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We are in Southern California about once a month. We have family there, Jared has work there and the boys and I love to explore whenever we get the chance! We decided to check out Torrance, CA for the first time last week and LOVED it. I thought I’d share some of our favorite spots and tips for visiting.
First of all, Torrance is only 15 minutes from LAX making it a quick drive if you want to get to a beach after landing (people ask me ALL the time which beaches are close or which ones to go to when they’re flying in to LAX). It’s close to L.A. but out of the busyness. It’s also close to many popular Southern California attractions and conference centers making it a great spot to stay if you’re coming into town for an event.
Where to Stay
Torrance has many hotel options, several of which provide added value and attractive rates to budget-conscious groups and travelers. We stayed at the Courtyard by Marriott which had easy access to the freeway, a large room perfect to spread out for the family and lots of comfy spots for my husband and I to sneak in a little work.
What to Do
- Torrance Beach: The first thing on my list to do in Torrance was check out the beach. The beach is most definitely my “happy place” and I’ve checked out most in the Southern California area but hadn’t been to the beach in Torrance. It is GORGEOUS and was surprisingly not crowded at all for a Spring/Summer day. There was plenty of inexpensive parking, lots of room to play on the beach, many open volleyball courts and even had a GREAT cafe right on the beach to grab a snack (they had great aguas frescas).
- The Strand Bike Trail: One of the things I knew I wanted to do with the boys was ride on the Marvin Braude bike trail which is a paved trail that spans 22 miles along the coast which starts (or ends depending on which way you’re going) on the Torrance County Beach! We only biked about 2 miles and then went back (4 miles total) but have already decided that we’ll be back to do the whole thing with our own bikes. We loved it!
- Shopping: After our beach day the boys were still wanting to explore a bit so we visited the Del Amo Fashion Center which is HUGE and is said to be the largest mall in California! There was something for everyone and we loved the outdoor spaces.
- Gorgeous parks, museums, a marsh preserve, botanic garden, and exploring film locations are all things on our list to check out next time. The Torrance Visitor’s Bureau has a lot of great ideas you can pin some from their Pinterest board too!
Where to Eat
- Restaurants: There are many great spots to eat in Torrance including many great Japanese restaurants that we were told about by friends. I’d been wanting to try Yellow Fever so that’s where we ended up for dinner and it didn’t disappoint! Next time we’re in town (maybe next month) I want to stop by 21 Square and the boys want to try a Ramen place.
- Farmer’s Market: One of the first things I look up when traveling is if they have a farmer’s market. It’s a great way to support the local economy, sample lots of food and get supplies for picnics! The farmer’s market in Torrance is open every Tuesday and Saturday so we stopped by for breakfast where the boys got Hawaiian style donuts and I got a few things from The Good Cookies (a gluten free bakery in the area I wanted to try anyway). A few of their other awesome bakeries had booths set up at the market as well so it was a great choice!
We loved driving around the adorable neighborhoods and getting a feel for the area. I can’t wait to go back and explore more of the bike trail and visit a museum or two!