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A Day in South Bay: Exploring LA's Beach Towns
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A Day in South Bay: Exploring LA's Beach Towns

Picture of Michelle Pagaran
Updated: 9 February 2017
Along the South Bay coastline are thriving centers of culture which make up the beach towns of Redondo and Manhattan Beach. The culture surrounding beaches has always been prominent in California. From seafood markets to quaint bookstores and everything in between, taking a stroll along the boardwalk on a sun-kissed afternoon has never sounded better.
Get crackin' at Quality Seafood | © Michelle Pagaran
Get crackin’ at Quality Seafood | © Michelle Pagaran
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Quality Seafood

On Redondo Beach’s King Harbor is a live seafood market with an impressive lineup of fish, crab, lobster, and shellfish. From barracuda to king crab legs, from sea urchin to eel, all items can be grilled, fried, or steamed to order. Quality Seafood thrives on quick service, with a ready-to-go bar featuring classics such as clam chowder and fish and chips. The spacious dining area can fill up quickly on weekends. Go on a weekday, pick out your favorite seafood, spread out the butcher paper, and get crackin’.

Quality Seafood, 130 S. International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach, CA, +1 (310) 316-8782

Pedal Boating in King Harbor | © Michelle Pagaran
Pedal Boating in King Harbor | © Michelle Pagaran
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Fast Kayak

After taking in the view of the harbor, get your feet wet and rent some boards and kayaks at Fast Kayak Rentals. Located on the marina, Fast Kayak has hourly rates on kayaks ($15 single/ $20 double), pedal boats ($10 for adults and $5 for children), and stand up paddleboards ($15). Explore the harbor and watch for sea lions.

Fast Kayak, 150 International Boardwalk Redondo Beach, CA, +1 (310) 909-3179

Old-school arcade games at Redondo Fun Factory | © Michelle Pagaran
Old-school arcade games at Redondo Fun Factory | © Michelle Pagaran
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Redondo Fun Factory

Walking into this expansive arcade, you are greeted by a life-size, golden Buddha statue. On the walls and hanging from the ceiling are disparate signs like ‘Jerry Goddard for Mayor’ and ‘Caution: Manatee Area.’ The mish-mash of signs adds to the arcade’s dilapidated charm. Around every corner are hidden arcade gems like Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker and Space Invaders. There’s also an indoor Tilt-a-Whirl that’s sure to transport you to childhood carnivals past.

Redondo Fun Factory, 123 S. International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach, CA, +1 (310) 379-8510

Quoting Ray Bradbury outside Pages: A Bookstore | © Jillianne Joy Lengson
Quoting Ray Bradbury outside Pages: A Bookstore | © Jillianne Joy Lengson
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Pages

Walking down the shops on Manhattan Ave. in this hilly surfer town, you’ll spot Pages, an independent bookstore with all the charm of a personal library. Browsing the shelves, you’ll find personalized staff recommendations as well as artwork for sale. The cozy setting and friendly staff enables you to find titles easily. Pages also hosts monthly events featuring authors, book clubs, workshops, and children’s story time.

Pages, 904 Manhattan Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA, +1 (310) 318-0900

Which Cream'wich | © Jillianne Joy Lengson
Which Cream’wich | © Jillianne Joy Lengson
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Manhattan Beach Creamery

Behold the original ice cream sammy at this beachside creamery. You have the option to build your own “cream’wich” for a buck more choosing your favorite cookie (chocolate chip, macadamia, oatmeal, peanut butter, and sugar) and their myriad ice cream flavor choices. Hand-dipped frozen bananas and ice cream also make up this shop’s frozen specialties. Candy and cupcakes sweeten the deal making this place a one-stop shop.

Manhattan Beach Creamery, 1120 Manhattan Beach Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA, +1 (310) 372-1155

The Metlox Dog at Metlox Plaza | © Michelle Pagaran
The Metlox Dog at Metlox Plaza | © Michelle Pagaran
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Metlox Plaza

With the city slogan “Think Local First,” Downtown Manhattan Beach promotes the mentality of shopping and dining local. This ideal is manifest in the shops that line the strand. Metlox Plaza is an assortment of such local and unique boutiques, eateries, and practices. This includes such finds as LuLu’s Nouvelle, a lovely boutique that showcases local and foreign brands from Europe and Lemonade, a restaurant that features seasonal ingredients in their menu. The plaza is guarded by the cubistic Metlox Dog, a larger-than-life replica of a 3-inch miniature statue manufactured at the site in the 1940s.

Metlox Plaza, 451 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA, 90266

By Michelle Pagaran

A graduate from UCI’s Literary Journalism program and a former editorial intern at Orange Coast Magazine, Michelle has a penchant for travel and loves to explore all over Southern California.