon and the wild landscape that is still the major area of the island. The Catalina Island Museum is now housed permanently in the Ada Blanche Wrigley Schreiner building, a lovely structure that pairs with the beautiful Avalon Casino and has whispers of Wrigley Field in its design. Ada (“Blanny”) was the granddaughter of William Wrigley, once owner of the Chicago Cubs and builder of famous Wrigley Field. Blanny Schreiner and the Wrigley Family contributed greatly to the island’s modern development and preservation and much is owed to them for the abundant joy that Catalina provides.
This Private Adventure Tour Has Us Sailing Into Avalon Bay
Most of our private tours are in our fleet of luxury SUVs. We drive ALL around Los Angeles with multiple stops in Hollywood, Beverly Hills and along the beach communities from Venice Beach to Malibu. That’s usually. We visit film studios, recording studios, celebrity homes. Again, usually. But if our guests have a different idea of what they want to see and do in Los Angeles we are ready to take them there and not necessarily in our cars. Readers here know we also have a fleet of modern, luxury twin-engine helicopters at our disposal to explore and fly around Southern California by air. And, on these hot summer days (and hot spring, fall and winter days) we can head out to sea to see what we can. One particularly beloved destination is Catalina Island. The island is only 23 miles away. We can board a well appointed and staffed yacht (including a chef) and relax and enjoy the almost two hour journey across the channel to the largest of the Channel Islands. The gorgeous Avalon Bay is a perfect destination for a day of exploring, swimming, snorkeling and other water activities, hiking, shopping, dining and sightseeing (ever seen a herd of buffalo?). Catalina, for the adventurous of spirit, has a thrilling 5-level Eco-Zipline where the excitement of the ride is amplified with the value of the ecology lessons included along the way. Interested in some deep sea fishing or scuba diving? Let us know and we can add that to your adventure itinerary on Catalina Island.
Flight to Catalina Is a Great Way to Begin a Private Catalina Tour
Avalon Bay is like a welcoming jewel as our twin-jet helicopter streaks across the 23-mile wide channel separating Santa Catalina Island from Los Angeles. The tiny bay is nestled in the arms of steep hillsides, some rising to almost 2,100 feet, mountains really, but Avalon faces the mainland so the waters are generally calm. The island feels almost like a protective barrier keeping the wild Pacific Ocean from harming the great metropolis to the east. We have many ways to enjoy a visit to this, the largest of the eight Channel Islands which rise from the sea from San Diego to Santa Barbara. Besides the beautiful flight and arrival at our helipad near the water, we can board a golf cart and sightsee throughout the town. A special place to visit is the old Avalon Casino, the largest structure on the island. Now a museum and community auditorium there are often special programs and films available for our private Los Angeles tour guests. Art and film festivals are organized throughout the year. The city offers quaint lodging, fine restaurants and shopping. Our favorite island artist, Porschia Rene Denning, has recently opened a new art gallery, Rain Dance Art. We enjoy showing off Porschia’s murals as we amble around town. For our more adventurous guests wishing some physical outlet during this custom luxury tour of Catalina, there is hiking, swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving. Oh, and for those who really want to get their adrenaline pumping there is a five level zipline with an ecology theme and incredible views of the island and sea. Herd of buffalo? Why yes, in fact, we can visit the island buffalo, too.
Our Private Tour Group Says Goodbye to Their Bird
After a busy day of luxury helicopter tours the sun sets over Los Angeles and the birds can rest. Our last private Los Angeles tour group had spent the day on Catalina Island. Our twin-engine luxury aircraft make that a swift and beautiful trip across the 23-mile wide channel that separates the island from the mainland. Flying means more time on the island although the boat trip is a fun adventure in its own way. Catalina offers a lot for our guests: hiking, sightseeing, dining, snorkeling, scuba diving, deep sea fishing and ziplining. Even the art is amazing. It inspires us to take great photographs for our guests to keep in their tour photo album.
Sometimes a Private Tour Guest Wants More Than a Great Photograph
Our private Los Angeles tour guests love that we take photographs all the time they are with us sightseeing or enjoying a Southern California adventure. We relieve them of the need to bring out their own cameras (or cellphones) all the time and, most importantly, we capture everyone in the group in our tour photographs. Best of all, we take these photos all the time and are very good at getting the best angle and composition (our high end digital SLR cameras makes shutter speed and aperture settings easy for us) even for our much practiced “candid” shots. Since we take so many pictures on so many tours our guides are constantly looking for new images to capture and new techniques which we then examine during our regular staff meetings. In other words, our guests have wonderful tour photo albums when they go home. However, we also have guests who journey with us with their sketch books in hand. They visualize and capture memories in their own special way. We love getting images back of their work. Barbara Simcoe, a Tucson artist, sent us this photo of her painting of Avalon Bay taken on a luxury tour over to Santa Catalina Island. Just another beautiful Los Angeles day rendered so colorfully in acrylic and canvas. Barbara was not on the island for the Eco-Ziplining experience but was instead interested in finding vantage points to capture island life only 23 miles from Los Angeles.
