Nine miles from Los Angles International Airport.
Take the Metro Green Line to Redondo Beach Station.
Hopkins Wilderness Park
What a great use for an old missile site! The park used to be a Nike radar site during the Cold War. It was the IFC (Integrated Flight Control) radar site for Nike-Ajax LA-57, one of sixteen Nike sites that formed a protective ring around Los Angeles from the 1950s to the 1970s.
Now it is home to ducks, turtles, rabbits and other small creatures. Some finding they way there, others abandoned. The kiddos will love it, and there are picnic areas scatterred around the park -- some near the two ponds.
In South Redondo Beach up against the Palos Verdes hills. Away from the hustle and crowded feel of Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach. Originally called Hollywood Riviera because so many of Hollywood came there to escape, it now has a more European feel to it. Some great place to grab a bite to eat, or if you want to grab some food and walk to the beach, stop in to Trader Joes. The Village is basically a triangle with the water on the west side, PCH on the east side, and Palos Verdes Drive along the south side. The beaches here are less crowded and parking is pretty easy. You can pay at meters along the Esplanade or drive a few blocks inland and park for free.
Run the steps (all 72 of them) at Avenue C on the Esplanade. The view is impressive and you'll have plenty of company from sun-up to sun-down. Watch dolphins playing in the waves just off shore.
On hot dry days in Los Angeles, the beach area has amazingly cool and clean air, and is less crowded than the beaches between Santa Monica and Malibu.
Redondo's King Harbor has many restaurants, a boardwalk with shops and an arcade, and a large pier with great views. Location is at the west end of Torrance Blvd. Plenty of parking, in shade (nice in Summer)
Several miles further south is Riviera Village, a charming little shopping and eating district. As property values have soared in the area, the Village has "Yuppified", but retains its small seaside feel. Location is along Catalina Avenue and Vista Del Mar streets. Interestingly, only one of these shops has seating outside where one can actually view the ocean. It's at the NW corner of Catalina Avenue and I street.
Between the above 2 locations along the Esplanade (street) offers great ocean views and access to a superb stretch of beach.
Old Tony's - The original "Tony's" with the same great food & drinks. The atmosphere is a little more casual and not as quiet as Tony's Fish Market...ascend up the spiral staircase and gaze at the signed portaits of stars who have visited - then you have arrived at the Top o' Tony's - the unique hexagon bar - a fun place to watch the sunset and listen to some great guitar.
Only minutes away are Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, South Bay and the city of Torrance. Palos Verdes Drive West begins at the South end of Redondo and is a lovely scenic drive (about 10 miles long) along the Coast and through the beautiful Palos Verdes residential neighborhoods.