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With the sun out and just a few more weeks left before we’re kicked out of Camp Claremont, these last few weeks may be the last time for some us to enjoy the Southern California weather.  Whether that means visiting Joshua Tree or any of the other amazing state parks near campus, there’s no better time to visit some of the country’s most beautiful sites. For those looking to relax and get away from the fast-paced and often stressful environment on campus, visiting some of the beaches along the California coast may be the perfect respite.

Popular Beaches

Laguna Beach

Just outside of Santa Ana in Orange County, Laguna Beach is one of California’s most well known beaches. Its town also worth visiting on its own, and you could easily spend a day walking along the coast and through the city. Since Laguna Beach is less than an hour from campus, it’s especially worth driving to if you want to explore one of Southern California’s most famous tourist locations.

Venice Beach

Home of the Lords of Dogtown and countless other surf and skateboard enthusiasts, Venice Beach is possibly best known for its strip of health providers and street vendors that line the pedestrian-only promenade. The beach is almost constantly filled with people, and will undoubtedly be a great place to enjoy the sun and relax. Venice is as popular a destination as Laguna Beach, and worth a visit if you feel the need to experience Southern California at its best.

Hidden Beaches

El Matador State Beach

El Matador lies as one of the three coves within the Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach, and lies tucked under cliffs that separate it from the Pacific Coast Highway. Although the beach is only accessible via a half mile trail, it is worth the quick walk to get away from a busier beach. On the weekends the beach brings in more visitors, although it still remains much more quiet than ones closer to cities, and is not too far from its two sister coves, El Pescador and La Piedra.

San Onofre Bluffs

Farther south than most of these other beaches, San Onofre Bluffs lies only an hour from campus. The beach spans a 2 mile stretch on the coast, and can be accessed by six separate trails. As many surfers are instead drawn to other beaches north of San Onofre, it remains relatively quiet and secluded with a lesser amount of traffic. Unlike the other beaches, you can also pitch a tent and camp at the San Onofre Bluffs, and it provides the perfect getaway for a low-key night on campus.

If you’re interested in visiting any of these beaches, here’s a map that includes each beach and CMC.