When it comes to outdoor recreation, South Bay has a lot to offer. A golfing mecca, however, it is not. But if hitting the links is your preference to unwind outdoors, South Bay has some options, a handful which are within driving (in your vehicle, of course) distance. A number of public, nine-hole courses are available to tee up, and if nothing else you will likely enjoy cooler weather, sea breezes and un-crowded courses as you work on your swing.

The Lakes at El Segundo is a municipal 27-par course known as one of the better executive courses in Los Angeles. A small course that is well maintained, you can work on your short game and get in and out quickly. It also offers a driving range, putting green and chipping area for practice.

The Marriott Golf Course in Manhattan Beach is well maintained and rarely crowded, as it is tucked behind the rear of the hotel and a residential neighborhood. Also a nine-hole known as a great practice course that is more challenging, it’s lined with Palm Trees and ends in a water feature at Lake Kathleen.

The Sea-Aire Golf Course in Torrance is another municipal nine hole, 27 par pitch and putt. Open since 1957, it’s an older track that is inexpensive and great for beginners and kids. The longest hole is 84 yards, so you will be in and out in an hour or less.

If you want to play 18 holes, Chester Washington Golf Course is the closest option, a par 70 course located in Gardena and owned by the city of Los Angeles. Like most public courses, it can get crowded and backed up on weekends. The course offers wide, tree-lined rolling fairways and is suitable for all skill levels.

Located in nearby Lawndale, Alondra Golf Course is a municipal 18-hole course that offers a par 71 and par 54 tracks at the same location. While online reviews for are mixed, Alondra is inexpensive and the practice facilities include a driving range, multiple putting greens and an area for chipping, pitching, and bunker practice.

 
Whether you're looking for a quiet escape with your partner or a fun family day out, a picnic could be just the ticket! Take in the day and find a nice place to rest, spend some time with those you love, and eat some good packed food while you’re at it. Once you've got your basket packed, consider these three prime spots to lay your checkered blanket in Manhattan Beach: Polliwog Park, the Manhattan Beach Pier, and Bruce’s Beach.

Polliwog Park
Polliwog Park offers many fun activities and diverse areas to lay your blanket down.  Find a place by the pond and feed some of the roaming ducks, or find a spot in the amphitheater or playground area.  Stretch out on the grass and be able to breathe in this safe environment.  Outdoor BBQ grills are also available if you’re feeling more fancy.  During the summer, people opt for a picnic dinner as they watch a performance by Shakespeare by the Sea or enjoy one of the Concerts in the Park.

Features of Polliwog Park:

  • three gazebos
  • amphitheater
  • picnic area with BBQ’s
  • pool
  • playground (includes one for older and three for smaller children)
  • botanical garden
  • 9-hole disc golf course
  • dog run
  • curbside parking is available along Redondo Avenue and Manhattan Beach Boulevard


Location:
Corner of Redondo Ave. and Manhattan Beach Blvd.

Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

Manhattan Beach & Pier
The actual beach of Manhattan Beach offers an expansive view of the ocean, and a lot of space to find a place to picnic.  If you’re not feeling like making food yourself, you can grab some to-go from one of the many restaurants located along Manhattan Beach Boulevard (the street going down to the pier) or on any of the off-shoot streets.  The beach offers an ocean to cool down in on a hot day, a terrific sunset view for a romantic dinner, or a place to play volleyball and other games on the sand with your family and friends.  You can also bike and enjoy a ride on the strand or, if driving, you can find one of the spots at the many parking meters nearby.

Location:
400-500 The Strand

Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

(310) 399-8471

Bruce’s Beach
Bruce’s “Beach” is technically a park that is situated on the sloping grassy hillside leading down to Manhattan’s beach area.  The oldest park site in Manhattan Beach, it includes park benches, a small basketball half-court, and a lot of trees and shady areas to enjoy the view that you’ll be facing.  It’s one of the prime spots to watch a South Bay sunset.

Location:
Highland and 27th Street
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

 
Redondo Beach is full of things to do, but finding something the whole family can enjoy can be a chore. Adults and children of all ages can appreciate the hands-on activities at the SEA Lab, owned and operated by the Los Angeles Conservation Corps.

Committed to educating local schools and the community on the importance of protecting marine life and our oceans, the SEA Lab has a number of educational packages for schools and field trips alike. During the summer they even offer a summer camp program which can be a low cost alternative to other more expensive camps.

Let’s face it, kids dig the ocean and they'll love an afternoon at SEA Lab! Entry is by a $2 recommended donation.

For more information about The SEA Lab and all it has to offer, check out their webpage and plan your next outing.

Details:
The SEA Lab is located at
1021 N. Harbor Drive,
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Metered parking is available across the street on Yacht Club Way. 

Suggested donation of $2.00 per person or $4.00 per family.

SEA Lab hours of operation are as follows:

Tuesday - Friday: 9:00AM - 3:30PM

Saturday: 10:00AM - 4:00PM

We are closed every Monday & Sunday.

