A Look At The Local Beaches Near SMC

Imagine listening to the sound of the waves breaking, watching the horizon line, with your toes sucked into burning sand...Finally summer is around the corner and the beach is even closer.
As the weather gets nicer, the urge to escape to a perfect getaway gets stronger. This summer will be another great occasion for many SMC students to enjoy the Californian laid-back lifestyle under a gentle refreshing oceanic breeze.
The Pacific coast can be an undeniable retreat from polluted urban heat and stress. From Malibu, Santa Monica, Venice, Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo Beach, the Southern California coast offers many diverse recreational activities for beach lovers.
For Heléne Wretflind, a kinesiology major student who plans to work at the SMC swimming pool as an instructor, the beach is her "favorite place on earth." Whether she reads a book by herself, hangs out with friends or boogie boards, she stays at the beach all day long whenever she can. "It cleans up my mind; it gives me happiness and serenity," she said.
Wretflind's favorite spot is Venice beach, known for its unique social atmosphere as well as its great boardwalk, its intriguing performers and its artsy ambiance. Venice beach is one of the most popular beaches where tourists, surfers, volleyball players, roller bladers, sun tanning lovers, body builders and hippies make a colorful scene.
In second place, Santa Monica beach is the closest beach to SMC. With the Third Street Promenade nearby and the famous 270-by- 1800-foot wooden pier where restaurants, stores, attractions and an aquarium, make it the ultimate place for family leisure. "I come here, walk around, relax, get a tan and forget about anything else," said Angel Mera, a local beachgoer.
But others like Una Maslesa, a SMC business major, enjoy lying down and tanning on more secluded beaches such as Malibu or Topanga Canyon. "I don't like Santa Monica; it's dirty and people are gross," she said.
According to John Gregor, a Santa Monica Beach lifeguard, even though pollution and homelessness are still drastic issues in Santa Monica, many important steps have been taken to improve the safety and property on the beach.
"Maintenance crews clean up a lot and the lifeguard services provide a really safe place for the people to come to the beach," he said.
Gregor said that there are days when dolphins, seals and other marine mammals can be seen at the beach early in the morning. "Their presence indicates that the bay has cleaned up," he said. Gregor encourages people to carpool when they can to go to the beach and to not leave any litter behind them.
The lifeguard's favorite beaches are Point Dume and Zuma Beach, located at the north of Malibu, where surfing and scuba diving are really popular.
Manhattan Beach, especially El Porto, located south of Playa Del Rey, is also a targeted spot chosen by surfers. "It is not too crowded and it is great for beginners because locals are not too territorial with the waves," said Ara Daldalian, a 26-year-old surfer who also surfs in Venice Beach.
Among the various activities that can be done at the beach, volleyball is at the top of the list.
Hermosa Beach has the reputation to be more oriented towards a younger crowd. It is famous for its trendy bars and for its famous volleyball courts.
"A lot of AVP Pro people play volleyball on the beach; there's often good games to watch," said Pawel Orzechowski, a local volleyball player.
And even though the beach is a fun place to go solo or with friends, some rules are not to be omitted. No alcohol, pets or bonfires are allowed on the beach with the exception of Dockweiler and Cabrillo Beach.
For more information about our local beach profiles and festivities visit (www.lacofd.org).