Some favorite things to do in Torrance California, include visiting Alpine village, exploring the Western Museum of Flight, standing in Wayfarers Chapel, going to The Strand, drinking local craft beer, and much more.
In Torrance California look for amazing museums, hundreds of restaurants, and a magnificent stretch of California beach that is the beginning of The Strand. Torrance High School just turned 100 years old this year and serves as the film setting for California’s most famous high school (the one in ZIP code 90210).
Discover Torrance hosted us, to explore things to do in Torrance California and share discoveries and thoughts with the McCool Travel network.
Fun Things to Do in Torrance
Where is Torrance California?
Torrance is located about 15 minutes (with no traffic) from LAX and Long Beach airports. Proximity to San Pedro (cruise port), Palos Verdes (my favorite Southern California destination), and the gorgeous Southern California beaches are strong reasons to stay in Torrance.
Torrance is nestled between the 405 and 110 freeways so it is an easy and convenient Southern California destination to visit. PCH runs along the southern edge of Torrance and leads to the magnificent Torrance Beach.
— Charles McCool ✈️ (@CharlesMcCool) November 5, 2017
1. Old Town Torrance
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One of the surprising things I discovered this past weekend in Southern California is the super cool area called Old Torrance. Some of the buildings are over 100 years old and many more are from the Art Deco era and 1950s. Old Torrance has an eclectic mix of businesses. We ate at a diner seemingly unchanged from the 1950s (Rudy’s), a brand new Oaxacan restaurant (Madre, try the mole dishes), and a new American eatery/sports bar (Local Kitchen). There are also several old school places, coffee shops and stores, a popular dance/gymnastics studio, brewery, and much more. Parking is FREE, easy, and plentiful. Old Torrance s close to the 405/110 freeway interchange and is a real hidden gem in SoCal. Check it out and ket me know what you think. . . #DiscoverTorrance #Torrance #californiastyle #traveltheworld #seetheworld #socallove #lafoodie #VisitCalifornia #LostinLA #DTLA #LAcounty #socal #traveler #SouthBay #westcoast #california #eatlocal #drinklocal #dolocal #southerncalifornia #discoverLA #travelwriter #mccooltravel #funness #serendipity #touristlife #travellife #travellover
2. Madrona Marsh Preserve
Right in the middle of busy Torrance is an urban oasis called Madrona Marsh Preserve. It is a reminder of what this area looked like before houses, buildings, and roads took over. Start your visit at the fun visitor center, then spend time walking around the native marsh. Be on the alert for small animals and migratory birds.
3. Western Museum of Flight
The Western Museum of Flight, at Torrance Airport, celebrates Southern California’s aerospace history and legacy. Sitting inside a Douglas A-4A Skyhawk or other aircraft might be your favorite Southern California instagrammable moment.
4. Alpine Village
To get your fill of German food and culture, head to Torrance’s Alpine Village—home of Southern California’s largest Oktoberfest event. Alpine Village is a year round destination though, with a Beerhall and restaurant, stores and a German church, music and events on Wednesday through Sunday nights, and an import market. Sarah Dandashy from Ask a Concierge visited us for the day in Torrance and (McCool Travel tip) was astonished at the imported candy selection in the German market at Alpine Village.
5. Torrance County Beach
One and a half miles of glorious beach await you at Torrance County Beach. Sand dunes rise high to the left heading toward the Palos Verdes peninsula while the magnificent The Strand starts at the other end. Bring your bike (or rent one) and ride the classic oceanfront Marvin Braude Bike Trail 22 miles to Santa Monica. Check out Beach City Bike Tours for a local-led tour starting in gorgeous Hermosa Beach.
— Charles McCool ✈️ (@CharlesMcCool) November 6, 2017
6. Day Trip from Torrance to Palos Verdes
Drive to Roessler Point, on the seaside of Malaga Cove School, for remarkable views of the California coastline. On a clear day you can see downtown Los Angeles and the Hollywood sign. Walk around Malaga Cove and try to catch a glimpse of the wild peacocks.
Continuing around the Palos Verdes peninsula, recommended stops include the Point Vicente Interpretive Center, Vicente Bluffs trails, and countless overlooks along Paseo Del Mar and other scenic roads. Wayfarers Chapel (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright’s son Lloyd Wright) and Portuguese Bend are two personal favorite stops before heading into San Pedro.
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An amazing place to visit when you are staying in Torrance California is the Wayfarer’s Chapel in Palos Verdes. I mean, look at it. Mostly glass chapel, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright’s son, Lloyd Wright has starred in some movies and shows. Have you visited it? What is the most beautiful church you have seen? . . . #DiscoverTorrance #Torrance #California #palosverdes #wayfarerschapel #franklloydwright #architecturelover #glasshouse #californiacoast #roadtrippin #travel #traveltheworld #seetheworld
For excellent fish tacos in Palos Verdes, see 8 Great Amazing Fish Tacos in US
Visit the magnificent and historic Korean Friendship Bell in San Pedro before heading back to Torrance.
7. Places to Eat in Torrance California
— King’s Hawaiian Bakery and Restaurant, Torrance
I found a place with King’s Hawaiian bread French Toast in Conejo Valley but eating the original was a real treat. King’s Hawaiian Bakery and Restaurant also offers omelettes, Loco Moco, and other breakfast items but I came for the French Toast. They also serve lunch and dinner and have an onsite bakery (yum!).
— Local Kitchen, Old Town Torrance
In Old Town Torrance is a restaurant jewel called Local Kitchen. They offer creative takes on classic American dishes and cocktails. I had to try the Chicken and Waffles with Sriracha maple syrup.
— Charles McCool ✈️ (@CharlesMcCool) November 4, 2017
— Madre Oaxacan Restaurant and Mescaleria
We had absolutely amazing mole and carnitas fajitas dishes at Madre in Old Town Torrance. Some of the best we have had, anywhere.
— Eat at Rudy’s
Start your day with an old school breakfast experience in Old Torrance. Eat at Rudy’s is across the street from the Torrance Historical Society and serves basic delicious yumminess. Fresh out of the oven biscuits sit on the counter to tempt you. Treat yourself and order one!
— Torrance Craft Breweries: Where to Drink in South Bay
Torrance is home to a dozen craft breweries and we visited a few. Smog City Brewing and Strand Brewing are small scale craft beer places worth a visit. The Dudes Brewing Company wins the best beer flight board award, right?
— Uncle Bill’s Pancake House, Manhattan Beach
Drive PCH back to LAX airport and allow time for breakfast at Uncle Bill’s Pancake House in Manhattan Beach. Wait for an amazing patio seat and enjoy some delicious, fresh food. I splurged on the pure maple syrup because pancakes deserve it! Johnny Jet told me to try Uncle Bill’s and I made sure to find his photo on the inside wall.
8. Where to Stay in Torrance
We stayed at the Courtyard by Marriott, on Sepulveda near Crenshaw. I loved the spacious room, balcony overlooking the pool, and palm treed courtyard. It is in a great location, centrally located in Torrance and easy to get to the beaches, on the Harbor Freeway (110), and only a few minutes from Old Town Torrance. Plus it is across the street from King’s Hawaiian and graced us with a rainbow during our visit. The property is listed as Courtyard Los Angeles Torrance/Palos Verdes so you do not mix it up with other Courtyard hotels.
Another great Torrance lodging option is vacation rentals, including condos, apartments, and houses.
What are some of your favorite things to do in Torrance California?
For more information about visiting Torrance, see 12 Hour Stopover, Long Beach California.