Credit: James Kao

How to Spend a Sun-Kissed Summer Day in LA’s South Bay

From Farmers Markets to Rooftop Cocktails, Here Are 9 Things to Do in South Bay This Summer

South Bay—the part of Los Angeles County that spans El Segundo down to San Pedro and the Palos Verdes Peninsula—is a bit of an under-the-radar region, with the exception of its popular coastal features. We think the area warrants more attention, and not only because of its picturesque shores. With a slew of new restaurants and cafes, there’s lots of places to dine and unwind, and that’s only the beginning. To get you started on planning your next South Bay weekend, here are some ideas for things to do—from music festivals to shopping and rooftop cocktails!

 

Dine at Esperanza in Manhattan Beach

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Things to Do in South Bay
Credit: James Kao

Esperanza opened in 2021 in Manhattan Beach, just a few blocks from the sand. The restaurant is a stunner, with an eye-catching white exterior designed by an Icelandic architect. Aside from the contemporary Scandinavian design, Esperanza’s interior is inspired by Mexico’s beach destinations. Imagine warm, neutral tones and a menu that offers a twist on traditional Sonoran recipes. The food and drink menu is upscale, featuring dishes like Relleno de Langosta y Camaron, Prawns Diablo and an entire section devoted to raw fish and seafood. There are also plenty of meat and vegetarian options, like the queso fundito flameado and potato taquitos.  And when it comes to libations, choose from more than a dozen types of margaritas, or go classic with an ice-cold Corona Extra. Nothing says summertime quite like tacos and a refreshing Corona!

 

Breakfast at Baran’s 2239

Things to Do in South Bay
Credit: Baran’s 2239

Yes, we are recommending a neighborhood bistro for breakfast burritos. Baran’s 2239 is a family-owned bistro in Hermosa Beach that started serving up breakfast burritos on weekends during the pandemic. The burritos have become so popular that they now sell over 1,000 of them each weekend! Their signature burrito menu includes bacon, chorizo or a no-meat option, and they’re served on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings. Or get there early on Friday for the rotating special burrito (one of the recent specials featured Kurobuta ham). While they accept walk-ins, we recommend ordering in advance; otherwise, prepare yourself for a long wait. 

 

Free Yoga on the Redondo Beach Pier

Credit: kike vega

What’s better than free yoga? Free yoga with an ocean view! The Redondo Beach Pier hosts free outdoor yoga every second Saturday of the month starting at 10 a.m., and it’s open to all levels. The sessions are usually held on the Fisherman’s Wharf at the west end of the pier. In September only, they’re also hosting a free evening yoga class on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. Bring your own yoga mat, towel and water, and get ready to get down, dog!

 

Hermosa Beach Farmers Market

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The Hermosa Beach Farmers Market is a local favorite, running on Fridays from noon-4 p.m. all year-round. You can count on plenty of fresh produce, including the famous Harry’s Berries, but even if you aren’t shopping to stock your kitchen, there are plenty of food and beverage vendors for instant eats. You’ll find coffee from Gardena-based Haya Coffee; baked goods from Tommy & Atticus; ube horchata from Healthy & Hydrated; even handmade tamales and shaved ice. There is free two-hour parking on Valley Drive—an added incentive to eat your veggies!

 

 

Brunch at Un Caffe Altamura

Unlike the very American tradition of grabbing coffee on the go, Un Caffe Altamura invites guests to savor a cup of coffee, perhaps over brunch with friends. The menu is largely sourced from the farmers market and stands out as simple yet classic. They feature California staples like avocado toast, as well as French-inspired egg and brioche plates. The owner, Alexa Altamura, is Italian American; she takes pride in her use of the Caffè Vergnano 1882 Blend, which comes from the oldest roastery in Italy. There is also a wine list, mostly with French selections, for those who want to get a buzz on with their brunch.

 

BeachLife Ranch Festival

Credit: JP Cordero

BeachLife Ranch Festival combines country and Americana music with the largest beach party in Southern California. The festival returns to Redondo Beach from Sept. 22 to 24 with a lineup that includes Jack Johnson, Wynonna Judd and the Doobie Brothers, the latter of which is taking part in their 50th anniversary tour. Since this is a country music festival, you can expect delicious barbecue eats and plenty of other food and drink options. Tickets start at $179 for one day and $429 for a three-day pass. Parking is limited in the area, and the festival is popular, so we recommend taking rideshares.

 

Acai Bowl at Paradise Bowls

Credit: Eiliv Aceron

Somehow, acai bowls have become an iconic way to enjoy a beach day in recent years. Thanks to their unique blends, Paradise Bowls offers some of the most popular acai bowls in the South Bay. We recommend the California Greens bowl—full of kale, spinach, pitaya and other fruits—for the fitness-minded among you. Paradise Bowls first opened in Manhattan Beach in 2013 and has since expanded to two more locations (Hermosa Beach and Irvine), yet they still maintain a family-owned vibe that matches well with South Bay’s community feel.

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Drinks at Flora Rooftop Lounge

 

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There aren’t a lot of rooftop bars and restaurants in El Segundo, which makes the garden rooftop at the AC Hotel uniquely special. This sky-high social lounge features a whimsical space replete with a long central fire table, lush greenery and city views. Kick back with a cocktail or enjoy some of the shareable dishes like garlic parmesan wings or crispy cauliflower. Flora Rooftop Lounge is also perfect for a relaxing glass of wine before or after dinner.

 

Summer Concerts at Manhattan Village

Things to Do in South Bay
Credit: Manhattan Village

Listening to live music outdoors is one of the best ways to spend a summer evening, and it’s even better when the concerts are gratis! Manhattan Village is holding a free concert series at The Plaza, taking place every Thursday from 6-8 p.m. until Aug. 31. Plus, if you spend $50 at any store or restaurant in the center on the day of the concert, you’ll get a free Manhattan Village picnic blanket. There’s no outside food or beverage allowed, so be sure to eat at one of the many great restaurants before you head to the concert.

 

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