This article focuses on the many fun things to do, see and eat at the Redondo Beach Pier (Los Angeles, California).
There is a popular saying that states that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
Not that long ago I was meditating on those particular words since in the years I have been blogging, I have not dedicated a single post to the city where I have lived for almost 18 years. I once prepared a short photo essay on the subject. That is it!
Even though I love to write about different places in California, the United States and the rest of the world, every time I travel I am more than happy to return to my little corner in Los Angeles County.
In terms of this site, the grass may look greener in other places but the reality is that I am aware of how luscious the grass in Redondo Beach is.
Since I am so delighted with the place where I live, I feel like sharing it with you. Today, we are going to focus on the beach part of Redondo. I am going to discuss at length what to do in and around the Redondo Beach Pier.
Please note: This article contains affiliate links, meaning I may earn a commission if you make a purchase by clicking a link. Of course, this comes at no extra cost to you and helps me to keep offering solid information to readers.
Table of Contents
Many people do not understand why I live in Los Angeles since the area is known for its enormous population, heavy traffic, and clouds of smog.
The thing is that the part of the county comprised by Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach (sometimes El Segundo is included) form a community with characteristics of a small town. We think along the lines of sun, surf, and sand. The waterfront in here is not overdeveloped and we are used to receiving goods and services from small, locally owned businesses.
In other words, we live in our cocooned paradise but have first-hand access to the big city amenities (if we want to go there).
If you want to experience Los Angeles beyond, Hollywood, Santa Monica and Venice Beach, I encourage you to take the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) to Redondo Beach.
Redondo Beach Pier – Lay of the Land
Redondo Beach’s main attraction is the pier. Our pier is special since it is the only pier in California shaped like a horseshoe.
Immediately adjacent to the pier (and an integral part of it) is the International Boardwalk, a walkway full of restaurants, cafes, outfitters and a small marina.
North of the pier, we have two additional marinas (big ones), a short pier and the breakwater. It is possible to walk along this area.
South of the pier, there is a long stretch of sand ideal for sunbathing and resting.
Keep in mind we have glorious views of the Palos Verdes Peninsula from the pier and the beach.
Beach Town Gear
As I spend a lot of time on beach towns, I have my gear packed and ready to throw in the car. Here is an idea of what I take to the beach.
- Walking Shoes – Comfortable walking shoes are a must. My go-to brands are Clarks, Tevas, and Sketchers.
- Flip Flops – Flip flops are a must on any beach trip. I am partial to the Tevas brand. >>Take a look at these beautiful flip flops
- Water Sandals – If you want a more polished look, check out these leather-made salt water sandals.
- Sweatshirt – A sweatshirt is a must to keep me warm during chilly mornings and nights. >Click to see this California appropriate option here
- Sun Block – Do not leave the house (or the car) without applying sunblock. I repeat, always wear sunblock when outdoors. >Buy sunblock here
- Lip Balm with Sunscreen – Protect your lips by applying a balm with sunscreen. >Get one of the best lip balms here
- Wide Brim Hat – A wide brim hat is a great way to protect your scalp, face, and neck. The ones manufactured by FURTALK come with an anti-UV function. >Buy this amazing hat here
- Sunglasses – These are another must when it comes to protecting from the sun. A polarized, sporty pair works better outdoors. >Take a look at this wonderful pair
- Towels – This is the accessory I always forget about. WETCAT’s Turkish Towels take minimum space and dry fast. >Buy a Turkish towel here
- Foldable Chairs – Portable chairs allow you to set camp at the beach, park, winery, and even a parking lot. A classic Coleman portable chair is a solid choice. >>Buy portable camping chair
- Beach Blanket – For laying on the sand, a beach blanket is necessary. Good ones are waterproof, sandproof, and light. The blankets manufactured by Wekapo fit several adults and are durable. >Buy this nice beach blanket here
- Soft Cooler Bag – A soft cooler bag with enough capacity is great for having drinks and some food items at hand. I love my CleverMade collapsible cooler bag. >Take a look at my cooler here
- Water Bottle – Do not forget to bring water! Keep yours cold by taking a beautiful Hydro Flask water bottle. >Check out the insane options here
- THERMOS Tumblers – I have been a fan of the THERMOS brand since I received a tumbler as a gift. The tumblers keep drinks hot for hours. >>Buy THERMOS insulated tumblers here
- Dry Bag – Keep your valuables (and electronics) protected by bringing a dry bag. >These dry bag is awesome
- Beach Bag or Large Tote – Carry all your gear on an amazing beach bag. Get one with tons of pockets (I love pockets). >>>Check out my beach bag top pick
- Camera – I have never gotten used to taking pictures exclusively with my phone. I prefer to use the Sony Alpha a6000. It is compact and takes gorgeous pictures. >Buy Sony Camera here
- Tripod – A compact tripod to take your photos and videos to a different level. >>Check out this popular option here
- Portable Power Bank – It is a pain to keep phones charged on beach trips. Having a power bank is a lifesaver. The Anker portable charger can charge a phone 5 times. >Buy this incredible power bank here
Things to Do at the Redondo Beach Pier
In this section, I will be discussing the top things to do in and around the pier.
