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Experience local beaches

Venice Beach

Katie Evensen/THE CHIMES


Distance from campus: 30 miles

Where to eat: Titi’s tacos is a small taco shop that is located on the boardwalk. You can have a chicken or carne asada burrito and a can of soda or bottle of water for $7. If you like fair-style foods like corn dogs, funnel cakes, fried Twinkies or Chinese food, there are plenty of options for you too.

Parking availability: If you park in a public lot, parking is around $9, depending on the season. However, if you get there around 10 or 11 a.m., you can park on the street for free.

What to do: There are street performers and vendors, as well as several shops along the water. If you like the beach scene, there is a mile of beach for playing beach football or soccer.

Santa Monica

Katie Evensen/THE CHIMES


Distance from campus: 33 miles

Where to eat: On the pier you can find the Pacific Park Food Court. Whether you like Taco Bell, pizza, hamburgers or hotdogs, there is something for you. Other options include Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and Dippin’ Dots.

Parking Availability: Parking directly around the pier costs $8, but there are garages if you are willing to walk, and you get the first one and a half hours free.

What to do: besides the awesome carnival on the pier, there is an outdoor mall that spans for several streets. The Third Street Promenade has stores like Brandy Millville, Cotton On, Forever 21 and H&M. On Saturdays, there is also a huge farmer’s market in Santa Monica.  

Huntington Beach

Katie Evensen/THE CHIMES


Distance from campus: 18 miles

Where to eat: Dwight’s Beach Concessions. Dwight’s offers a variety of foods, drinks and smoothies. You can get anything from a hamburger, fries and a drink ($7.99), to Dwight’s famous cheese strips, or a hot fudge sundae.

Parking Availability: There is public parking along the coast, and $5 will get you a parking spot for three and a half hours.

What to do: Besides being a Southern California surf spot, you can rent bikes, watch street performers and browse through some of the shops across the street from the beach.

Newport Beach

Katie Evensen/THE CHIMES


Distance from campus: 27 miles

Where to eat: There are a variety of delicious places to eat in Newport. If you want to get a coffee or tea, check out Alta Coffee & Roasting. If you are looking for Mexican food, check out Great Mex, or if you are in the mood for pizza, check out Original Pizza.

Parking Availability: There is public parking by Balboa Pier for $1.50 per hour with a $15 maximum.

What to do: Besides being a Southern California surf spot like Huntington, there is also an awesome shopping spot called Fashion Island. They have some of your favorite stores like Brandy Melville, Forever 21, Francesca’s Collections, Kitson and Urban Outfitters.  

Hermosa Beach

Katie Evensen/THE CHIMES


Distance from campus: 25 miles

Where to eat: The Pita Pit. Looking for something different? There are many great places to eat in Hermosa. Try out Thai Top, Wildflour Boston Pizza or Paciugo, a yummy ice cream shop.

Parking Availability: There are pay per space parking spots located in downtown Hermosa, but you can also find free parking. To get a map of these locations, visit

What to do: The strand is the walk along the beach. Here there are street performers, bikers, runners — a great people watching location. On Pier Avenue, just two blocks away from the Hermosa Pier, there are a ton of locally owned shops as well as eateries.

Since the weather on campus has been a little breezy, you can also head to Newport and Huntington to heat up with a bonfire and s’mores.


Your Turn.  Post a Comment

  1. larry smith

    Good START...but Hermosa is a snakepit compared with Manhattan, the beach directly north (where Rosecrans hits the ocean). The water at Manhattan is the cleanest on the South Coast, the waves are good, the shopping is 20-something-friendly, and parking is free if you street park above Highland (check every two hours and erase the chalk mark on your rear tire).

    I personally hate Santa Monica and am not a big fan of Venice...but they're worth one visit just to tell your grandchildren you were on the spot where 100 movies were filmed (SM) and medical pot shops dotted the boardwalk (Venice). If you DO go to the latter, walk a couple blocks east and wander along the canals (the town was modeled after the original Italian icon)- they're peaceful and very un-Califoria.

    The key is not which beach you visit but to GET OUT OF LA MIRADA. When my son attended, he surfed every morning at Bolsa Chica (north of Huntington - no localism). It kept him sane. LM eats away at your soul - it's safe but DULL beyond belief. You're in college to study a bit and have loads of, quit reading this drivel and hit the waves!
    March 5, 2015

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