Catalina Island Museum
Catalina Island Museum
4.5
Art Museums • History Museums
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10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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About
Located in the heart of Avalon, the Catalina Island Museum offers the best in art and history exhibitions, music and dance performances, lectures by guest speakers from all over the world, and the finest in silent, documentary and international film. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays, plus New Year's Day, July 4th, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
258 reviews
Excellent
175
Very good
61
Average
15
Poor
5
Terrible
2

nametaken5
Orinda, CA267 contributions
Apr 2022 • Couples
This is a great little museum. We spent about 45 minutes and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Definitely watch the 13-minute movie. It is actually movie ‘shorts’ from the 30’s and 40’s. We learned a lot about the island’s history from the Indians through the 2007 fire. Great display on William and PK Wrigley and their contributions to the island. Also interesting to learn the OSS trained here in the 40’s. As others have mentioned they have a very nice exhibit of Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post covers at present. They also have a plein air exhibit (Fresh Air) on the first floor. For Dale Chihuly enthusiasts they also have one of his works on the second floor. Very nice gift shop too with nice quality unique gifts!
Written April 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Alan D
5 contributions
Feb 2023
I enjoyed the history section the most. Unfortunately human history prior to the mid 1800s is not abundant. Would also like to see more about the geology. That said, we enjoyed our visit and highly recommend visiting the museum. There was an indigenous art exhibit and its spiritual imagery was interesting.
Written February 22, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

BobN06
Avondale, PA542 contributions
Oct 2022
We try to find these types of museums wherever we visit to find out the history behind a location. This museum did not disappoint. Small but well organized and great for a 1-2 hour browse through.
Written October 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Alan O
3 contributions
Jun 2021
It's a smaller museum, but extremely well done! The story of Catalina Island, especially the Wrigley family, is well documented. They even have the manual switchboard used until 1978, the last U.S. manual switchboard in operation. During my visit, they had a Titanic exhibition (available through February 2022) with rare memorabilia. There were stories about the Titanic which were quite new to me. But the permanent display about the history of Catalina Island alone is well worth a visit.
Written June 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Amanda V
Orange County, CA204 contributions
May 2022
This is a small museum but has an excellent array of exhibits. There is a short movie that provides a nice history of the island. There is a section regarding the indians that lived there. In May 2022, there was a Norman Rockwell 1940s exhibit and a Mexican photography exhibit, both were very well done. There is a Chihuly sculpture outside on the second floor. It is in the ceiling of a pavilion, so look up!
Written May 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

sgrahammd
Los Angeles, CA54 contributions
Aug 2021
I try to visit Catalina Island every summer and always make the museum a stop. Although small the museum staff does an excellent job of presenting one or two interesting exhibits. This year it was a different view of the Titanic with memorabilia from specific individuals some of whom did not survive. Also a nice display of watercolor paintings done by an artist who visited the wreck by submersible. Finally a separate collection of Gyotaku art by a SoCal artist, Dwight Hwang. The movie clip and displays on Catalina history is well worth the visit on its own merit.
Written August 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Byron R
Laguna Beach, CA654 contributions
Sep 2022
Enjoyed and recommend highly. The building is architecturally interesting in its Spanish style. I believe that it is adorned with a Chihuly light in the entry. For a small museum it is packed with wonderful information about Catalina and it's history. There is a movie which I would not miss including a clip regarding Norma Jean's (Marylin Monroe's) time on the Island. There is a small room on the second floor in addition to outdoor seating that I imagine is used for movie viewing. along with a nice size decko for a nice view. The museum also has a nicely curated gift shop.
Written October 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Michael K
Bellevue, WA4 contributions
Feb 2020
We enjoyed learning about the history of the island-the Wrigley's, the Cubs and the movie stars. I thought it was interesting to see pictures of Charlie Chaplin without makeup. It took us about an hour to go through. We also enjoyed the outdoor sculptures. I did think it was a shame that the beautiful Chihuly chandelier wasn't in a more prominent, open area. Hiding it in a gazebo didn't seem to do it justice.
Written February 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thanks so much for visiting us and for your thoughtful comments. We just wanted to mention that we are not trying to hide the Chihuly chandelier in any way. He actually designed that chandelier specifically for our gazebo when we held a larger show of his work in 2017 so when we had the opportunity to purchase it, we didn't really think it was appropriate to move it to another spot in the museum.
Written February 25, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Susanbunny_8
La Verne, CA508 contributions
Sep 2021
Excellent little museum, very well put together. Gives a great overview of Wrigley and the island's history. Nice display of Native American artifacts also. The "news reels" were really cute. A little pricey but well worth it.
Written September 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

LivPurple
Palos Verdes Estates, CA254 contributions
Aug 2016 • Family
After paying for our family of six, one of our children noticed before we did that nude photos were in the next room.
Shocked, mad, and angered, I walked back to advise the front desk that the nude photo exhibit should have been made known to us BEFORE we paid the entry fees.
Her answer, there is a red sign on the wall before you go into the room.
That red sign was chest high for me and above my child's head. REALLY?!? Guess what else? When I went back to find the sign, my child had found it first, and straight ahead in the line of vision were a set of naked breasts.😳
This exposure could have and should have been avoided.
My family and I left and will be asking our Visa for a refund because the museum refused.
Written August 27, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Catalina Island Museum (Avalon) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Catalina Island Museum

Catalina Island Museum is open:
  • Wed - Sun 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM


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