Take a Stroll
This may sound like a simplistic recommendation but there is a lot of people who stop by the pier to walk around, exercise a bit, spend time with family/friends, take in the views, breath the fresh air and relax.
So, any visit to the pier should start by walking around (more if you have never been).
Indulge in Some Great Seafood
A lot of Angelenos flock to the San Pedro Fish Market (San Pedro is the city where the port is located) when they are craving fresh fish or a shrimp tray. Plus, seems like every visitor is taken to this place (maybe it is a Latin thing to take visitors there).
However, let me tell you a secret. The Redondo Beach Pier has plenty of restaurants selling fresh fish too. The best thing is that prices in there are considerably cheaper than in San Pedro.
Quality Seafood, a market and restaurant, is the clear winner in terms of variety and taste. They sell over 30 species of fish, 5 types of crab, lobsters, clams, sea urchin, mussels, crayfish, sea snails and oyster.
The idea is to select your fish and/or shellfish and get it grilled, fried or steamed. Then, you pick up your feast, cover a table with paper (big rolls are available), distribute the seafood over the table and dig in with your friends.
In addition, the place serves clam chowder, fish tacos, smoked fish, poke, ceviche and many more dishes.
Restaurants such as Captain Kidd’s Fish Market & Restaurant and Pacific Fish Center follow a similar model (but on a lesser scale in terms of variety). The Pacific Fish Center serves tasty (and spicy) seafood soup.
There are other seafood restaurants on the pier but I recommend looking at reviews before choosing one. Some of them work along the fast food concept and quality is not the main factor.
Get on the Water
We are in a beach town. So, it is almost compulsory to get into the water one way or another. You do not have to worry. We know the Pacific Ocean is not pacific at all but in the Redondo you are sheltered by the breakwater.
On top of that, it is very easy to spot sea lions and pelicans around the marinas. Get prepared to see tons of them!
You can rent kayaks, pedal boats and stand up paddleboards in the Redondo Beach Marina (on the International Boardwalk area). I cannot find the exact name of this business but you are going to notice them right away when passing by. This seems to be the cheapest option for rentals in the pier.
You can rent the same equipment from Paddle House, Olympus Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Rocky Point Kayak (Portofino Marina) or Tarsan Stand-Up Paddle Boarding (King Harbor Marina).
Some companies let you paddle with your dog or offer night tours with LED lights.
Fish (or Take a Fishing Trip)
Many people go to the pier to fish since a license is not required. Others take fishing trips to increase their chances of catching big species.
Fishing trips last about five hours and you can rent supplies and bait. I am not a fan of fishing but my husband has been a couple of times and he has had tons of fun. If you want to go on a trip like this, double check you are going during a good time. For example, I know fishing when the moon is full is not a good idea.
For a trip, you can use a company such as the Redondo Beach Sportfishing.
Go Whale Watching
Redondo Beach is in the migrating path of the gray whale. Every year, from November to December, our waters host hundreds of whales.
A whale watching trip will give you the opportunity to get close to these mammals and learn about them (members of the American Cetacean Society board the ships). Seeing a whale up close is a fantastic experience. This is something you have to do if you are visiting California.
Several cities along the coast offer whale watching trips. I have taken several of these trips and, in my opinion, the boats departing from Redondo are superior because they sail along the Palos Verdes Peninsula. As a result, you can spot whales and contemplate beautiful views too.
Take a Dive Without Getting Wet
The Looking Glass is a 19 passenger semi-submersible underwater viewing boat. It has two seven foot long windows that allow underwater viewing. This is one of the unique attractions on the pier. While walking around, keep your eyes peeled for a “yellow submarine” (no kidding!).
Rekindle Romance on a Gondola
I know Venice is located thousands of miles away (even though Venice Beach is only a few miles north) but you can have a romantic experience by jumping into a sunset or moonlight cruise on a gondola.
The services of Gondola Amore can be reserved here.
Take Sailing Lessons
We have three marinas in town. Therefore, sailing is one of the most popular ways to spend an afternoon on the coast.
If you are not skillful in this craft, get in touch with South Bay Sailing, a company offering charters and lessons for all levels and ages. They offer sailing and BBQ Sundays and summer camps.
Ride a Bike
Redondo Beach is part of the South Bay Bicycle Trail, a 22-mile paved path that runs from Will Rogers State Beach to Torrance County Beach.
