Catalina Beaches: Crescent Beach, Pebbly Beach, Descanso Beach

Catalina Island Snorkelers

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Catalina Beaches, just like everything else in the populated areas of Catalina, swimming beaches here are compact.

Crescent Beach, in front of Crescent Avenue, is the main family beach area, a few paces away from food and shopping.

Its South Beach and Middle Beach sections, to either side of the Green Pleasure Pier, have a gentle slope and are filled most days with children carefully watched by parents and grandparents. Restrooms are on South Beach.

Step Beach, just to the north, is smaller with a narrower sand area and a steep drop off right from the shore.

The rockier Descanso Beach, to the north of the Casino, is owned by the Descanso Beach Club (you can enjoy it for a modest fee) and features not only swimming but snorkeling and kayaking.

Pebbly Beach in Lover's Cove, a short walk south of Main Harbor, is more pebbles than beach and the domain of snorkelers and Avalon’s glass bottom boat tours.


The island's windward side offers primitive beach camping, some of which is accessible only via boat. Reservations are required, available through the Catalina Island Conservancy.

Beach camping is available by land access at Two Harbors and at Parson's Landing (only accessible via a tough hike or by kayak).

Little Harbor campground was rated "One of the Best Campgrounds in the West" by Sunset magazine. It is reachable via regular bus service from Two Harbors.

Seventeen primitive boat-in sites are also available around the island, and camping is also available in Avalon at Hermit Gulch Campground, near the botanical garden.

Come back soon to our Catalina Beaches page. We'll be adding more beach activities news.

Don't miss these related pages...

Catalina Island Introduction Page

Catalina Island Activities

Catalina Island Hotels

Catalina Island Restaurants

Dana Point Introduction Page

Photos courtesy of Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau

Catalina Island Casino

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