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Redondo Beach
(2016 - Spring Issue)

Writer: Michael Sapiro

A family-friendly seaside playground.

Perched alongside the Pacific Ocean with glorious sands and a lively pier, Redondo Beach is an ideal venue for living the California dream, even if only for the weekend. Just 11 kilometres from the Los Angeles International Airport and not far from Los Angeles’ top attractions, historic Redondo Beach is a destination in its own right.

Typically sunny and in the high 20s C in summer and comfortable most of the rest of the year, the beach is less crowded than better-known sands in Malibu and Santa Monica. Activities range from sport fishing to whale watching, diving, surfing and stand-up paddleboarding to biking and beach volleyball.

Redondo Beach rose to prominence early in the 20th century when George Freeth came from Oahu and introduced surfing to the mainland. Known as the “Man Who Can Walk on Water,” Freeth attracted thousands of spectators who gawked in amazement as he rode his 2.4-metre-long wooden surfboard from sea to shore.

Today the Redondo Beach Pier attracts visitors with events including the annual Redondo Beach Lobster Festival, the annual Super Bowl Sunday 10k/5k run/walk, a classic car show and a kite festival. On the third Saturday of each month there are free yoga sessions on the pier, which has more than 50 shops, rides and restaurants. Dining options include seafood, Mexican specialties and hot dogs. And there are more choices, such as a bakery and a Japanese restaurant, on the pier’s adjacent International Boardwalk.

The city’s cultural anchor is the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. The 1,457-seat venue hosts performances by the Los Angeles Ballet, a slack key guitar festival, The Nutcracker and theatrical musicals such as Jersey Boys.

For lodging, a top pick is The Portofino, a waterfront hotel located in Redondo Beach’s marina with soul-stirring ocean views. While staying in Redondo Beach, don’t miss SEA Lab, a marine science education centre.

If you’re in Redondo Beach between November and April, look out to sea and try to spot grey whales migrating between California and Mexico. You can often see the behemoths from shore; to get closer, book a whale-watching tour on a boat such as the Voyager.

But don’t feel obliged to fill your schedule. Perhaps the best way to enjoy Redondo Beach is to simply relax in the sand, watch the waves curl and enjoy some California dreamin’ in one of the state’s premier beach towns.

Travel Planner

Plan your Redondo Beach getaway at visitredondo.com.

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