The location: Santa Catalina Island

Catalina Island sits just 22 miles off the California coast. It’s been a resort destination since the late 1800s and was largely built out by the Wrigley family in the 1920s. The weather is mild and delightful, ranging from the mid-60s in winter to the mid-70s in summer, with 267 days of sunshine.

Catalina Island: Best place to take photos of Avalon California, Wildsight Photography

The story: cruise destination

While Catalina is accessible by ferry and plane, we visited the sunny isle on a winter cruise along the Pacific coast. Time in port is often limited when cruising, making it difficult to fully explore a destination. But Catalina was the perfect stop. We took a ferry from our big cruise ship to the small port and strolled along the harbor’s edge all the way to the famous casino building and Descanso beach beyond. We enjoyed the brightly colored Spanish tile fountain, the turquoise buildings on the pier, and the picturesque boats moored in the harbor.

Catalina Island: Best place to take photos of Avalon California, Wildsight Photography

The best place to take a photo: historic Catalina Casino

It’s worth the short walk (about a mile) along the water from the port to the casino. Though photos of the iconic building across the harbor are great, our favorites were those taken at the feet of the 1920s beauty. Large flower beds full of colorful tropical blooms added color and life, even in January. The red brick path, vibrant green palms, and true blue sky added up to photogenic perfection.

To get the best shot of the Catalina Casino, come as early as your method of travel allows. Morning sun will give you the nicest light as the rays cut at long angles across the island. You’ll want to capture subjects close to you and across the water, so bring a telephoto lens for flexibility.

Catalina Island: Best place to take photos of Avalon California, Catalina Casino, Wildsight Photography

The gear: Canon

These photos of Catalina Island were taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II, with either a Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L telephoto lens or Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L wide lens, both with polarizing filters.

You can see the complete album of Catalina photos on our Flickr page. Prints and canvases are available for sale in the Wildsight Photography Etsy shop.

All images are copyright of Josh Schaulis and may not be reproduced or used in any way without written permission.

Catalina Island: Best place to take photos of Avalon California, Josh Schaulis, Wildsight Photography
Wildsight Photography

About Wildsight Photography

Josh Schaulis is a landscape photographer and graphic designer based in Colorado Springs. His travels through the Western United States have led him to granite peaks, woodland streams, desert sands, and mist-filled canyons. Along with his wife, Megan, and daughter, Julia, Josh spends most of his time traveling and exploring.

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