Discovering Torrance: A Southern California Gem

Located just down the road from the popular Manhattan, Hermosa, and Redondo Beaches, you will find the best beach in Southern California. Torrance Beach is just a sliver of the SoCal shoreline. At only one and a half miles long, it is truly a hidden gem. This lifeguard protected stretch of sand has plenty of parking with easy access down to the beach. Unlike its predecessors to the north, there are no crowds. This is is how we found in on a warm, sunny Saturday in the fall.

Torrance Beach

RAT Beach is located its southernmost tip. At the foot of the Palos Verdes cliffs, this pristine section of the beach is a favorite among surfers. It is aptly named after its location. RAT stands for Right After Torrance.

Torrance Beach in Southern California

Torrance Beach is also the starting point for Southern California’s coastal bike trail, The Strand. This flat bike path goes all the way up to Will Rodgers State Beach. Round trip is approximately about forty miles. Definitely a good work out with great views.

Where to Stay in Torrance

Hotel near the Best Beach in Southern California

Torrance has more than a dozen or so hotels to choose from. There is an assortment of lodging choices in the area to fit all budgets. The Torrance Marriott Redondo Beach is situated in a prime spot though for exploring all of Torrance.

Located just ten miles south of the Los Angeles Airport. It is just far enough away from the hustle of LA that you feel like you are on a beach vacation. Guests can relax at their indoor/outdoor pool or at the nearby sandy white beaches.

Torrance Marriott Redondo Beach

What to Do

Just across the street from the Marriott is the Del Amo Fashion Center. It is the third largest shopping center in America. All three levels are brimming with upscale shops. The mall’s anchor stores include Nordstrom, Macy’s, Zara and H&M. There are plenty of smaller boutiques as well like like Kate Spade, Guess, Free People, Lucky Brand and more. You could easily spend a full day here. There is a movie theater, outdoor space and over twenty places to eat.

Del Amo Fashion Center

More things to do in Torrance:

Where to Eat

Breakfast – If sweets are your thing grab a pastry and a cup of coffee at the Torrance Bakery in the historic section of downtown. From the moment you step into the shop, sugary goodness swirls through the air. Their buttermilk stick, a cross between a donut and a churro, is a local favorite. Torrance BakeryTorrance Bakery

Lunch – Also located in Old Town Torrance, you will find the Red Car Brewery. Named after California’s Red Car Line this pub serves casual fare and alongside a selection of their signature English style ales. All of their beers are brewed in-house. Their classic ales are available year-round while they rotate a choice of season beers. Check out what is on tap before you go.

Red Car Brewery South Bay

Red Car Brewery Torrance California

Dinner -After a long day of shopping relax for a great meal at Brio Coastal Bar & Kitchen. It is located within the Del Amo Fashion Center. They have a beautiful outdoor dining space. Make a reservation for a high-top bar table or for the cozy couches around the fire pit.

Brio Coastal Bar and Kitchen

Other Restaurant Suggestions:

If you are heading north of Los Angeles during a California vacation check out our adventures in the Conejo Valley. With so much to see and do in Southern California, you will likely enjoy exploring this area as well.

Disclosure: Complimentary accommodations, meals, transportation, and some activities were provided by Discover Torrance. No other compensation was received for this review. This post reflects the honest opinion of my experience without outside influence.

Commenting area

  1. Wow, I have never even heard of this SoCal Beach. Next time I am there I will definatly check it out. It looks beautifl and I love the fact it was not crowded like most of the nice beaches.

  2. I love finding beaches like these… almost deserted 🙂 A crowded beach is enough for me to turn around and leave. Great guide to visiting this hidden treasure!

  3. A friend of mine lives in Torrance. I didn’t know it has this gorgeous 1.5 mile beach and Del Amo Fashion Center, the third largest shopping center in America. I will schedule a visit with her!

  4. I’m not really a beach person, but this looks idyllic because it is so quiet. I love the idea of the bike ride along the coast though! Might be in this area next summer so will definitely check it out.

    • Dana Freeman November 19, 2018 at 6:30 pm · · Reply

      You could easily start your bike ride up in Hermosa Beach, pick up lunch along the way and make Torrance your destination for the day. It is a great little hidden spot.

  5. I have never consider Torrance for a beach visit. But, now it is on the list. I love that it is less busy than some of the other SoCal beaches. I like having a more secluded spot. I also had no idea that Torrance boasted the third largest shopping center in America. It seems Torrance is a hidden gem in Southern California.

  6. A SoCal beach that doesn’t have crowds?!? That sounds like paradise!! And your restaurant suggestions sound lovely too – I’ve never had a churro paired with coffee before! Yum!

  7. It’s great that there are no crowds and one can access the beach easily – I was sold from the moment I read this 🙂

  8. I used to live in LA and never made it down to Torrance. Looks like I was missing out! I also had no idea that the Del Amo Fashion Center is the third largest shopping center in America. That bakery looks delicious too.

  9. I love the beach, and will definitely be checking out Torrance the next time I am in LA! I also appreciate that you highlighted other non-beach activities in the area: the mall looks like the perfect location to pop into in case a rainy day interrupts one’s beach vacation!

  10. I’m all about less crowded beaches. Nice to know there is one so close to LA airport. I so want to try one of those buttermilk sticks!

  11. I love little coastal towns like this! I’d definitely be hitting up Torrance bakery! I’ve never stayed at a Marriott but I’ve heard good things about them, they seem like a good option wherever you are!

  12. Wow, I’ve lived in California most of my adult life and had never heard of this beach. The beach looks lovely and well kept up and there don’t seem to be a lot of people which is great. Also would love to Have breakfast at the Torrance Bakery and try that Buttermilk stick!

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