Catalina Island Beaches

Beaches on Catalina Island
Beaches on Catalina Island  Image: Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce

Catalina Island beaches draw nearly a million visitors every year together with all kinds of amazing attractions and activities. From South Beach and Descanso Beach to Step Beach and Ben Weston Beach, you will find some incredibly picturesque stretches of coastline on this island in the California archipelago. Most of the Catalina Island beaches have soft sand and gentle surf, as well as relatively warm waters. Although there are not too many areas for surfing on Catalina Island, there are a couple of beaches where you can catch serious waves on the backside, including Shark Harbor.

Most people are primarily interested in the beaches of Avalon that are within close proximity of public facilities, restaurants, hotels, bars, and other tourist-related places. The majority of the tourist activity on Catalina Island is located in Avalon, the only incorporated city on the island.

Descanso Beach is located on within eyeshot of the Catalina Island Casino. It is a stunning, two-tier beach that features access to the Descanso Beach Club, and lots of fun water sports and activities like kayaking or snorkeling and diving. Catalina beach activities are virtually endless, whether you are exploring the northern end of the island at Two Harbors or are immersed in all of the action at Avalon. There are public restrooms and showers, as well as chair and umbrella rentals available at Descanso Beach. Descanso Beach, as with most of the other public beaches, are closed from mid-April to mid-October, which means no lifeguards on duty.

South Beach is another of the most beautiful Catalina beach destinations. It is adjacent to Green Pleasure Pier and is notable for being within immediate proximity of a range of shops, restaurants, and places to have a drink. The sand and surf are especially pleasant, there are public facilities, and lifeguards on duty during the summer months. It is one of the most picturesque beaches along the coastline of Avalon and the Avalon Bay.

Middle Beach is just on the other side of the Green Pleasure Pier. You can actually see South Beach and the beautiful ocean and hills blending together to offer a most memorable view. Just like with South Beach, Middle Beach offers a pleasant family experience. There are plenty of public facilities and you will not have to look far to find all kinds of places to eat, buy souvenirs, or rent gear for snorkeling or fishing.

Step Beach is another of the Catalina Island beaches that is well worth checking out. It features a long strip of sand that runs right out into some deep water. It should be noted that lifeguards are only on duty during the summer months. Ben Weston Beach is one of the few places on Catalina Island, besides Shark Harbor, where you can catch some killer waves.

By now, you can probably see that there are enough beach activities to keep everyone very happy. Adults and children alike will be able to enjoy the pleasant weather and scenic beaches, and residents of mainland Southern California will find the island just 22 miles southeast of Los Angeles a pleasant retreat from the city. If you never want to leave the beaches, beach hotels might be the perfect option!

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