by Shanna Klahn
Vince Navarro, a senior business major at Chapman University, is juggling 14 and ½ credits and an internship with the popular surf brand Roxy. He understands the struggle of finding time to relax. When he does, you can bet money on where he’s headed:
The beach. His ideal day is spent skim boarding the ocean waves.
“Going to the beach is an amazing time to just empty out all my compounding stress from work, school, etcetera.” he said. “So once I’m done with my time at the beach, I can reapproach those commitments with a level head and a different perspective.”
If students like Navarro are looking for a day of relaxation the beach is the perfect place to go. Orange County has 10 beaches along its 40 miles of coastline — the gold coast, magazine writers call it. Here is a more in depth look at some of the most popular beaches.
Seal Beach: The Northern most beach in Orange County boarders a close-knit community, making it an open and friendly place to spend a day. The pier at Seal Beach is great for a leisurely stroll or to fish. There are a multitude of restaurants to choose from within close proximity to the pier.
Caroline Mucho, sophomore health science major, said, “I particularly love O’Malley’s, they have the best pancakes.”
O’Malley’s is located on Main St. right across from the main beach—a trip inside is a must if you’re visiting Seal Beach.
Ciera Ramos, junior strategic and corporate communications major, said she can frequently be found in the Cold Stone Creamery, directly across from the pier.
Huntington Beach: Nicknamed Surf City, USA, Huntington is as casual as it gets.
“It is a place where even pastors wear Hawaiian shirts and shoes are not a requirement,” said, CJ Coulson, freshman peace studies major.
Coulson, a Huntington native, thought that a trip to Ruby’s at the end of the pier for its world famous milkshakes is a must. Packed with people and never short of adventure there are plenty of things to do including many places to shop, eat, or relax.
Coulson recommended riding bikes down the PCH and downtown Huntington or taking advantage of one of the many fire pits offered to guests.
Balboa Peninsula: Known for its Fun Zone with its Ferris wheel, arcade games, and popular ferry rides, the Balboa Peninsula and Island has many amenities to offer its visitors.
You can take a ride on the Ferris wheel located in the Fun Zone for a view of the Harbor or ride the ferry to Balboa Island to get a frozen banana. The Fun Zone also offers rentals on Sea Doos, boats, canoes, and paddles boards.
The local boutiques offer an array of shopping, which attract many people, students and families alike, such as junior kinesiology major, Kita Romanzov. Romanzov can be found browsing through racks of clothing in a boutique on any trip to Balboa.
“There are many different boutiques with a wide price range so it is a great place for the whole family,” said Romanzov, “the ocean view isn’t bad either.”
Others such as Donner Hanson, junior music composition major, simply enjoy a nice walk on the Newport Pier, also located on the Balboa Peninsula. A walk on the pier is usually entertaining with the many sailboats and surfers that frequent the waters.
South of the Newport Pier, is the Balboa Pier, which is known for skim boarding. On warm days, Navarro can often be found sprinting up and down the beach riding waves at Balboa with his skim board.
Whether it is in the water or walking through the assortment of boutiques that line the streets, it is hard to be bored on a trip to the Balboa Peninsula.
Laguna Beach: Well known for its appearances on reality TV shows, Laguna has much more to offer than drama. Laguna is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and is the birthplace of skim boarding.
Sydney Jung, senior communication studies major, loves all the beaches in Laguna but recommends Victoria, Thousand Steps, and Three Arch. Navarro and Jung both recommended stand up paddle boarding in Laguna as the surf past the break is usually calm enough for it.
There are many activities to do on Main Street such as wander through boutiques, eat a pazookie at BJ’s, or grab a drink with friends at one of the many bars. After a long day in Laguna there is nothing better than watching the sun set over the water.
“Grab a sandwich or easily portable food, wine if you’re of age, and a blanket. Salt Creek Beach has a great grass hill to sit and watch the sun set,” said Jung.
Whether it is visiting the well-known sites of hit television series or a day spent relaxing on the beach, a day in Laguna is generally full of excitement.