IMG_6223 Wrigley

One of the visual attractions of the City of Avalon on Santa Catalina Island is the Wrigley Mansion, sitting on a hill, commanding a view of both Avalon Bay and the Catalina Casino. First time visitors to the Island gaze up at it, wondering what it is. Tour groups pass by its closed gates, learning of the family that once lived there.

William Wrigley Jr. on the cover of Time Magazine

William Wrigley Jr. on the cover of Time Magazine.


William Wrigley founded and owned the Wrigley Chewing Gum Company in Chicago. He built this six-bedroom “summer cottage” in Avalon, after he purchased the Santa Catalina Island Company in 1919 from William Banning.

Purchasing the Island Company effectively gave Mr. Wrigley control of almost the entire Santa Catalina Island. With that control came the responsibility for the Island’s future – a responsibility the Wrigley family continues to take very seriously to this day.

William Wrigley Jr. and Ada Elizabeth Foote Wrigley

William Wrigley Jr. and Ada Elizabeth Foote Wrigley.

Wrigley named the hill on which the Mansion sits, Mount Ada, for his wife Ada Elizabeth Foote Wrigley. The home was constructed in 1921. It is a two story, L shaped building of wood frame construction, incorporating Colonial Revival references, within about 7,000 square feet. There is a main residence, servants quarters, garage and various landscape elements.


Entrance to Wrigley Mansion, now Inn on Mount Ada, flanked by fluted Doric columns

Entrance to Wrigley Mansion, now Inn on Mount Ada, flanked by fluted Doric columns.




The chief architect was David M. Renton with Albert Conrad as landscape architect. The property sits approximately 350 feet above the sea and is said to have served as a “Summer White House,” as Presidents Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover visited the politically active Wrigley family. Sports figures visited the home as well, since Catalina Island was one of the training grounds for the Chicago Cubs baseball team, owned by Wrigley.



IMG_6240 Inn Sign

After Mr. Wrigley’s death in 1932, the Catalina Island Company kept the home open for public tours as members of the Wrigley family moved to other homes on the Island. The property was donated to the University of Southern California in 1978 and used as a conference center. In 1985, the University leased the property to Marlene McAdam and Susie Griffin, who opened it to the public as the Bed and Breakfast “Inn On Mount Ada.” Recently, the Santa Catalina Island Company has taken over the lease and now operates the Inn.

The Inn is probably the most expensive hotel on the Island, but the accommodations are one of a kind, reflecting the style of the bygone era in which it was built. But not exactly:
The 1920’s style was darker and heavier than today’s styles and so the “summer cottage” was lightened up a bit for contemporary tastes, while still retaining the flavor of the past.

Comfortable living room for guests of the Inn on Mount Ada

Comfortable living room for guests of the Inn on Mount Ada.


Some years ago, as a fundraiser for the Catalina Island Museum, one-night guest accommodations were auctioned off. One year, we were fortunate enough to win one of the coveted prizes and slept in Mrs. Wrigley’s bedroom, which has a spectacular view and a cozy fireplace.

IMG_0053 table waiting

Your luncheon table awaits with a spectacular view.



These days, it is not necessary to stay at the Inn in order to enjoy the mood of the Inn. Last year, the Inn opened for lunch. When you arrive, you can visit the public rooms, terraces and gardens to get a taste of history and some wonderful views of Avalon and Avalon Bay. You can see why the Inn has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Luncheon is served from Noon to Two PM daily. The price is $30.00 per person. To make reservations for lunch call (310) 510-2030. To get to the Inn, call a cab (310) 510-0025 or you can walk up from our condo.  Turn right at the Bahia Vista Condominiums entrance, walk to the next street, Wrigley Road, and follow the road up to the Wrigley Mansion.  It is an uphill walk, but the views you will see along the way are wonderful. You might want to bring your camera.

The “summer cottage” is just another example of the historic features and natural beauty that have kept us fans of the Island for over thirty years.

Here are some photographs we took when we lunched there last fall.

looking down  Wrigley road and Avalon canyon behnd

Looking down Wrigley Road and Avalon Canyon.

Looking directly down at Avalon beaches from the  Inn on Mount Ada

Looking directly down at Avalon beaches from the Inn on Mount Ada.







Room with a view

A Room with a View.

Happy Mount Ada cat feeing at home

Happy Mount Ada cat feeling at home.









Slight breeze on a very nice day at the Inn on Mount Ada

Slight breeze on a very nice day at the Inn on Mount Ada.

