Tuesday, May 14, 2013

5 Free Things To Do in the South Bay

I have been blessed to live in the South Bay area of Los Angeles county for the past 11 years. The South Bay area is comprised of Torrance, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes, San Pedro, and many of the other cities joined to ours.  We are about 15 minutes north of Long Beach, and but south of the city of Los Angeles.

As Wikipedia states, "The South Bay is one of the most culturally, economically, and ethnically diverse areas in the United States, with a largely even distribution of the population across African, Asian/Pacific Islander, European and Latino ancestry." You will never be at a loss to find many Japanese restaurants, Hawaiian food (the main factory for King's Hawaiian bread is here), and other ethnic cuisines.

If you already live in the South Bay area of Los Angeles or are visiting soon, I want to share with you 5 places that you can visit for FREE.  All of them are places that locals told me about, and I'm so glad we went.

1) Terranea Resort.  Although Terranea is a beautiful hotel & golf course, they have their own private beach that the public can visit.  Parking is free, and you can follow the path down to an area with nice bathrooms and picnic benches with an amazing view of the ocean.  We have seen dolphins and whales from that vantage point many times. Follow the path a little further down and you will find the private beach. Although it is rocky and not the best place to swim, it is a great spot for kids to explore, throw rocks in the ocean, or just play in the sandy area above the rocks.  There are also some great places to eat on the property, including Nelsons.



2)  South Coast Botanical Gardens.  On the third Tuesday of every month, you can bring your family to the gardens for free admission.  This place is HUGE with a giant lake, a children's garden, tons of nature and many places to explore.  Pack a lunch and bring a picnic blanket, and plan on spending a few hours here.  Right now there is a Groupon available with 50% off a family pass, making it only $25 for a years admission!

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3) The Roundhouse Aquarium.  Located right at the end of the Manhattan Beach Pier, this aquarium only takes donations for entrance. It is a small, two-story aquarium with a good selection of fish for kids to see and touch.

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4) Hopkins Wilderness Park.  This is a beautiful campground and park nestled within the city of Redondo Beach.  You can see small wildlife and feed the ducks.  There are two ponds, and the pond at the far end of the park has a ton of turtles. Just be careful with your little ones; my son bent over to see the turtles and fell head-first into the pond when he was two!  (Note that they are closed on Wednesdays)

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5) The Sea Lab in Redondo Beach.  This spot is almost free - only $4 requested donation per family.  Be sure to bring quarters for the metered parking outside, too.  The Sea Lab is an educational aquarium.  My son's class took a field trip here and they had so much fun.  There are a ton of tanks, both inside and outside, of fish local to our area.  Be sure to take one of the guided tours where you will be able to get up close and personal with many of the fish.  Make a day of it and bring a sack lunch to eat on the sand afterwards - the Sea Lab is located right next to the water.

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I hope you get a chance to visit the South Bay someday; after all, we are only 20 minutes south of the LA Airport, and on your way to Disneyland!

If you are from this area, what other "hidden gems" in the South Bay would you recommend visiting?

1 comment:

  1. Great reminders for some fun things to do this summer!

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