In the year 1919, William Wrigley Jr. bought most of Catalina Island with the riches he’d accumulated from his chewing gum empire. Upon his death, William was entombed at a grand memorial constructed under the authority of his wife, Ada. The memorial stands 130 feet tall, 180 feet long, and 232 feet wide, with a tower, spiral staircase, and was constructed almost entirely of materials from the island.
Around the memorial lies 38 acres of botanical gardens, with a broad array of different species & varieties, and a special emphasis on plants endemic to the California isles—those found nowhere else in the world. These include such plants as Catalina Live-Forever, St. Catherine’s Lace, and Catalina Mahogany, among others. The Desert Plant Collection is the oldest on the island, and was established by Ada Wrigley herself. The garden is a great attraction on its own, but it is also the beginning of the Garden to Sky hike.
You can get to the gardens by a 30-minute walk from downtown Avalon, or take a golf cart or bicycle, or ride the Catalina Trolley. You can visit the garden any time from 8 am–5 pm, except for on major holidays. Admission is $7 for adults and $3 for children. Click here for more information.