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“Stunning building” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Catalina Island Casino

Catalina Island Casino
1 Casino Way, Avalon, Catalina Island, CA 90704
310-510-8687
Website
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Ranked #3 of 12 Attractions in Avalon
Type: Casinos, Other
Activities: Group tours/day tour, Dancing
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The iconic Catalina Casino epitomizes everything glamorous about Santa Catalina Island.On the lower level the building features extraordinary Art Deco murals and a classic 1929 pipe organ inside the Avalon Theatre, which still shows movies on its massive screen.The top level of this 12 story high architectural wonder features the beautiful, world-famous Casino Ballroom, a masterpiece of design and a long-standing venue for the world’s best musical performers and big bands. It is also a popular venue for weddings and special events. The only access to the building is through an exclusive Casino Tour offered through Discovery Tours. Once on the tour you’ll soon understand why many call this the most romantic place in Catalina.
San Diego, California
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Stunning building”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

The Avalon casino building is a gorgeous place, both from the inside and the outside. It is well worth photographing. Views of the bay are all around you - quite stunning - a photographer's haven. However, the tour of the place is NOT worth the $ 10.00 that you pay. They rush you through the tour and do not talk about the important parts of the casino. The tour guide we had rushed us through the casino and spoke in a monotone boring tone. She sounded like she prepared a pre-recorded boring speech. You are better off seeing this place on your own. However, that is not allowed. If you want to see the place, you have to pay the $ 10.00 guided tour price.. I would much rather pay $ 7.00 - $ 10.00 in the form of an admission ticket and allow me to tour and photograph the place on my own. That is not currently possible. The tour of the place is advertised as being 40 minutes long but that is false advertisement. The tour is 27 - 30 minutes in length tops. Of these minutes, about 5-8 minutes are spent outside the building in front of the main doors when the tour guide talks about the history of the place. The building is superb but the guided tour of the place is not worth it at all. Worst tour and tour guide I have ever seen in over 25 years of travel. I hope that the casino people are listening and I hope that they make some positive changes based on this feedback.. That remains to be seen.

Visited February 2013
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265 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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Glendale, California
Top Contributor
434 reviews 434 reviews
127 attraction reviews
Reviews in 81 cities Reviews in 81 cities
114 helpful votes 114 helpful votes
“Iconic”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

This is the most famous building here which also has a movie theater. Worth seeing up close and expect to see a lot of divers

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Sadly disappointed :-/”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013 via mobile

I was excited to view the casino and take the tour. I paid 32.50 for a behind the scenes tour.... SO disappointed. Joe the tour guide, although knowledgeable was terrible!! Horribly corny jokes, monotone voice and gave no time to explore to take pics. I lost interest in the first 5 minutes. The overall tour would have better if I could have gone at my own pace and not had to listen to Joes personal stories... sooooooooooooooo boring. It was not worth the $$ I paid.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dana Point, California
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Excellent!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

Thank you to Emily, our tour guide! We went on this tour and were very pleased not only with the price but with the informative tour. The casino is an amazing island icon with so much history. I can't wait to return and actually go to the organ concert Emily told us about and watch a movie in the theater! Beautiful wood and art throughout!! Great tour!!

Visited January 2013
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Miami, FL
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“A deco GEM!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

We took a 40 minute tour of this masterpiece of days gone by - it is a must if you are in Avalon. Worth spending the time with the guided tour to learn the history and hear some of the stories.

Visited December 2012
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