One of the best parts about living in Southern California is the weather. The closer you are to the beach the more likely the weather is going to be perfect. The area we live in is called the South Bay and we are only about a mile from the beach.
You can hit up malls, beaches, cute little shops, bike paths, parks and never drive on a freeway (unless you count Pacific Coast Highway, PCH).
The beach that we go to the most is Redondo Beach. There is a pier and a bike/running path. I often meet up with friends and run or walk the strand (the running path along the sand). And then after our run or walk let the kids get out and play. If it isn’t summer when friends come to visit, we go to the Redondo Beach Pier for dinner or a yummy treat. It is fun to walk along the pier and see the fun shops and watch the waves hit the rocks.
Biking along the shore
There is a bike path that connects Torrance all the way to Santa Monica. My husband and I have ridden it from Torrance to the end of Hermosa. Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend the city of Hermosa holds Fiesta Hermosa. We have gone a few times and the best way to explore the festival is to ride your bike down to the beach and park in the free bike parking. The only negative is that you don’t have a stroller, but with all the people a stroller is kind of hard to use anyways.
Right after Hermosa Beach is Manhattan Beach. There the bike path and the running path break off into two separate paths. While I trained for my half marathons I ran with my friend along the running path. You have to watch for tourists if you don’t get up early, but besides that it is a great place to run.
Manhattan Beach also has a pier with a small aquarium at the end. There are not any shops on the pier. There are plenty of places to shop and eat a short walk east of the pier in downtown Manhattan Beach.
The other great thing to do in the South Bay is visit one of the many Farmer’s Markets. My favorite one is at Veteran’s Park in Redondo Beach, near the pier. The parking meters fees are waived for the event and the view of the ocean can’t be beat. It is every Thursday from 8-1. I have also been to the farmers market in Manhattan Beach (Tuesdays) and Torrance, Wilson Park (Tuesday and Saturday).