Explore Redondo Beach with a Photowalk
We all live in the South Bay and love it. But when’s the last time you got out of the car and explored one of our local jewels on foot?
The holidays are a great time to re-explore the largest and most diverse of the Beach Cities, Redondo Beach.
And since my mom Judy lives in Redondo part-time, I brought her along with me recently on a Photowalk, from that super long Strand by the sea, the hilly walking trail (Esplanade) that looks down at it, the small-town like community village of shops and restaurants (the Riviera) and of course, the largest, commercial Pier in the area.
Check out the video above, where my mom and I look at Redondo with camera eyes, looking out for great photo opps as we walked from the Pier to the end of the Esplanade. Photographically, there is so much. You’ve got the boats, marina, street photos from the old-fashioned pier, the largest of the south bay, and some cool pelicans and sea lions that love hangin around. And since it’s mostly flat, Judy Graham, known to YouTubers as the host of “Knitting Tips with Judy” was happy.
Let’s start our 2.2 mile tour:
- The Marina, which begins just as Hermosa ends, is a great place to get going.
This is where many seaside restaurants are based (Bluewater Grill, Portofino, Chart House) and if you step behind them, you’ll see the boats docked and that huge jetty, which is popular with local fishing enthusiasts. A walking path will take you in and around the Marina, passing Seaside Lagoon, a popular summer swim hangout for young kids, and another collection of restaurants leading to the Pier.
Continue to the south end of the Pier, where you’ll see a boat concession offering two types of rental boats, a pedal boat or a ride on a Glass Bottom Boat.
Normally, I’m down on spending any kind of money on a photowalk, as I believe the best things in life are free, but in this case, the Glass Bottom ride is highly recommended.
For $20, you get a nice ride on calm waters, right by scores of pelicans hanging on a jetty (good,) tons of sea lions relaxing on a dock (better) and then get to go underwater, and see even more fish than you probably ever expected, thanks to the operators, who feed the fish to bring them by.
Photographically, this is a tough shot, behind glass, but I’m quite happy with my sea lion and pelican shot.
The pedal boat takes a lot of exertion—the boat is more relaxing.
After your ride, walk through the parking lot to get to the main area of the pier. This is an old, old Pier which has been around since the 1950s. In fact, if you visit the kitschy monument to 1950s architecture—Old Tony’s, it will proudly tell you on all its cocktail napkins that it’s been around since 1952.
The building resembles an old boat, with round upstairs atop the boat with a killer view of the harbor. Tony’s menu is fish, fish and more fish. We tried to order a hamburger or grilled cheese but were nixed.
I love the look of the old building, and used it in the foreground for my sunsets and time-lapse shots.
Elsewhere on the Pier: an equally old Hot Dog on a Stick, shops to buy trinkets and Redondo souvenirs, and many restaurants, including El Torito.
The other side of the Pier also makes for an iconic photo spot. It was here where I watched how the light so dramatically changed in just one hour, in 15 minute increments, from the left side of the Pier.
Before you continue your walk down the Bike/pedestrian path by the water, you might want to walk up a small hill to visit the Historic Redondo Beach Library. This building hasn’t offered books in years, but is now available as a party rental facility.
After the library, it’s time to get walking again. I like the path by the library, looking down at the path, for a cooler view.
Continue about a mile or so, and this will lead you to another walkway, the Esplanade. It begins at Avenue A, and ends at Miramar Park.
The beach area of Hermosa is flat. Manhattan has one doozy of a hill, just up from the Pier. Redondo has many of them, and if you walk on the Strand, prepare for a hefty climb up to the Esplanade. But it’s worth it. You get a drone like overhead view, without having to invest in a flying camera.
My mom ends her weekly walk at the mosaic of the fish at the park.
We ended with lunch at the visual smorgasbord that is Riviera Mexican Grill (1615 S Pacific Coast Hwy.) one of my mom’s favorite local restaurants. The other is right next door, Good Stuff (1617 PCH.)
If you continue on the Strand, less than a mile away the 13 mile Marvin Braude bike trail comes to an end. This section actually isn’t Redondo, but Torrance Beach, and you’re just at the bottom of Palos Verdes Peninsula as well.
And that’s a topic for the next photowalk.