The Redondo Beach Pier is located almost at the terminal south point of the trail. From the pier to the end of the trail is about 2.5 miles.
Of course, you do not have to bike 22 miles. I am including this fact to show you the possibilities. You can spend all day biking if you want.
When I bike from the pier, I usually go north to Manhattan Beach. I stop by the Hermosa and Manhattan pier areas to rest.
If you do not have a bike, you can get one for a couple of hours (or for the day) at Marina Bay Rentals. This establishment is a bit north of the pier, therefore, it makes sense to park in the Portofino Marina area if you do not want to walk from the pier.
Say Hi to the Pelicans
The pier is frequented by a group of pelicans eager to catch or steal a piece of fish from the families gathering to throw some rods into the ocean. They do not seem to be afraid of humans and stand still even when surrounded by crowds.
I have seen people petting the pelicans but please, keep your distance. Remember we should respect wildlife.
Hit the Beach
As previously mentioned, there is a 2 mile stretch between the Redondo Beach Pier and the Palos Verdes Peninsula (where the cliffs rise).
That is long beach perfect for lounging and resting. The bike and walking path runs along the beach. Then, at the road level (above the beach level), we have another walking path called the Esplanade. So, there are opportunities to be active too.
Veterans Park offers a green lawn, trees and a playground.
Note: part of that beach belongs to the City of Torrance.
Every Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., the Redondo Beach Farmers Markets is set up in front of Veterans Park. The market features fresh fruits, vegetables and fish, jams, preserves, honey, flowers, baked goods, BBQ chicken and much more!
Watch the Sunset
This is another idea that may sound simplistic but many residents love to walk around the pier and the Esplanade when the sun is going down. In my case, I love to witness beautiful sunsets in these areas.
The Seaside Lagoon, a seasonal spot for swimming, is a family favorite during summer. The place offers a sandy beach, shallow pools, water fountains, snack bar and play area. This attraction is not located exactly at the pier but they are close enough to take into consideration.
Redondo Beach Pier Restaurants
If you are spending a day around the pier, I am sure you are going to get hungry at one point or another. It is your lucky day since I love to eat and have tried my fair share of restaurants in the area.
The restaurants recommended in here are located on the pier or north of the pier.
- Quality Seafood
- Captain Kidd’s Fish Market & Restaurant
- Pacific Fish Center
- Bluewater Grill Seafood
- Chart House
Relaxed Breakfast and Lunch
- Polly’s on the Pier
- R/10 Social House
- Kona Koffee Company
- Churros Pier Bakery
- Bella Gelato
- Jade Snow
- Ruby’s Dinner
- Joe’s Crab Shack
- El Torito
- Cheesecake Factory
Since you are in the area, you can opt to visit the Redondo Beach Village to eat (located 2 miles from the pier). My favorite eats in the area are the following:
- Flying Fin Sushi
- Locale 90 Neapolitan Pizza Market
- Turquoise (Mediterranean)
- Casa Playa (Mexican)
- Rebel Republic (American)
- The Green Temple (Vegetarian)
- Crème de la Crepe
Redondo Beach Parking
The pier parking can be accessed from the Pacific Coast Highway. (make a turn at Torrance Boulevard). At the end of the street, there is ample covered parking. You pay at a machine on site and it is possible to add more time from your cell phone (if you enter your cell phone number when paying).
The parking lot can be accessed from Harbor Drive too. In addition, uncovered, ample parking lots are located in front of the marinas.
Redondo Beach Weather and Seasonality
Redondo Beach is blessed with an excellent year-round weather. In summer, temperatures reach the 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Winter temperatures oscillate around the 60 degrees.
Even though the weather is pleasant all the time, some businesses observe shorter operating hours during winter. Other businesses are only open during the weekends. If you are visiting during this season and have your eyes set on a particular place, make sure it is operating during your visit.
The pier gets extremely crowded during summer. Expect to share the place with others during this time.
For your consideration …
The Redondo Beach Pier shows signs of wear and tear. The area is in need of a complete revitalization. I love the place and recommend it but I cannot cover the sky with one hand. I want visitors to be aware of the real condition of the place.
The revitalization projects proposed by the city (basically they wanted to build a mall on the waterfront) have been rejected by residents. We are waiting for further proposals on the issue.
More of the South Bay
Guys, I have tons of articles about the South Bay. After all, this has been my home for years.
I invite you to learn more about this awesome part of Los Angeles.
If you are interested in a particular town, here are some destination specific articles I have written:
Terrific Things to Do in Torrance
Hermosa Beach: Things to Do, See and Eat
If you are a fan of nature, I encourage you to discover the beautiful Palos Verdes Peninsula, one of Los Angeles’ best-kept secrets.
More of Southern California
Have you been to Redondo Beach and its pier? Let me know in the comments section.
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