Hands-on facility tours are offered:
Tuesday - Friday at 1:00PM, 2:00PM and 3:00PM
Saturday: 10:00AM, 11:00AM, 12:15PM, 1:00PM, 2:00PM and 3:00PM


Join us every Saturday at 12:00PM for a public fish feeding! For $2.00 per tray of food, you can help feed our fish in our tidepool tank! Trays are subject to availability and are sold on a first-come, first served basis.


Groups of 10 or more should schedule a private tour ahead of time by calling 310-318-7438.
 
Looking out over the Pacific Ocean, amid a lush garden and surrounded by trees, Wayfarers Chapel resides in Rancho Palos Verdes. Made almost entirely of glass, the chapel allows visitors to look through its walls and take in all the nature surrounding it, including the ocean view.  Whether religious or not, the beauty of Wayfarers Chapel is for everyone to experience.

Completed in 1951, Wayfarers Chapel is the work of Lloyd Wright, son of pioneering architect Frank Lloyd Wright. It’s attributes were inspired by the theology of the Swedenborgian Church (which it is sponsored by) that focuses on connecting God’s natural world and the inner world of mind and spirit.

Wright saw the trees of the redwood forest and wanted to create a “tree chapel.”  While it is known as the “glass church,” the trees surrounding the chapel are a very prominent feature and are seen through the glass, forming living walls and a roof.

It is called “wayfarers” as an attribute to the travelers who could come and rest here.  Originally, when there weren’t freeways and easy road access, the travel to this church could take an entire day.  It is still applicable today even though it is more easily accessed, since we are all traveler’s to get to the church.  As Reverend Harvey Tafel says, we are also all traveler’s on the journey of life.

The chapel performs weddings, baptisms, and other services along with worship services.  In addition, they have a garden and visitor’s center for anyone that would like to stop by and see the chapel, taking in all the beauty that resides in and around it.
 
Have you watched the Olympics beach volleyball games and wondered, “How did they get to be that good? ” Maybe you’ve even thought that you don’t have a chance of playing beach volleyball without embarrassing yourself since you can’t get the ball over the net.  For those in this situation, and for those that are just looking to improve their beach volleyball skills, don’t worry.  There is hope.

South Bay Volleyball began in 1997, training players to shape up and step up. Their experienced coaches hold classes, private lessons, jump training and leagues for interest players of all skill levels. Their latest program focuses on injury prevention, development of stronger cardio, balance, core strength, agility, and reaction training all specific to beach volleyball.

It’s a chance to enjoy playing with others who have the same passion and drive to learn and be better players, and to gain some of those skills and techniques that you’ve been watching.

Check their website and facebook for up-to-date class schedules and information.
 
For years people have been talking about those small communities in lands far, far away with centenarians who live in abject poverty with little to no health care…yet, somehow they are the happiest and healthiest people on the planet. Some say these people are considered lucky, even chosen.

Whatever you would like to call them, we know better now. It is not so much the people themselves that are unique but its how they live their lives as a community that really makes the difference. We call these collections of healthy humans, Blue Zones. This is not just  your typical group of gym buffs and protein blasting iron pumpers, no. This is a movement of people dedicated to a simple yet satisfying lifestyle, that has proven to improve the quality and quantity of your life.

So what is the Blue Zone Project exactly? It’s a community wellness initiative designed to improve the health and well being of your community by permanently changing the environment, policies, and social networks to create a happier and healthier place to live.

You might say ‘this all sounds great but fundamentally changing your very way of life sounds downright impossible.’ You’d be surprised at how simple it is to change with these steps to success the Blue Zone mentors call, The Power 9. These are 9 ways to simplify your life while improving your health and wellness and its gaining traction everywhere. The South Bay was one of the first areas in California to adopt this initiative and as a result, many local communities are following in their footsteps, perhaps even in your local community.

If you like the idea of improving your health and the health of your local community, you can learn more about the initiative and sign up at the Blue Zone Project’s web site, take the pledge and move forward with becoming a happier and healthier individual while helping bring your community with you on the road to wellness.

If you want to track the progress of your local community, check out Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.
 
Picture
Named Best Surf Spot in Los Angles in 2011 by LA Weekly, North Manhattan Beach (historically known as El Porto) provides the vistas typically associated with sunny southern California‚ complete with white sand, iconic lifeguard stands, volleyball courts, a snack shack, outdoor showers and a bike path. An underwater canyon creates some of the best surfing opportunities in the South Bay. 

The name change came from the Manhattan Beach City Council circa 2007 which cleaned up the image of the area previously known for hard partying ways of the 70s and 80s. While the quality of the area improved‚ the name change was mostly ignored by South Bay locals who still largely refer to the beach as El Porto. 

Only a short jaunt from LAX, visitors should take Lincoln Boulevard south to Imperial west to Vista Del Mar south. There a huge metered lot adjacent to the beach and patience will typically score you a spot. 

El Porto Beach / North Manhattan Beach
Intersection of Vista Del Mar and 45th St.
(310) 372-2166

Compass Realty Group