Best Place to Party Like a Pirate

Looking for the best place to practice your pirate swagger and drink ’til you shiver your timbers? Well, look no farther than 20 miles off the coast of L.A., on Catalina Island. For the last two decades, on the first Saturday of every October, Two Harbors (located on the island’s western end) has been hosting Buccaneer Days, a big pirate festival where thousands of adult partygoers dress up in pirate costumes, compete in a costume contest and Treasure Hunt, and then pillage the island for real booty — beautiful lasses or gentlemen o’ fortune and grog (beer) stations. The eye-patch-wearing, plastic-sword-brandishing scalawags do the hornpipe to live music and DJs who play on throughout the day and into the wee hours of the night.

“It is basically an all-day and -night party. The town is turned into a bar for a day — it is by far the craziest day of the year,” says a longtime party pirate.

For all those sea thieves wanting to drink rum and not leave their boats all weekend, don’t worry — Two Harbors has 720 moorings (a lot of boats side-tie with one other), and a couple hundred more boats anchor there, creating a fleet of warships without cannons in the port. And if you’re a landlubber, matey, you can either camp out on the campgrounds, or stay at the Banning House Lodge (bed and breakfast).

Long before the days of tourism, Two Harbors was a destination for both real and faux pirates. Spanish swashbucklers and Chinese pirates used Two Harbors as a base of operations, and later Hollywood movie studios used the Two Harbors area as a South Seas backdrop for films, including the Clark Gable classic Mutiny on the Bounty. Arrrg!

So get your boat or ferry on over from San Pedro on the Catalina Express, you scurvy dogs.


Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.