Crescent Beach – Catalina Island

Crescent Beach
Catalina Island, CA


By: Matt Mahoney

While exploring the numerous opportunities of Southern California beaches to choose from for my next blog, I wanted to stick with the idea of choosing a beach that other classmates may not otherwise have chosen, or even thought about. I wanted to pick a beach that really stood out from others in terms of location, and the effects it had on our imaginary as both Californians and beachgoers. For that reason, for my second blog post, I chose to visit Crescent Beach on Catalina Island. This is a unique beach in the fact that it is not the normal beach that fills the imaginary of sunbathers and surfers, or beach towels and umbrellas, yet a beach that offers a truly unique setting than from what most beachgoers are used to. It is definitely a smaller beach in terms of the amount of sand available for lounging and recreation, and not a beach where you would see much beach recreation at all, other than those out on their cocktail barges and multi-million-dollar yachts and sailboats that fill the harbor the beach encompasses. The city of Avalon provides for a unique, somewhat metropolitan-like background, while being surrounded by the numerous beautiful sea cliffs that seem to envelop the town itself. It provides for a truly beautiful and unique setting, and one in which does not typify the standard imaginary of a beach itself. Crescent beach provides Southern Californians with an opportunity of a true island getaway, while still being just an hours long ferry ride from the major Southern California port city of Long Beach, along with many others.
Crescent Beach itself is also unique in the fact that it is actually comprised of three small beaches. Those beaches include South Beach, Middle Beach, and Step Beach, and all together they form what we know as Crescent Beach. While they are technically separate smaller beaches, most refer to the area that encompasses these beaches as Crescent Beach. This is due to the fact the beaches all run along Crescent Avenue, which is one of the main thoroughfares for tourists to travel around Catalina Island, and more importantly, the major city of Avalon. Crescent beach differs from most beaches in the fact that, unless its peak beach season, you will rarely find people lounging on the beach itself, or even in the sand. As when I visited the beach to make my observations, most tourists and beachgoers here simply use the beach as an access point to the vast amounts of water recreation opportunities that Catalina has to offer, including snorkeling, kayaking, and sailing. These are water recreation activities that are not very common for most beach settings, and to go along with this out of the ordinary occurrence, Crescent Beach also offers beachgoers and tourists access to numerous beachfront restaurants, bars, and shops that surround the harbor and make up the heart of the city of Avalon.
This was not the first time that I have visited Crescent Beach, yet the first time that I really visited the area with the idea in mind of taking in the imaginary that it has to offer. The imaginary provided by Crescent beach is truly distinctive and one-off. I would definitely recommend that anyone with an opportunity to visit the area do so, and do so multiple times in order to truly experience all the inimitable qualities that Crescent Beach and the island of Catalina have to offer. It is a visit that will truly change your imaginary when thinking of a beach.

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