Enjoy a Fine History Documentary About Los Angeles on a Catalina Island Tour
We encourage our adventurous guests to let us take them the 23 miles out to the largest of the Channel islands, Santa Catalina. Lots of Los Angeles history happened out here as the city on the coast grew in size and importance. Our private Los Angeles tour guides mention some of that history when onshore destinations allow a view of the island and any discussion is relevant but the best way to learn about the island is to visit it. We can fly over in one of our twin-engine luxury helicopters or we can arrange for a private yacht to cruise the channel. We can even take the high speed ferry. Our guests make that decision. Once on the island there is much to do and see. One idea is to visit the Catalina Island Museum and enjoy one of the many documentaries that might be showing in the gallery on the ground floor of the notorious Avalon Casino where the museum is located. As you can see, Hollywood and its stars are very much a part of Catalina history. This island playground is fun to visit any time of the year and offers a number of exciting adventure activities (hiking, ziplining, scuba diving, snorkeling, deep sea fishing, jeep tours through the buffalo preserve) as well as more deliberative things to do like sightseeing, shopping, restaurants and, of course, the Catalina Island Museum.
a Private Tour of Catalina
The locals refer to this patch of open land in the center of Santa Catalina Island‘s only town, Avalon, as “Machine Gun Park.” The name comes from the mounted World War I German machine gun standing out in the open space. City Park, as the grounds are formally named, acquired this memento of man’s inhumanity from the local American Legion post along with the metal helmet you can see below the weapon. Not that this is the best reason to visit Santa Catalina Island by any means, but it is something that caught our eyes as we were exploring the town as part of a private Los Angeles tour. We flew to the island by helicopter. All of our helicopters are twin-engine aircraft so we can safely and legally make the 23-mile journey from the Los Angeles shore over to the largest of the Channel Islands strung along the Southern California coast. Once on the island we can avail ourselves of any number of fun activities from sightseeing to ziplining, shopping to snorkeling, community activities to deep sea fishing. Oh, and there’s talk of a ghost in the park. Catalina Island is a tiny offshore paradise from where you can easily see the giant city of Los Angeles…a getaway without going far…a perfect luxury tour destination.
Our Private Tour Enjoys a Day on Catalina Island
Near Los Angeles
Our private Los Angeles tour guests had no idea that sportfishing was indeed an organized activity and that its official history began right here on Santa Catalina Island off the coast of Los Angeles. The Tuna Club was founded in 1898 by Charles Frederick Holder, a naturalist, who recognized a need, long before environmental science and ecology, to protect large fish species that were being factory fished to feed a growing west coast population. The club boasts members such as Charlie Chaplin, Cecil B. DeMille, Zane Grey, Bing Crosby, Theodore Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, George Patton and Winston Churchill. Churchill showed up in 1929 and expressed his new found enjoyment of fishing for sport. A visit to the Tuna Club is just one thing do when we take our guests over the 25-mile stretch of Pacific Ocean to the largest of the Channel Islands. During the summer and on weekends and holidays there are all sorts of fun activities in addition to hiking, cruising the trails in search of buffalo and relaxing in an island environment so near a major American city. We can fly to the island aboard one of our helicopters in a jiffy or enjoy the 90-minute ride aboard a fast catamaran. Want to go fishing? We can arrange that, too.
An Adventure Tour for the Entire Family
The first level down the Santa Catalina Island mountain might seem scary for zipline first timers. Rest assured, by the fifth level all of our Los Angeles tour guests have it down and may even get a little goofy for the photographs their Elite Adventure Tours guide takes for their tour album. The zipline is fun and this one on the big island in the channel is also educational. That’s right, it is an zipline ecotour and the purpose is to educate the public about the island ecosystem as they enjoy their multilevel return down the slopes toward the sea. Turn nature learning into a really fun adventure by joining us for some sightseeing on our favorite island only 25 miles off the coast of the city. Add to the adventure by having us fly you over the channel (much faster, too) in our twin-engine luxury helicopter. Let us make all the arrangements for you for a fun day (or overnight, there’s even a Night Zip).
Private Tour Guests See Bald Eagles and
Deer on Their Los Angeles Tour
Our tour guides have their cameras ready at all times because we never know what we are going to see when showing our private custom tour guests around Los Angeles. In the case above, we were visiting Catalina Island, just off the Los Angeles coast, hiking along the perfect trails on a late summer day when we saw this bald eagle majestically perched above us. We did not disturb the bird and only got photos of it at rest. We also regularly see coyotes, raccoons and skunks. Bobcats and possibly mountain lions are around but we never see them. We have managed to enjoy all our hikes without running into any bears which occupy the San Gabriel Mountains above Pasadena to the north of downtown Los Angeles. But deer, both a pest and a menace to homes with well tended gardens and landscaping, are everywhere and we occasionally see them close enough for a good photograph. In the land of Bambi all our tour guests enjoy seeing the tranquil animals munching on grasses and shrubbery on the hillsides.