Travel Guide to California

2015 Travel Guide to California

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112 2 0 1 5 T R A V E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A PERCHED ALONGSIDE the Pacific Ocean with glorious sands and a lively pier, Redondo Beach is an ideal venue for living the Cali- fornia dream, even if only for the weekend. Just seven miles from LAX and not far from Los Angeles' top attractions, historic Redondo Beach is a destination in its own right. Typically sunny and in the 80s in summer and comfortable most of the rest of the year, the beach is less crowded than better-known spots like Malibu and Santa Monica. Activity options range from sport fishing to whale watching, surfing to beach volleyball. Redondo Beach rose to prominence early in the 20 th 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 eight- foot-long wooden surfboard from sea to shore. Today the Redondo Beach Pier attracts visi- tors with annual events including the 20 th Annual Redondo Beach Lobster Festival (Lob-, 37 th Annual Super Bowl Sunday 10k/5k (, a classic car show and kite festival ( The pier has more than 50 shops, rides and restaurants, with dining options including seafood, Mexican specialties and hot dogs. And there are more choices, such as a bakery and Japanese restaurant, on the adjacent Inter- national 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, distinguished speakers such as director Ron Howard, and theatrical musi- cals like Ragtime. For lodging, a top pick is The Portofino, located in Redondo Beach's marina with soul- stirring ocean views. While staying in Redondo Beach, don't miss S.E.A. Lab, a marine science education center ( If you're in Redondo Beach between November and April, be sure to look out for gray whales migrating between California and Mexico. You can often see the behe- moths from shore; to get closer, book a whale watching tour on a boat such as the Voyager ( But don't feel you have 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 pre- mier beach towns. REDONDO BEACH SoCal's family friendly seaside playground B Y M I C H A E L S H A P I R O REDONDO BEACH pier at sunset, above; yachts docked at Redondo Beach, below. SAHANI PHOTOGRAPHY/SHUTTERSTOCK ; JUNE74/SHUTTERSTOCK ยป SWIM, BIKE, DINE, RELAX! Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau

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