Torrance is just a 15-minute Uber or Lyft ride from the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). There you will have the pleasure of discovering 1.5 miles of beach, 11 craft breweries, and over 200 acres of natural space to get lost in. Of course, that’s just skimming the surface for what this city in the South Bay has to offer.
I was invited down for the weekend by Discover Torrance to experience what a little staycation in Torrance would feel like. To my surprise it was much more than I expected. In fact, so much so that it left my wife and me brainstorming what exactly our next weekend down there would look like.
For this particular trip I decided to invite my best bud Lander down to enjoy the full day of activities we planned for Saturday. Here’s a breakdown of how Sarah, Lander, and myself enjoyed a fun-filled weekend in Torrance for just under $700.
Day 1: Encino to Torrance
Checking-in to the Redac Gateway Hotel
Our adventure began with the first of many Uber rides. A 40-minute drive from our home in Encino to our home away from home in Torrance. The Redac Gateway Hotel provides their guests with a comfortable stay in a prime location just minutes away from the ocean, shopping, food, and breweries.
I personally enjoyed their spacious rooms; more specifically their large bathrooms. Who doesn’t love a large shower?
Visit Discover Torrance’s ‘Where to Stay‘ to see what other hotels they recommend.
Come to Hey 19 Public House hungry!
Man, oh man, Hey 19 Public House was the perfect choice to start off our weekend in Torrance. Sarah and I are not picky when it comes to eating different types of foods, however we have developed a finer palate over the years and are quickly disappointed if we dine at a not-so-great restaurant. Luckily for us, we chose one Torrance late night spot wisely and were stoked with all the dishes we had.
Cocktail recommendations: Sarah and I rarely order the same drink out of fear of missing out on something else that may have been great. That’s why we asked our server what he recommends. We ended up with the #19 (House Infused Orange Bourbon, Fresh Lemon, Lime & Orange, Agave) and the Thyme & Thyme Again (Maker’s Mark Bourbon, 19Made Lemonade, It’s Thyme Honey, Muddled Lemon & Thyme Sprig). Both of which were bourbon-based and equally as lovely.
Food recommendations: Everything we ate at Hey 19 Public House was great. We ordered two appetizers and one entree to share. If you happen to visit, you must try the Jamie Jones (Tempura zucchini fries, sun dried tomato strips, house-made sriracha ranch), the So Good I Can’t Remember (Bacon wrapped tater tots stuffed with jalapeño, house-made sriracha ranch), and the Spicoli Burger (Harris Ranch farm beef, tater tot waffle, bacon, mac n’ cheese sauce).
Day 2: A full day’s worth of activities in Torrance
Breakfast at ‘Eat at Rudy’s’
They say that breakfast is the most important part of the day, so we started it off big at Eat at Rudy’s. Knowing I would be consuming quite a bit of food and alcohol on this trip, I decided to kick off my first meal with a black coffee and Rudy’s Healthy Quesadilla. I’m not quite sure the home fries made it very healthy, but the side of avocado slices I added made it more nutritious. Sarah got the French toast and I can confirm they were delicious!
About a half a mile away from Eat at Rudy’s was our next stop: Bowlero. I haven’t been bowling in so long, so we decided to burn a few hours bowling under the glowing black lights at this local hot spot. Known for their crazy food and drink menus, we opted for their Mega Mule, a 123 oz. behemoth of a drink normally made for 4 people.
Beer Flights at Smog City Brewery & Taproom
As previously mentioned, there are 11 craft breweries in Torrance. I would be lying to you if I said we chose Smog City Brewing Co. for any reason other than their name. With the very little time we had in Torrance we just picked the one spot we all agreed on wanting to try.
Each of us got our own flight of beers and did our best to try them all. My personal favorite, which was no surprise at all, was their Smog City IPA.
Del Amo Fashion Center
Whether you’re looking to do a bit of shopping or just grab a bite to eat, the Del Amo Fashion Center will have you covered. Known as South Bay’s premier retail destination, it features more than 200 stores, an Outdoor Village, and a wide variety of eateries. The Del Amo Fashion Center is the third largest shopping mall in America!
AMC Del Amo 18
Before or after you get your shopping on at the Del Amo Fashion Center, grab yourself a giant popcorn and kick your feet up at the AMC Del Amo 18. We took a break from our busy day of activities and finally watched the newest JK Rowling hit, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. I’m a huge Harry Potter nerd, so I didn’t mind taking a 2 hour break from exploring Torrance to watch a movie. It was a great way for us to refuel for our night activities, because they were sure to be a doozy.
We survived the Los Angeles Krampus Ball
I’ve heard great things about Torrance’s Christmas market, so I hoped that the dates we would be there would be during their annual event. Sadly, we were off by a weekend. But there was something equally as awesome happening on December 1st that I’ve never heard of before, and it was the Los Angeles Krampus Ball.
There’s a chance you have heard the story of Krampus before, the European folklore about an anthropomorphic figure that looks like a half-goat, half-demon, who punishes children that misbehaves during the Christmas season. Well, apparently once a year The Alpine Village is invaded by fans of the story and they get dressed up in their best Krampus garb and listen to heavy metal bands. Said bands are also in Krampus attire and most of their songs have some relation to the Krampus movement.
IT WAS A TRIP! We saw a Trump-Krampus and hundreds of horns. We felt left out being part of the few that weren’t dressed up.
Editor’s Note: Entry for the 2018 Los Angeles Krampus Ball was $30 USD. This only covered getting into the venue and nothing else. Beer steins you could take home were $8, with $5 refills. The food ranged from $6 bowls of soup to $17 Wiener schnitzel. Come prepared to spend a little extra money.
Dinner at The Alpine Village Restaurant
The Alpine Village is known for their Oktoberfest, so you can be sure you will find all of the sausage and sauerkraut your heart desires inside of The Alpine Village Restaurant. It’s a European-inspired Tavern after all, so you best believe they know how to do it right. Unfortuantely, our group was so hungry we forgot to take photos of our food, but here is what we had.
I ordered the giant german pretzel with mustard; my wife had the traditional sausage plate with sauerkraut; and my vegetarian friend, Lander had the cauliflower soup. We washed everything down with our steins filled with Hefeweizen.
Start planning your next trip to Torrance
A lot of the places we visited during our weekend in Torrance were based off of Discover Torrance‘s super helpful itineraries. I recommend you crafting your own itinerary if you find yourself looking for some fun things to do in the South Bay.