3 Amazing Campsites at Italian Gardens

Italian Gardens is actually more like three separate campsites, each with its own unique vibe. Essentially though, Italian Gardens is a very wide bay with rock outcroppings and three separate cobblestone beaches. The area was named for the Italian fishermen who used to dry their nets on the beaches here. Campsite C is pictured above (poorly, yeah – but that’s it alright.. lol!)

Nowadays, fishermen still love this area, and its a really popular site for kayaking, camping, swimming, snorkeling, and especially diving. A lot of the dive tour operators will bring groups here and anchor just offshore.

As you kayak from Avalon, you will pass Long Point, Long Point Beach, and follow the gentle curve of the shoreline west. The shoreline after Long Point Beach is rocky, and a favorite spot for harbor seals to haul up out of the water and sun themselves. After that you’ll see a large cobblestone beach – campsite A – where the old time Italian fisherman used to dry their nets.

Italian Gardens Campsites

There are three designated campsites at Italian Gardens.

Italian Gardens Campsite A

The first campsite you’ll encounter as you paddle west from Avalon, as described above. It is a fairly large cobblestone beach, with two campsites, each with its own picnic table. There is no sand, or hiking here, just lots of sun and exposure to the NW. Each campsite can accommodate about 4-5 people, for a maximum of ten at Campsite A.

Italian Gardens Campsite B

Campsite B is located right at the bight (fancy word!) of the bay, right where a small creek empties in to the ocean. You can hike up the creek and explore, which is kind of fun, expect more water flowing after heavy winter rains, and as always, watch for rattlesnakes.

The beach area here is all cobblestone, and it definitely isn’t as spacious as campsite A, but there is plenty of room to pull up your kayaks or dinghy’s, and ample flat space for three or maybe four tents. It is shielded on the east by a rocky outcropping from campsite A. There is one picnic table here. Capacity: 12 campers.

Italian Gardens Campsite C

Campsite C is the most intimate of the 3, with only room for one tent. The site itself faces a bit more east, protecting it from the NW wind swells more that campsites A and B. During the summer months the seas are generally calm at all three. Capacity: 4 campers (one tent).

Video: Diving at Italian Gardens Catalina Island

A fun encounter with an octopus shot on a Sony Cybershot.

Another promotional video from Catalina Scuba Luv. Sharks! Flounders! Giant black sea bass!

Italian Gardens Camping Map

Other Boat In Campsites on Catalina Island

There are a total of 17 boat in campsite spread between 9 locations. For more information on other camping areas, rules, fees, and how to book reservations, visit our page on boat-in camping on Catalina Island.

Use the links below to visit each of the boat in campsites on Catalina Island