Redondo Beach is one of the three Beach Cities located in Los Angeles County. Redondo Beach is a working-class beach town – it’s also the largest in the South Bay, as it wanders inland and bleeds into neighboring Torrance. Its heart is at King’s Harbor, where the dated pier is still a Southern California icon.
The ocean side of Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) has restaurants and boating activities while inland of PCH is largely residential. Redondo Breakwall is a well-known surf spot in the South Bay.
Many original homes still stand in Redondo Beach neighborhoods, but many small Arts and Crafts style homes have been demolished and replaced with new modern houses. Zoning allowed properties within two to three blocks of the beach to be developed as large, two to three-unit luxury townhomes; inland areas are more likely to have single-family homes.
A revitalized downtown area affectionately termed “Riviera Village” provides locals an opportunity to eat, shop and commune in a quiet atmosphere. Since 2004 several new or newly renovated restaurants have made a positive impact on local options for an on-the-town experience. Downtown also supports a number of independent boutiques and shops specializing in clothing and fashion, as well as at least three wine-tasting galleries.
The Marina, Harbor and Pier complexes are large, planned centers of activity that host Korean seafood restaurants, touristy bars, smaller shops and a games arcade. The pier is a common spot for anglers to cast for a local catch; many residents of inland Los Angeles drive to Redondo Beach to take advantage of the long and unique shape of this pier. The adjacent Marina, located just north of the Pier, is home to another half-dozen restaurants, a seafood shop, and a pub with almost 100 beers on tap. The large, monolithic concrete structures that make up the pier and harbor area stand in stark contrast to the venerable cozy feel of the rest of the South Bay’s neighborhood-style street front architecture; the city continues to consider options for the area as new entertainment and dining chooses to locate in other areas of the Beach Cities.
Much of the Redondo Beach lifestyle is a blend of the neighborhoods, activities and people of the three Beach Cities of Southern California’s South Bay. Like its sister cities of Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach, Redondo’s draw is the beach that links the three cities. Redondo was described as “The Gem Of The Continent” in the Los Angeles Daily Herald in 1887.
The beach starts below the bluffs of Palos Verdes in the south (after Torrance Beach) and carries north to the Redondo Pier. The area of the beach that starts in Palos Verdes is known as “RAT (Right After Torrance) Beach.”
A paved path, called The Strand runs from Torrance through South Redondo, north to Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, and eventually to Santa Monica. The path is broken by the Redondo Beach King Harbor Marina and Pier complex, where it veers away from water and onto dedicated lanes of surface streets for about a mile before again turning to the ocean in Hermosa Beach. Continuing north from Manhattan Beach, the path stretches to Marina Del Rey.
Surfing is an element of the South Bay lifestyle year-round. Winter storms in the Pacific Ocean sometimes turn typically placid and rolling South Bay waves into large and occasionally dangerous waves, a draw for surfers. Wave heights in December 2005 were some of the largest on record at 15 feet (4.6 m) to 20 feet (6.1 m).
Beach volleyball is another aspect of Redondo Beach’s lifestyle. The wide and flat sand beaches provide the perfect venue for the sport and permanent poles and nets are placed and maintained by the city year-round. Professional tournaments managed by the AVP take place in neighboring Hermosa and Manhattan Beach. Redondo Beach is home to Gold Medalist Kerri Walsh and AVP Pro Casey Jennings.