Tag Archives: orange county

The Top Beaches Close to USC

By Alisa Saleh

School is out and the sun is finally peaking out from behind those “June Gloom” clouds. Our beach days are here and as a new Southern California resident, you need to finally see why SoCal is famous for its beaches. The problem is there are so many to chose from. To make it a little easier, I have picked my top 5 beaches in the area.

  1. Corona Del Mar

Photo by Daniel Peckham on Flickr

Corona Del Mar, or “CDM” is nestled south of LA in Orange County. It is a nice change from LA’s busy environment with its relaxed feel and quaint surroundings. The beach features views of cliffs, vintage houses, and tide pools. While it is a popular spot with a lot of visitors, it maintains its tranquility even on the busiest of days. The beach has two main points of access, Little Corona and Big Corona. Little Corona is smaller and more secluded while Big Corona is more populated.

  1. Laguna Beach

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

The charm of Laguna Beach is unmatched. Also located in Orange County, at this spot the city and beach are one. With beautiful views, basketball courts, great restaurants, and a boardwalk all within a mile, there’s very little that Laguna does not offer. While Main Beach is more popular, the 1000 Steps Beach area is also something to check out. It features steep stairs leading to the main beach area.

  1. Malibu

Photo by Jenna Day on Unsplash

Located North of LA, Malibu is the perfect place for a secluded beach experience. Malibu is probably the most serene of all the beaches listed her. It’s right off the scenic Pacific Coast highway and a popular surf spot. If you go to Point Dume (also known as Westward Beach), you can see the famous rock wall in the iconic final scene in the original Planet of the Apes.

  1. Santa Monica

Photo by Glen Bowman on Flickr

Santa Monica is located in the heart of the LA area. Not only does it feature a beach but also a mini amusement park on its adjacent pier. Additionally, the Third Street Promenade is just a short walk away. If you’re looking for a packed and diversified beach day, this is the perfect spot. Be prepared for huge crowds of people.

  1. Redondo Beach

Photo from Wallpaper Safari

Redondo Beach is located close to LAX on the south bay region. It offers a variety of things including restaurants, seasonal whale watching, and pedal boat rentals. This area is not as populated as some of the others on the list, making it a good place to get away from the busy feel of LA.

Featured image by Orange County Archives on Flickr

Alisa is Business Administration Graduate from the Marshall School of Business. She was born in Orange County, California and moved with her family to Houston, Texas shortly after. She moved back to California at the age of 13. Alisa transferred to USC her sophomore year from Loyola Marymount University. She is fluent in both English and Urdu as she comes from a Pakistani family. Additionally, she has grown up playing basketball competitively and still enjoys watching/playing the sport.

The Commuter Life: Riding Metrolink

By Pleres Choi

Believe it or not, Los Angeles does have a train system. Within LA, there is the light rail (mostly) underground metro system, and, for those who must commute from outside LA, there is Metrolink. If you ever need to use Metrolink, I would suggest packing a whole lot of patience and your smartphone (with your social media apps in tow); because, the truth is, your time will always be at the mercy of this public transportation option.

Photo by Pedro Szekely on Flickr

This summer was the first time I’ve had to commute daily to work using Metrolink, “Southern California’s premier regional passenger rail system.” My daily starting point always began at the Buena Park station and my final stop at Union Station in L.A., giving me approximately thirty minutes inside the train. But, when the train would arrive at Buena Park and, consequently, when I would arrive at Union Station was an entirely different matter, and unfortunately completely out of my hands.

According to my summer experience, I learned that you have to be incredibly forgiving and flexible with your time. My train frequently arrived late at Buena Park, anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour late. We commuters had no idea when such a delay would occur, although many of us soon learned to usually expect at least some delay. And yet, a daily commuter cannot ever risk the chance of herself/himself arriving even a minute late to the station, since Metrolink does warn that the train could arrive “up to five minutes ahead of schedule” (though obviously not too frequently).

It doesn’t end here. When I use the Metrolink to commute from L.A. to home, it happens to be incredibly precise with its schedule, leaving Union Station exactly on time, unforgiving of a few extra minutes. Of course, this is Metrolink simply doing its job right. But there have been more than a few times when I sprinted to the train as fast as my legs would allow, only to have its doors shut in my face for having arrived fifteen seconds too late. During these times, I think to myself, “if only you were so punctual when coming to pick me up!!!”

So…why then do I still choose to commute to L.A. with Metrolink, you may ask.

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