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The South Bay

When people think of visiting Los Angeles, they mostly think of checking out Hollywood, Downtown LA and Beverly Hills. While those not-to-miss places are must see’s on any travelers list, they also might want to check out a little gem on the shores of Santa Monica Bay known as the South Bay. We first talked about the South Bay when we introduced you to one of our tour guides, Lily, and we thought it would be fun to delve more into the place where surfing was introduced to the modern world in 1907 and where the gang from 90210 hung out at their “Beach House” during the summer.

One of the most culturally, economically and ethnically diverse areas in the United States, the South Bay is home to beach cities  Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach. Other cities that make up the South Bay are Torrance, San Pedro and El Segundo. While you can find many different places to hang out in the South Bay, we have listed some neat places to check out below.

Angels Gate Park

If you are looking for Angels Gate Park, you should stop once you have reached the newly restored Korean Friendship Bell in the middle of the park. Located in San Pedro, Angels Gate Park is a 64 acre park with panoramic views of the coastline and Catalina Island. Angels Gate Park is also touted to be one of the best places to fly a kite given the great breeze running through it.  The Marine Mammal Care Center is also located within Angels Gate Park and they usually house up to 50 injured animals who are being nursed back to health. And if you are a history buff, you should check out the Fort Arthur Military Museum where the exhibits are inside the old tunnels and fortifications of an old army battery.

The Los Angeles Maritime Museum

Featuring exhibits celebrating the history of shipping and boating, The Los Angeles Maritime Museum  includes a history of commercial diving in Los Angeles Harbor, a Navy Hall that features large ship models such as the U.S. Navy cruiser Los Angeles, the Poseidon miniature from the 1972 disaster film, and an exhibit that chronicles the once thriving San Pedro fishing industries. You can also find models of merchant ships and a working ham radio station. So if you are a boating enthusiast, this is a fantastic place to visit.

Hermosa Beach

Named one of the top 10 beaches in the United States by the Travel Channel, Hermosa Beach is bordered by Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach. A paved path known as The Strand runs down the middle of the beautiful sand where it is popular to play volleyball and go surfing or paddle boarding in the ocean.  You should also check out the great shopping area on Pier Avenue or go walking along the pier where you can find popular bars and restaurants.

The Manhattan Beach Pier

A historic landmark, The Manhattan Beach Pier is the oldest standing concrete pier on the West Coast. It is said to be one of the first things built when Manhattan Beach was being developed. It is very popular with surfers and the first “surf shop” was started underneath the pier. The coolest part of the pier is The Roundhouse Marine Studies Lab and Aquarium  located at the end of the pier. This free-to-the-public Aquarium has a shark tank, tide pool touch tank with animals common to Southern California, tanks with lobsters, and baby sharks as well as brightly colored, non-native fish and invertebrates. It’s a great place for families to go visit while in Southern California.

The Aerospace Industry

OK… so the Aerospace Industry isn’t something that you can necessarily visit, unless you want to drive by some very large buildings. But some say that the Aerospace Industry built the South Bay so we can’t leave it out.  Representing a major economic force in the community, the aerospace industry employs thousands of people in Los Angeles. Even if you live in the South Bay and aren’t employed by the Aerospace Industry, there is a good chance that you know someone who is. Major companies such as Northrop Grumman, Boeing and Lockheed Martin are located in the South Bay. These are the men and women who helped put the first man on the moon and who continue to push the envelope on innovation in flight and space. Dedicated to education, some of these companies even offer tours of their facilities to schools.


You can discover the South Bay and so much more with LA Insider Tours ! Book your tour now!