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CIVR Blog: The beach at Hamilton Cove on Catalina Island

11 Jun 14 Sherri Cline
2:53 pm
The airport at Hamilton Cove. Photo courtesy of the Permanent Collection of the Catalina Island Museum.

The airport at Hamilton Cove. Photo courtesy of the Permanent Collection of the Catalina Island Museum.

The beach at Hamilton Cove on Catalina Island

Framed by the dramatic, Mediterranean-inspired Hamilton Cove Villas, the beach at Hamilton Cove on Catalina Island has a storied and fascinating history. This small pebbled cove was home to the Catalina Airport in the decades leading up to World War II. Seaplanes ferrying passengers to the island would land just offshore. The aircraft would then taxi to airport area and be brought ashore. After off-loading passengers, a large turntable like device was used to rotate the planes around so that they would be ready for take-off. During World War II, like the rest of the island, the airport at Hamilton Cove was taken over by the military and used for the war effort. Once the island was returned to civilian control, the airport was used briefly, but air operations were soon moved elsewhere.

These days, the beach at Hamilton Cove features a gently sloping rocky beach with surrounding by kelp forests that are ideal for snorkeling. Although the beach at Hamilton Cove is open to pedestrian traffic, to truly experience all of the amenities at the beach, you’ll need to be a resident or guest at the Hamilton Cove Villas. In addition to the sheltered beach, Hamilton Cove also has a dinghy dock and several moorings that may be available for guests. On shore, barbecues, palapas and a children’s playscape are complemented by a sand volleyball court and a gracious lawn.

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