The Strand and Its Piers: Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo Pier
Stretching from North Manhattan Beach to Torrance Beach is the famous concrete path known as ‘The Strand’. The official name of the bike path is The Marvin Braude Bike Trail which is 22 miles long, beginning in Santa Monica, California and ending at Torrance Beach; yet, the pedestrian path where locals and tourists walk, skateboard, roller skate, and scooter begins in North Manhattan at El Porto and ends at Torrance Beach. The Strand moves with the land all along the pristine coastline. While being a shared pathway, part of The Strand is designated Bike Only and Pedestrian Only, intermittently weaving in-and-out.
Along The Strand, one can merely enjoy vistas of the sparkling Pacific Ocean and sandy beaches, or stop off for refreshment and entertainment along the way. One may also delight in viewing the oceanfront homes up and down the path that include some of the most expensive real estate in the United States.
Manhattan Beach Pier
The picturesque Manhattan Beach Pier is part of what makes the landscape so recognizable. This historic pier was declared a landmark in 1995 and is officially the oldest standing concrete pier on the West Coast. At its pinnacle is The Roundhouse Marine Studies Lab and Aquarium that includes a shark tank and tide pool touch tank, along with many other tanks and interactive features within the circular shape building.
Other activities centered around the pier are fishing and surfing. Fish commonly found here include barred surfperch, Pacific mackerel, barracuda, sea bass, or even yellowtail, to name a few. Meanwhile, since the 1940’s surfing near the pier has been a coveted privilege and rather protected by the typical surf hierarchy found in some Southern California locals-only spots.
Just up from the Pier, along Manhattan Beach Boulevard, are oodles of great restaurants, cocktail bars, boutiques, and ice cream shops. One can have an ‘old Manhattan Beach’ experience at the tiki style Shell Back bar, or dine in one of the award-winning restaurants like Fishing With Dynamite or The Arthur J.
Hermosa Beach Pier
Featured in the Hollywood blockbuster hit, La La Land, the Hermosa Beach pier is as long as it is famous at 1,000 feet in length. Filled with fishermen and sight-seers on a daily basis, this spot is a great place to take in awesome views of Catalina Island, Malibu, and the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
Unique to the other South Bay Piers is the pedestrian-only promenade locally known as the “Hermosa Pier”. This palm tree lined promenade is dotted with restaurants, cafes, sports bars, and a variety of shopping experiences.
Redondo Beach Pier
The Redondo Beach Pier stretches out over Pacific with multiple connecting arms. Filled with restaurants old and new, from the classic seafood joint Tony’s On the Pier or the classic Hot Dog on a Stick, to more well-known spots like El Torito and Kincaid’s. One thing they all have in common is the command of amazing ocean views for which their clientele may savor.
An epicenter for fresh fish, one can find fish markets at mainstays like Captain Kidd’s or the Pacific Fish Center. Enjoy a schooner of beer and freshly prepared fish before taking the kids to the arcade for a day of fun riding classic rickety fair rides and playing games.
Fishing and whale watching are a big part of the scene at the Redondo Pier. Dozens of folks fish from the pier here in Redondo, as well as charter boats for deep sea fishing trips through various proprietors along the pier and its marina. The Redondo Beach Whale Watch and Nature Cruise Boat rides are an example of one of the boat tours offerings riders close-up views of Gray Whales, Humpbacks, and other wildlife like sharks, dolphins, seals, sea lions, and flying fish.