Catalina Beach Parties: Descanso's Summer Scene

Need some island sand? You can have it without hopping a plane.

A BEACH IS A BEACH IS A BEACH: It's true that a sandy stretch of land that fronts a large body of water could accurately be defined as "a beach," but every ocean aficionado knows that not every beach is the same, In fact, one could say that the grain-laden gamut on this topic is as wide as the Pacific. (Well, maybe not that wide, but pretty dang big.) There are pink sand beaches and rocky beaches and beaches boasting clusters of coves and those pretty shoreline areas flush with flora (or none at all). There is also the matter of the mainland beach vs. an island beach. Nope, we're not pitting them, head to head -- they're both good -- but beach buffs might categorize the emotions and experiences of each as a little different. On the mainland you're a bit more accessible, the bigger cities are nearby, and unwinding takes perhaps a moment or two longer. But on an island? You're away. Sure, you may get fine cell reception, but you ultimately can't be really reached, because you're on a small pocket of land surrounded by lots and lots water. It's a fine and rare feeling, and one that can be experienced by SoCalers without even hopping onto a plane. We speak, of course, of Catalina Island, a boat-reachable (and plane- and helicopter-reachable) place that's home to Descanso Beach Club, which truly revs up come summertime.

WHAT DOES "REVS UP" MEAN? The picturesque spot, which is in sight of the iconic Casino Building, is "one of the last private beaches in California with public access." There are cabanas and chaises to rent, Saturday and Sunday afternoon summer beach parties (complete with DJ-spinning sounds and live tunes), happy hour specials, and "alcohol-infused ice cream treats." Yep, that's a grown-up vacation you see on the horizon, no passport or plane reservations required. But what happens when you share the photos with friends later? Will they think you traveled to an island across the planet? Perhaps, but if they see the Casino in the background they'll know you went Catalina for a quick and not-too-dear weekend respite. And then they'll be rather jealous, so the only solution is to plan another boat ride together, back to Avalon, for some chillax-packed time on an island beach. 

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