A February 2005 trip
to Los Angeles by VickiFunes
Quote: Whether you're looking for stunning ocean scenery, a chance to participate in beachside sports (e.g. fishing, volleyball, swimming, jogging), or just want to sit at a waterfront café and relax, the south metro beach cities of Hermosa, Manhattan, Redondo, Palos Verdes, and San Pedro have something for you!
Attraction | "Dockweiler State Beach/Playa del Rey"
Other than restrooms, there aren't many facilities, but that too keeps the crowds away. The wide stretches of sand are punctuated by green oases of grass and tall stands of palm trees. The beachside bike path splits into two separate lanes here, so there's plenty of room for your sports activities and not a lot of onlookers either, if you're self-conscious about your performance! The little residential village of Playa del Rey, adjacent to the north end of Dockweiler Beach, also has fine sand beaches that are generally only used by the town's residents, and the planes don't fly directly overhead there. The town has several restaurants in it's little business district. (There's no food available at the beach there.) You'll also find a large, grassy park with play equipment for the kids not far from the beach in Playa del Rey.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 21, 2005
Dockweiler State Beach
Vista Del Mar Blvd From El Segundo North To Del Rey Lagoon
Playa Del Rey 90293
(310) 322 7036
Attraction | "Hermosa Beach and Pier"
On the beach near the pier are numerous, permanently-set-up volleyball nets--Hermosa Beach is a big "beach volleyball" town, and both pro and amateur tournaments are held here from time to time. The beach itself is wide, and its sand is white and clean. It's a fine beach for swimming, as well. You can stroll onto the plaza across from the beach and pier areas without having to cross a busy street. The plaza is wide enough to accommodate a crowd of visitors in the summer, and even an occasional band playing a concert. Several restaurants are located on this plaza, including the casual Cantina Real, which serves reasonably priced Mexican food. There are parking lots behind the buildings of the plaza, which serve both the businesses and the beach. These lots are quite adequate most of the year, but fill up quickly on busy summer weekends. The parking lot situation is the reason that I prefer to visit Hermosa Beach during the off-season.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 22, 2005
Hermosa City Beach
Along Pier Ave at Hermosa Ave
Los Angeles, California 90254
Attraction | "Manhattan Beach and Pier"
But the beach itself in Manhattan is just as fine a beach as any in the metro area. It has a wide swath of clean, white sand. Many permanent volleyball nets are set up, and beach volleyball is VERY big in Manhattan Beach. It hosts various pro tournaments. The pier is an attractive, modern concrete pier, which features a restaurant at the end. A bike/jogging/skating path runs the entire length of the beach in this city. As in Hermosa Beach, the recreational path is much-loved by the city's residents, and can get crowded during the popular morning before-work and the evening after-work exercise times. The city's business district runs parallel to the beach, although several blocks away from it. You will find a variety of shops and restaurants along the business district's street, but because of the terrain, you'll have to walk up steep hills from the beach in order to get to them.
Along The Strand Near Manhattan Beach Pier
Los Angeles, California
Attraction | "Redondo Beach and Pier"
If you walk on past the shopping end, the "fishing" section of the pier begins. Folks stand by the railings with their poles, hauling in their catch from time to time. Seagulls perch nearby, looking wistfully at the captured fish. At this point, the pier is parallel with the land. You can stand on one side to look out to sea, and on the other to watch the shore. The concrete of the pier is stamped with cute figures of various types of marine life, as you'll see in one of the photos below.
Walking on, you'll loop back towards the land and end up in the marina area, where beautiful, small craft bob gently at their moorings. At this point, the pier-side buildings have a "downstairs," and if you explore there, you'll find an ugly, but quaint, old-fashioned boardwalk-type amusement center. It features carnival games and even a ride or two.
Driving south from the pier, the swath of sand becomes narrower. Eventually the sand ends into the abruptly rising mountain of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. This peninsula offers an ocean-side drive high on a cliff that is, in my opinion, worth your time to explore. I like to make the peninsula drive at least once a year. It's out of the way, but that means few crowds. The view is spectacular.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 22, 2005
Redondo Beach Pier
112 Fisherman's Wharf
Redondo Beach, California 90277
No phone available
Attraction | "Palos Verdes and San Pedro"
For the tourist, San Pedro's Ports o' Call Village is the major attraction, along with its neighbor, the cruise ship docks. From here, you can catch a 3- to 7-day cruise ship down to Cabo San Lucas or Mazatlan.
Ports o' Call Village is a cute shopping/strolling/dining area, modeled after a New England fishing village. There are both casual and formal restaurants, a variety of wares--from trinket shops to fine art galleries, and even a chance to cruise! Well, it's just a one-hour tour of the port of LA, but it costs a lot less than the cruise liner to Mexico! I need to warn you about this tour, though. If you want to see ritzy yachts moored in an attractive marina, or high-end, waterfront homes, this isn't the tour for you. (For scenes like that, I recommend the Newport Harbor tour in Newport Beach down in Orange County.) THIS tour shows you the gritty scenes around the port of Los Angeles. You'll see boats arriving from Asia, laden with boxcar-shaped loads of merchandise. You'll see tall cranes, used to unload the ships. You'll see the San Pedro waterfront...which is in the middle of a 30 year re-development plan, but that doesn't mean it's the world's most scenic waterfront YET. I enjoyed the tour myself, though. It was like a "factory tour" but on the water---you'll learn how the nuts and bolts of international trade really happen. A real plus about the tour is that it's all behind the giant breakwaters used to eliminate waves (to make it safe for all the cargo ships coming and going.) Even those who get seasick easily (like me!) won't have that trouble here. As far as the restaurants go, other than to grab a soda or an ice cream cone, I've only eaten in one of them. That was "Acapulco", a Mexican restaurant. The entrees were in the $9--$15 dollar range. I had the shrimp enchiladas. I was afraid all the sauces would hide the shrimp flavor, but they didn't--I could really taste the seafood. I was pleased and would order it again. The Ports O' Call Restaurants is one of the ritziest restaurants in this area, with elegant decor and place settings, along with a Continental and seafood menu. Conversly, the Fish Market Restaurant is one of the most casual. You eat your food on outside tables while staring at lobster tanks and sniffing the decidedly fishy odor of the seafood market.
Palos Verdes / San Pedro Beaches
Palos Verdes / San Pedro
Los Angeles, California