Restored wood exrerior moulding

Restored wood exterior moulding.

Fine details and craftsmanship from another era

Fine details and craftsmanship from another era.



This baby seal was stuck on Avalon Harbor sea wall rocks after the tide went down. She didn’t know what to do and was waiting for her mother. We couldn’t wait for high tide to see the uniting of mother and daughter but we learned that the story had a happy ending and that they both swam away.


Avalon Harbor during an off-season day. The boat in the foreground is tied to our 30 foot Avalon private mooring. The Catalina Casino is in the background. Inside the Casino is a world-class dance hall and a lovely Movie Palace where the latest movies are shown.


A member of a group of plein air artists from the east coast who have come to Catalina to  paint the outdoor scenes. Catalina Island offers an unending source of visual opportunities for both painters and photographers. As you can imagine, many movies have been filmed on the island.





Walking along Casino way with the bay in the background and with a cruise ship at anchor. Avalon is a popular stop for cruise boats. Casino Way, at night, is one of the most romantic walks we’ve ever taken.






A sleepy afternoon on the beach in Avalon, one of two beaches we visit. Here, there is a lifeguard on duty.. One of the reason families love both Avalon Beach and Descanso Beach is that they are relatively safe beaches without the large rolling waves of the mainland beaches.





The float platform to swim out to and dive off of. A great thing  to do on a summer afternoon. And it’s not just for kids –





For those who prefer a more relaxed holiday there is a lively bar overlooking Descanso Beach. Try the same bar at night under a full moon shining off the water. It is memorable.






Ocean adventurers returning on rental kayaks to Descanso Beach.

Sunset from the patio of our Catalina Home, Unit C-59 at the Bahia Vista Condominiums. Our guests always leave us nice comments on this view.

Avalon at sunset. This is the view from from the patio of our Avalon, Catalina  rental condominium at the magic hour, just before the lights of the village are turned on..

We love sharing pictures of our experiences on Catalina Island. If you have been a guest renting our Avalon, Catalina Island condominium and would like to share your pictures, please send them in.

Thank You


Where do the wild buffalo of Catalina Island go?  Anywhere they want.

Where does the wild buffalo of Catalina Island go? Anywhere he wants. I shot this as he casually walked passed our jeep


Catalina Island is an incredible world with mountains, the ocean, fascinating plant life, animal life, hiking trails, back country roads, surrounded by 44 miles of beautiful coastline with hidden coves, sandy beaches, underwater gardens, and a fascinating history. Then, when the sun sets, there are plenty of good restaurants, music, entertainment. We’ve been Catalina Island enthusiasts for over 30 years and we still love it.

We’d like to share some photographs from a recent trip into the interior of the island.

On the Track of the Wild Buffalo in the interior of Catalina Island

On the Track of the Wild Buffalo in the interior of Catalina Island


This was the first time we took the Catalina Conservancy Eco Tour and, as you will see, it was special. Because we had explored the interior of the island many times before, we requested, if no one objected, that the tour start on the east end of the island, above Avalon. We wanted to see the ruins of the old Renton Mine, the beginning of the Trans- Catalina Trail, as well as the view west to the Pacific from a high ridge.







Catalina Island Fox. Smaller than a normal fox, they were almost extinct 15 years ago. The Catalina Conservancy has patiently increased their numbers on the Island. This little fellow was posing for me, but I had to use a telephoto lens.






Red dirt roads allow travel by four-wheel drive across the mountainous terrain. Many of the roads were originally built for stagecoaches. For a time, Phineas Banning owned Catalina Island. He made his fortune running stagecoaches in California and as far east as Phoenix. He was also one of the developers of San Pedro.




View of the Casinoa very few people see- from the Interior of Catalona Island



A View of Avalon that very few people see: looking down from the interior mountain at Avalon Bay with the Catalina Casino on your left.






Eagle hospital interior Catalina Island





This Bald Eagle is a patient at the Eagle Hospital of the Catalina Conservancy.

The Conservancy is increasing the number of Bald Eagles on the Island








Eco Tour Jeep on the road in Catalina’s Interior.  The tour begins and ends at the Catalina Island Conservancy in Avalon. The length of the tour varies, depending upon your time, schedule and interests.

Winter scene- Catalina Interior







Island in Winter, waiting for Spring



Road to Airport in the Sky









Colorful gardens at the entrance to Airport in the Sky, where private planes visit.












The amazing thing about Catalina island is that after an exploration of the interior, you

can wrap up the day with a fine meal. Here’s a view table at the Bluewater Grill.