The South Bay: L.A.'s Under-The-Radar Gem
Collected by Kelly Dawson , AFAR Local Expert
When you think of L.A. beach towns, Venice and Santa Monica may be the first places that come to mind. But ride a bike further south along the Strand, and discover L.A.'s other -- more relaxed -- beach cities. With its beautiful neighborhoods, warm beaches, and casual attitude, the South Bay feels infinitely more secluded from the surrounding sprawl.
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, USA
Downtown Manhattan Beach is an eclectic place: Surfers still wet with ocean water walk barefoot with their boards up the street, couples mosey hand-in-hand down the pier where fishermen stand and wait, stylish twenty-somethings fill sleek bars at...
Redondo Beach, CA 90277, USA
Unlike the bourgeoning culinary scene surrounding Manhattan Beach's pier or the established nightlife hub off Hermosa Beach's pier, the pier of Redondo Beach is just at the start of its impending renaissance. At the moment, its uneven wood-beamed...
117 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, USA
When the Pacific Ocean comprises the relative fourth wall of a dining room, it’s a confident guess to assume that the menu will include its fair share of seafood. Take a seat in such a picturesque place at the Strand House in downtown Manhattan...
31550 Palos Verdes Dr W, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275, USA
Set on the curve of a steep cliff, where it has stood since 1926, the San Vicente Lighthouse is a historical beauty that continues to renew its usefulness with every passing night. Its beam can be seen from 20 miles away at sea, and during the...
904 Manhattan Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, USA
Pages, a tucked-away independent bookstore in downtown Manhattan Beach, sells a carefully curated selection of classics and bestsellers. In this charming shop a few paces from the ocean, you'll find tags with handwritten book reviews, a vibrant...
310 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, USA
Pressed Juicery in Manhattan Beach is a lot like the Pacific shore a few strides away: straightforward. Similar to the comfort of knowing you’ll find surf and sand at the beach, the store's drinks consist of only mystery-free ingredients. The...
142 Pacific Coast Hwy, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254, USA
Overlooking a corner of PCH since 2008, Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach is a live music venue that brings a little edge to its surrounding sunny community. A stylish interior of exposed brick walls, concert posters, and dark booths are a background...
401 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, USA
As if the location of Pitfire Artisan Pizza wasn’t enough of a summertime setting, its seasonal menu capitalizes on everyone’s favorite time of year. Located in downtown Manhattan Beach, where brightly colored bathing suits are the norm, the...
3416 Highland Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, USA
Right on the cusp of El Porto in Manhattan Beach, and a short walk from the waves, Sloopy’s is such a laidback restaurant that it almost feels as though you’re dining in someone’s backyard. Potted plants line the walls, vines crawl up to the open...
1131 Manhattan Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, USA
There’s a certain expectation that comes with a South Bay restaurant. It’s usually casual, certainly, since the area is so close to the Pacific, while the food is commonly thought to be light and simple. This expectation isn’t met behind the glass...
8350 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA
The bustling Joan’s on Third gourmet marketplace is a staple of the Los Angeles lunch scene. It is a revolving door of characters for which L.A. is known: celebrities, aspiring actresses, power moms, and entertainment industry executives....
1305 Highland Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, USA
Sitting atop a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Uncle Bill’s Pancake House is a casual neighborhood diner that just so happens to have a million-dollar view. Indoors, a wraparound bar and a dozen or so wooden tables create a homespun setting...
209 N Harbor Dr, Redondo Beach, CA 90277, USA
In the decades since Captain Kidd’s opened its doors on the edge of the Pacific, it has stood as a seafood joint where food and family are intertwined. Behind the fish market counter of the day’s fresh selection – from sea bass and swordfish,...
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