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  • Writer's pictureJefferson Graham

Redondo Beach Photowalk

Redondo Beach Photowalk

Redondo Beach: a super long bike trail by the sea, a hilly walking trail that looks down at it, a small-town like community village of shops and restaurants in the largest of the Los Angeles area South Bay beach cities.

And any mom just happens to live there part-time.

Sounds like Photowalk material, right?

Of the three beach cities of the South Bay of Los Angeles,

Manhattan is the priciest and toniest, Hermosa is a party town, and Redondo is just more down to each.

That’s a massive generalization, but somewhat close to the truth.

Redondo is also more diverse than the others. Beyond the sun worship, ocean waves and outdoor activities (cycling, roller blading, surfing) Redondo is a home for boating, with a large marina that attracts boat and fishing enthusiasts.

Photographically, 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.

Who’s up for a Photowalk of Redondo Beach? With mom?

Redondo Beach Photowalk Companion

Let’s start:

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.  

Redondo Beach Photowalk

Continue to the south end of the Pier, where you’ll see one of the oldest restaurants, Polly’s on the Pier, and 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.

Redondo Beach

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.

Redondo Beach

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, a Barney’s Beanery and 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, and is now available as a party rental facility. 

Redondo Beach Photowalk

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. It’s here where I shot the first sunset of 2020:

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 one 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. 

And when you end up at the park, you can walk back down, less than a mile and see where 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.

If you’re on a bike, and want to exert some energy, go ride up the hill. It’s the prettiest spot in Los Angeles and where I brought my mom for the view of Redondo behind us.


Jeff and Judy


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