For now, forget about all of the other Southern California attractions like Hollywood; Universal Studios; Disneyland; etc. and focus on the natural ones—the Beach, the Ocean and the Sun.
This tour, the first one headed south to an area known by Southern Californians as the Southbay, will take you from LAX to Redondo Beach; however, it won’t have many of the well-known California landmarks along the route.
Why? Because this is mother nature’s California.
To set the mood for this tour, check out the Top Ten Beach and Surf Classics and perhaps, listen to them as you experience the sights known to cause millions to flock to the California shores.
From the LAX Transit Center, you will board the Beach CitiesTransit Line #109. Your first main stop will be at the Greenline Station (another major public transit center) at Aviation Blvd and 116th.; After you cross Sepulveda Blvd. (near the intersection of Imperial Hwy.), look to the right and you will see the southern end of LAX. If you’re lucky, you just might get a close-up view of an airplane taking off.; On the left is the northern end of the city of El Segundo. (El Segundo means the Second in Spanish. The second refinery in California. The first refinery is in Richmond.); The bus circles through this city and takes you once again to Sepulveda Blvd., which leads to one of the Southbay’s newest shopping centers called Plaza El Segundo. Currently, there are only two bus stops in this Plaza. (Southbound stop—behind the Sur La Table store and on the opposite side of the street is the northbound stop.) This shopping center is not pedestrian friendly; however, if you feel energetic, stop and shop.; As you exit the shopping center, your bus continues south on Sepulveda Blvd. and makes a right turn on Rosecrans (headed west). If you look to the left as the bus turns, you can get a glimpse of the Manhattan Beach Mall.
Within moments of making the right turn, you will experience an unusual scent. If you’ve never had the pleasure of inhaling the natural aroma of the ocean, then you are in for a treat. There’s nothing quite like it.
At the intersection of Rosecrans and Highland, just before the bus makes a left turn to head south, look straight ahead to get your first view of the Pacific Ocean.; several shops are located between Highland and 32nd; The area between 26th and 27th streets is a landmark called Bruce’s Beach. The land, which is now a park, was once owned by an African-American family from 1912 thru the 1920’s. The Bruce family was forced to surrender their land to the government through eminent domain.*; The area from Highland and 15th through Highland and Manhattan Beach Blvd. provides several shopping opportunities.; As the bus turns left on to Manhattan Ave., look straight ahead (west) and at the end of Manhattan Beach Blvd., you will see the Manhattan Beach Pier.; After the bus turns on to Manhattan Ave., it will put you one block closer to the ocean and you will see more shops that extend up to 7th street.; 10th St. and Manhattan Avenue is a good location to get off and experience the ocean.
Manhattan Beach ends at 1st St. and Hermosa Beach begins at Neptune St..
As the bus curves to the right and intersects with Hermosa Avenue, you will once again come another block closer to the beach. The closest you will come to the ocean and the beach on this tour is in this beach city. The bus stop at Hermosa Ave and 22nd is a perfect location to exit the bus and walk down to the beach. At this point, the ocean is very close. If you decide to get off your tour and explore the beach in one of these cities, access to the ocean is better during your southbound trip. (Go ahead. Feel the sand between your toes. Get your feet wet. Just remember to take a towel and a change of clothes in case more than your feet gets wet.) The stop at 17th Court will also get you closer to the beach and the ocean and the shops are from 14th St. thru 8th St.; At the intersection of Hermosa Ave. and Pier Ave. (on the right) is the Hermosa Beach Pier.; An additional bus stop that will take you closer to the beach is at 11th St.; Hermosa Beach ends and Redondo Beach begins at Herondo St.
From Herondo through Portfino Way/Beryl St. (on the right) is the King Harbor Marina; From Beryl, the bus curves upward on to Catalina Ave.; At the intersection of Catalina and Torrance Blvd. is the Redondo Beach Pier. This is the largest and one of the best piers in the beach cities; therefore, (if time permits), you might want to get off the bus and explore this one.; On Catalina Ave. between Ruby and Sapphire streets (on the west side of the street) are examples of several California Craftsman/Bungalow style homes.; As your bus travels south on Catalina Ave., it makes a left turn onto Avenue I which is the beginning of an area called Riviera Plaza. This area is composed of Catalina Ave. on the west, Pacific Coast Highway on the east, Palos Verdes Blvd. on the south and Avenue I on the north. This Plaza is host to restaurants, shops and various types of businesses. The southern portion of Riviera Plaza is where your tour ends. You might consider exploring this area if you find yourself hungry or you just want to stretch your legs. In fact, you can walk west to Catalina Ave. and explore the shops in this area. There are bus stops along Catalina Ave. where you can connect with your bus in case you don’t want to walk back to the end/bus layover point.
You should know:
- *Bruce’s Beach
- The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the world’s five oceans.
- Manhattan Beach was named after Manhattan in New York City.
- Hermosa means beautiful in Spanish.
- Redondo means round in Spanish. Redondo Beach is divided into North Redondo Beach (Inland) and South Redondo Beach (the western section).
- On the return (northbound) portion of this tour, the bus route changes as you cross Sepulveda at Rosecrans. Your bus continues east on Rosecrans and makes a left turn on to Douglas St. where it’s possible to connect with the Green Line at a small public transit turn around spot. From here, the bus heads back west to Sepulveda and continues on its route back to LAX.
- This tour is perfect for those who’ve never seen or experienced the ocean/beach and for those who love the beach.
- The Beach Cities Transit Line #109 uses a smaller capacity style public transit bus and although the ride is a little bumpy; the seats are more comfortable than the typical public transit bus seats.
- The fare is $1.00 per ride and a one-way tour takes approximately one hour.
For more information:
Beach Cities Transit www.Metro.net Bruce’s Beach City Park
Other beach cities/communities: Santa Monica and Venice
Disclaimer: This information is subject to change without notice.
Venture all; see what fate brings. —-Vietnamese Proverb