Fun Things to Do in Torrance California

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.

welcome sign in torrance California. Article ad photo by Charles McCool for McCool Travel
welcome sign in Torrance California. photo credit: Julie from FuninFairfaxVA.com

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.

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

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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.

a fun place to visit in Los Angeles is Madrona Marsh Preserve
a fun place to visit in Los Angeles is Madrona Marsh Preserve

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.

Western Museum of Flight in Torrance is fun for all ages
Western Museum of Flight in Torrance is fun for all ages

Many questions. What do these dials mean? Am I wearing proper footwear? What aircraft is this? Correct guess of the last…

Posted by Charles McCool on Saturday, November 4, 2017

 

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.

Alpine Village is a fun place to visit in South Bay
Alpine Village is a fun place to visit in South Bay

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.

things to do in Torrance California. Article and photo by Charles McCool for McCool Travel
Torrance County Beach is a fun place to visit in South Bay CA
Mile 0.0 of The Strand in Southern California. photo credit: Julie from FuninFairfaxVA.com
Mile 0.0 of The Strand in Southern California. photo credit: Julie from FuninFairfaxVA.com

Near Torrance CA: 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.

Palos Verdes amazingness. ????✌️

Posted by Charles McCool on Saturday, November 4, 2017

 

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.

For excellent fish tacos in Palos Verdes, see 8 Great Amazing Fish Tacos in US

rough road ahead at Portuguese Bend, Palos Verdes, California
rough road ahead at Portuguese Bend, Palos Verdes, California

Visit the magnificent and historic Korean Friendship Bell in San Pedro before heading back to Torrance.

Korean Friendship Bell in San Pedro California
Korean Friendship Bell in San Pedro California

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!).

Go ahead. Be jealous. Aloha from King's Hawaiian Bakery and Restaurant. Yes, an actual restaurant operated by King's Hawaiian. Goodness.Discover Torrance Visitors BureauVisit California

Posted by Charles McCool on Saturday, November 4, 2017

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.

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.

Madre Oaxacan Restaurant is an excellent Old Torrance restaurant
Madre Oaxacan Restaurant is an excellent Old Torrance restaurant

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!

South Bay CA restaurants: Eat at Rudy's in Old Torrance
South Bay CA restaurants: Eat at Rudy’s in Old Torrance

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?

things to do in Torrance California. Article and photo by Charles McCool for McCool Travel
The Dudes Brewing Company is a great place to drink in Torrance California

See also Great Craft Beer Places to Celebrate in USA

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.

classic Southern California breakfast at Uncle Bill's Pancake House in Manhattan Beach
classic Southern California breakfast at Uncle Bill’s Pancake House in Manhattan Beach

Where to Stay in Torrance

Courtyard by Marriott

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.

rainbow over Courtyard Marriott in Torrance
rainbow over Courtyard Marriott in Torrance

Good morning from Courtyard by Marriott Los Angeles Torrance/Palos Verdes. What is on your schedule today? What…

Posted by Charles McCool on Monday, November 6, 2017

 

Another lodging option is vacation rentals, including condos, apartments, and houses. >>> To receive $40 off your first Airbnb rental, use this Airbnb discount code.

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.

Things To Do in Torrance California was originally published on McCool Travel on 29 November 2017.

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