Local beach spots near Biola’s campus

As the weather starts warming up, see what different local beach spots you can hit up.


Courtesy of Jackie Grade

Jackie Grade, Writer

As the clouds dissipate and the sun peeks through the morning fog, students are beginning to look for a close beach that will give them a quick tease of the swiftly approaching summer sun. Southern California offers many beaches within an hour’s drive of campus that will warm up students’ wintery toes and begin to tan the skin that winter has so freely paled.

Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach, located 40 minutes away from campus, provides the classic beach experience that most Biola students are going for. Miles of sand, welcoming waves and tons of sun — Huntington even has its own pier. Beachcombers can stroll down the 1,850-foot boardwalk and watch the fishermen cast their poles into the deepening water. Huntington is a well-known and tourist friendly beach. Carrying nothing but a towel and a bottle of sunscreen is a smart rule for most as it rids people of their tourist personas. Without the extras, people can enjoy their beach experience amid the crowds sans the fear of pickpockets. But the pier and beach at Huntington still await the beach-goer and promise to bring their guests a baseline tan.

Balboa Island

A little bit farther south in Newport Beach, Balboa Island holds a myriad of possible beach activities for everybody. Whether a couple wants watch the sunset while aboard the ferry or some friends wish to window shop with cups of coffee in hand, Balboa provides it all. It is a step up from the usual beach experience because of the many quaint neighborhoods and small shops that invite passersby to walk through. Known for its foot traffic, Balboa successfully gives off the small town feeling and takes its people back to more of a storybook beach vacation. Balboa also offers its classic “Balboa bar,” a handmade ice cream bar dipped in chocolate with several options of nuts and candy to top it off. Balboa Island is a crowd favorite, beach lover or not!

Victoria Beach

Still farther down the southern coast, Victoria Beach nestles itself within a small neighborhood in Laguna. However, this beach spot does not expose itself to just anybody. Past the architecturally unique houses and down the small wooden staircase lies Victoria Beach — open for the public but known only by the locals. Victoria is filled with lots of sand, volleyball courts and swimmer or skim board friendly waves. On one side of Victoria’s cove, people can hike over a few rocks and find themselves in the midst of a few caves and tide pools. On the other, after people walk past the crescent shaped corner, they will find a broken-down semicircle made completely out of rock. With the coming of the tide, the waves splash over the edge and create a pool large enough for a few people to fit. The rock pool cools people off without forcing them to enter the ocean completely. Within a few minutes walk to the heart of Laguna Beach that simply swarms with window shoppers, beach goers and tourists, Victoria allows people to choose to either get away from or immerse themselves in the crowds of people flocking between the shops and restaurants.

Strands Beach

After a 45-minute drive through Huntington, Newport and Laguna, a small beach town sits right on the coast. This town called Dana Point is home to Strands Beach. Parking is free and the sand is only a short staircase’s descent away. A boardwalk pathway built on top of the sand runs along the coast open to any possible jogger or dog walker. The Dana Point bluffs block the bigger surf for most of the year which provides for almost year-round beach bliss. Surfers are welcome on the left hand side while swimmers or sunbathers stay to the right. With the little smog that clings to the island of Catalina straight across from Strands, people can almost always count on a brilliantly multicolored sunset. Strands has enough space for its multi-generational crowd to spread out and set up camp on this beach.

San Onofre

San Onofre, an hour’s drive south of Biola, is well-known for its surf. While this is a state beach and requires a $10 entrance fee, the waves never let people down. The first surf spot upon entering San-O’s campground is Trestles. Filled with world-class waves and surfers, the beach welcomes the more experienced short boarders. The farther left the beach goes, surfing becomes less of a competition and more of an afternoon hobby. Down at the end of the road lies Dog Patch, where the rolling waves welcome beginner surfers and laid back longboarders. San-O is fully decked out with fire pits for s’mores, volleyball courts, paddle boards and beachfront campgrounds. The waves crash farther off the coast, which requires a longer paddle out. But it quickly rewards the surfer with a long wave ride back to shore.

Photos courtesy of Jackie Grade


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