Redondo Beach: Always More to


Part two of a
Since the 1800s, Redondo Beach has provided more to ‘sea’
in Southern California, dubbed SoCal by the locals.  Located just 7 miles south of Los Angeles
International Airport and 18 miles from downtown L.A., Redondo Beach has the
character of an exclusive beach enclave…uncrowded, scenic, and miles from
anything urban. 

This historic beach town, that
typifies the Southern California lifestyle,
is flanked by a county path
that threads along 27 miles of oceanfront from Torrance Beach to Santa Monica.
Once a commercial port, the City now has a pleasure
pier with unique shops and restaurants, myriad water sport activities, marinas,
and a sport fishing fleet. There’s an attractive sea front esplanade that has
been called one of the most romantic places in the world from which to watch a

You can build sandcastles on the beach, dine on the pier
with a sweeping view of the ocean, bike the 27-mile strand along the beach, hike
the scenic designated trails, scuba dive, or boat, and then take in a show at
the classy Performing Arts Center. 
Redondo Beach has a sterling line-up of annual events, including a free
summer concert series on the famed horseshoe-shaped pier and the old-fashioned,
fun-filled Riviera Village Summer Festival.

During June’s annual 2-day Riviera Village Summer Festival,
you can purchase artisan crafts, sample great food,
have the kids play on carnival rides, watch local acts perform on the Community
Stage, and visit the Hawaiian Village, which features Polynesian dancing. Or you
can just hang in the ocean view Beer Garden, listening to great live bands.
There is entertainment for all musical tastes during the two-day

And beside all that–you can
eat, eat, eat!  Whatever your taste buds
crave, you can appease them in Redondo Beach.

Begin your day at the iconic
Polly’s at the Pier,
where hungry fishermen eat breakfast and the
in-crowd gathers for brunch. Diners can view
the local fishing boats’ daily catches while munching on hot and spicy huevos
or a humongous omelet on the
Sport-fishing Pier in the Redondo Beach Marina.

A 1940’s start to your day can begin with burgers, fries, and
milkshakes at the red and white Ruby’s Diner decked out with bright red vinyl
booths, white Formica tables, soda fountains, and colorful 1940’s poster
art.  Ruby’s is adjacent to the Seaside
Lagoon, at the southwest corner of Harbor Drive and Portofino Way in Redondo
Beach’s King
The large saltwater lagoon offers a large sand area for
sunbathing, children’s play equipment, snack bar facilities provided by Ruby’s,
and volleyball courts. There is also a grass area and luau shelter for day and
evening events.
A short walk from the Lagoon is the Portofino Hotel &
Yacht Club, a hidden gem overlooking King Harbor. The Portofino Hotel & Yacht Club boasts breathtaking scenes from sunsets and
sailboats to dolphins and pelicans and is home to its own colony of California
sea lions. From our room we had a front-row view of the sea lions frolicking,
feeding and basking in their natural habitat. 
A coastal retreat for the senses.
A grand circular
driveway and custom water feature frames Baleen, Los Angeles, the whimsical, yet
elegant signature restaurant that brings an eclectic, eccentric fine dining
experience to The Portofino Hotel & Yacht Club.

In the mood for some
South of the Border grub? Three life-size steel musicians will welcome you to
Ortega120, a Frida Kahlo-colored restaurant that combines the charm of Mexico
with contemporary SoCal style.  With a
central bar stocked with 120 tequilas, its house-squeezed lemon and lime
Margaritas are said to be the best in town.

Another Redondo Beach
icon is Tony’s on the Pier at Fisherman’s Wharf. Known as Old Tony’s, this
ship-shaped restaurant situated right on the Pacific Ocean has been family owned
and operated since 1952.  It is the
oldest restaurant on the Pier. 
The Top of Tony’s is the
perfect place to enjoy one of the South Bay’s best Mai Tai’s and a sweeping view
of the beautiful Pacific sunset.

Sunsets can also be
enjoyed from Kincaid’s Bay House, a large first-class restaurant with a view
that doesn’t quit.  If you want to select
your own fish, try Captain Kidd’s Fish Market. 
It is a bare-bones eatery where you can order from the menu or buy your
catch from their Market side.  They will
charbroil, sauté, deep-fry, or steam your selection free of charge.

When you’ve eaten
enough, and feel it’s time for nature and a round of golf, head for beautiful,
environmentally sensitive, Trump National Golf Club a few minutes drive from
Redondo Beach on the luxurious Palos Verdes Peninsula. Even if you
are not a golfer, Trump National features public access trails that meander
through the golf course toward the bluffs. The trail system not only provides
access to the beach and a public park that is located on the bluffs in front of
the club house, but also gives its users the chance to see – up close – the
native flora and fauna.  

Preparing to leave
Redondo Beach and continue on my 50-mile journey down the coast of Southern
California, I had an epiphany.  Why drive
a rental car?  A one-day stop in Long
Beach, and a hop on the Catalina Express, would take me to Catalina Island where
no cars are allowed for visitors. 

So, for less than one
day’s cost of a rental car, I arranged for Karmel Shuttle to take me directly to
my Long Beach hotel. It was so pleasant that I instantly hired Karmel Shuttle to
take me back to the Los Angeles Airport after I ended my trip in Laguna
  And what a pleasure that
  No tangle of freeways…no turning in
cars at LAX…no shuttles back to the airport.
In other words…no stress. 
However, you’ll read more about those delightful SoCal destinations in my
next couple of articles.

And so, I bid a fond
farewell to delightful Redondo
Beach.  The SoCal place to “sea and be

JANET STEINBERG is an award-winning Travel Writer and
Travel Consultant