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Is catalina a good location for a beach camping vacation?

Santa Barbara...
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Is catalina a good location for a beach camping vacation?

My wife and I are looking to do a 3 night beach camping vacation in the next few months. We are hoping to find a spot that offers warm weather and water and a beach conducive to swimming. Little Harbor, Parsons Landing, and Two Harbors look really pretty in the pictures, but do they have beaches were we can lay out on and swim in? Or are they mostly for snorkeling and kayaking? Thank you!

Moorpark, California
Destination Expert
for Kauai, Catalina Island
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56 reviews
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1. Re: Is catalina a good location for a beach camping vacation?

We really liked camping at Little Harbor and Two Harbors. You can definitely swim, snorkel and relax at either location. Two Harbors will be the closest and easiest to get to since it's close to the ferry dock. You will have to take the Safari Bus to get to Little Harbor. It's more remote and a lovely location.

Santa Barbara...
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2. Re: Is catalina a good location for a beach camping vacation?

Thanks for the information. Which campground would you prefer?

3. Re: Is catalina a good location for a beach camping vacation?

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Moorpark, California
Destination Expert
for Kauai, Catalina Island
Level Contributor
14,388 posts
56 reviews
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4. Re: Is catalina a good location for a beach camping vacation?

We prefer LIttle Harbor (spent our honeymoon there). It's more remote and laid back.

La Quinta...
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2 posts
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5. Re: Is catalina a good location for a beach camping vacation?

Little Harbor in September or October is amazing. Still warm, clear skies and fantastic views. Plus you can hike to other areas.

The Isthmus (Two Harbors) has a view of the area, but can be very crowded. Close to amenities (10 minute walk).

Parson is, as noted, subject to more of the elements. A fair distance from the Isthmus.

Bus to Little Harbor allows you to take a fair amount of goods you would not take to the other places.

Have fun!

Santa Barbara...
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6. Re: Is catalina a good location for a beach camping vacation?

@mapu2

Thanks for the info. You say that Two Harbors has warmer water and less kelp than Little Harbor, so why does that mean it is not as good for swimming as Little Harbor? In my mind, warmer water and less kelp equals really good swimming!

Edited: 02 July 2013, 16:49
Santa Barbara...
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7. Re: Is catalina a good location for a beach camping vacation?

@navigator53 & @martik

Thanks for the tips. Any idea which campsites are the best at Little Harbor?

Santa Monica...
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8. Re: Is catalina a good location for a beach camping vacation?

Can anyone recommend what to bring? We usually do car camping and pack all our gear, but obviously we have to be able to carry it all on the boat and safari bus... any guidance is most welcome!

Santa Barbara...
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9. Re: Is catalina a good location for a beach camping vacation?

REI has a general list for camping:

rei.com/learn/…family-camping-checklist.html

and for backpacking:

rei.com/learn/…backpacking-checklist.html

These might help guide you.

10. Re: Is catalina a good location for a beach camping vacation?

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