Best of: Laguna Beach is most favorable to students

Chapman students regard both Laguna and Newport Beach as the best beaches in Orange County, but Laguna’s Thousand Steps Beach is the most popular spot for students to relax in the sun. Photo by Mia Fortunado, staff photographer

When making plans to go to the beach, Chapman students often find themselves asking the same question: which one? This often begins arguments as to which beach is the most favorable, which sand is the softest on your feet or which location has the most activities, but we finally have the answer: Laguna Beach.

Orange County is a hotspot for tourists during the summer because of the variety of beautiful beaches that hug the coastline, that represent the first thought non-Californians picture of the state. For students at Chapman, visiting these beaches are a common practice year-round, especially to Newport Beach (approximately 16 miles from main campus) and Laguna Beach (approximately 20 miles from main campus). Based on a poll conducted on 75 Chapman students’ preference, 73 percent voted for Laguna while 27 percent voted for Newport.

In comparison to Laguna, Newport is smaller, which doesn’t appeal to many of the voters. With over 30 coves and beaches – Thousand Steps Beach being the most popular – Laguna offers extensive space for relaxation, snorkeling, surfing, swimming and more.

“I love that Laguna has a lot to offer, like interactive tide pools where people can touch sea anemones and starfish,” said Grace Rendeiro, a junior psychology major. “Laguna has a lot to explore whereas Newport is just sand and beach.”

Along with extensive beach space, over 20,000 acres of wilderness surround Laguna for hikers and bicyclists to enjoy. In contrast, Newport only offers 3.5 acres for hiking trails. In addition, Laguna Beach offers more than 70 art galleries to walk through and The Laguna Playhouse, where visitors can experience live theater shows.

Although Laguna Beach is larger and consists of many attractions to explore, Newport is more efficient and convenient. Since many beach-goers favor Laguna, Newport is often less crowded and less noisy, which means more peaceful relaxation by the water.

“Since the beach is less crowded, there’s more private space and I can choose any spot to sit and relax,” said Helen Cabrera, a junior creative writing major. “Also, I can play music without someone complaining.”

Cabrera also mentioned that Newport’s sand is soft for sinking your toes in and parking is easier to find, two details that make Newport ideal for her. Newport’s playground makes its beach more convenient for families. Parents have this additional resource to entertain their children and the bathrooms are nearby for easy access.

Both Newport and Laguna Beach are unique in their own ways, as they both attract locals and tourists, but Laguna’s many special attractions for exploration are undoubtedly more appealing. Laguna’s weather is ideal from July through October as it hits the 80s, so gather your friends, grab your surfboards and hit the waves.