Travel: Redondo Beach
What to do in Redondo Beach, and things to know before you go
Posted Friday, January 20, 2012, 09:05AM
A Weekender in Redondo
Under-appreciated Redondo gets a hotel facelift and a new resto
Executive chef Jesse Souza describes the fare at Baleen, Portofino’s on-site restaurant, as “new American with classic French” influences. Look for a few twists on the Zagat-rated menu including the duck carnitas served with crêpes, which are a dinner favorite. The upstairs lounge area is a popular happy-hour spot for locals. On weekend nights, there are DJs as well as live music.
Whale watching season runs through April. Hop aboard Voyager, a touring ship docked in the Redondo Beach Marina. gray whales are what draw most visitors to these tours—this time of year is their migrating season—but plenty of other ocean animals make appearances including dolphins, sea lions, humpback and blue whales, and even the occasional shark.
Explore the Beach Cities
Manhattan Avenue in nearby Manhattan Beach features dozens of high-end boutiques, restaurants, and coffee shops. Likewise, Hermosa Beach is home to many low-key bars and beachside restaurants. The Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach is good for laughs—especially on Sunday nights, the headliner is always Jay Leno.
Do the Marina
The nearby International Boardwalk at Redondo Beach Marina has everything you’d expect: souvenir shops, seafood restos, and an old-school arcade. If you’re not in a retail state of mind, there are paddleboats, kayaks, and paddleboards available to rent. Or cruise the harbor in a glass bottom boat and look at life underwater.
Bike The Strand
The Portofino Hotel loans out beach cruisers for free to guests so you can ride the main streets—most have dedicated bicycle lanes. The Strand, just a block from the hotel, is a paved walking path that stretches along the beach from Redondo to Pacific Palisades. It’s closed to car traffic and always bustling with local joggers and cyclists. (Also great for people-watching!)
The Portofino Hotel & Yacht Club’s recent multi-million dollar renovation has created a chic nautical atmosphere ideal for enjoying a mellow, endless-summer vibe. With one side of the hotel facing the ocean and the other facing the King Harbor Marina, all 161 rooms have private balconies with waterfront views.
Know Before You Go
We hope you like barking. Sea lions have taken up residence on the buoys and rock jetties of King Harbor Marina. While the animals are adorable and tend to keep their distance, their loud barks can inadvertently serve as morning wake-up calls. Solution: each hotel room at Portofino is equipped with complimentary earplugs.
For children, summers rule. Between May and September, the Seaside Lagoon is open for play. This park is partly submerged in treated ocean water. Little ones can use the slides and other playground equipment to leap into the water. Lifeguards are on duty.
Park it. What
SoCal car culture? Redondo Beach is truly a bicycle-friendly city. Many local attractions lie within comfortable walking distances. After you drive into Portofino, you’ll likely leave your car parked for your entire stay. Saves on gas!