A Weekend In Torrance, California: Beaches, Brews, & Buffy

After a chilly spring, I was very much in need of a warm beach trip. Thankfully, I had a trip planned to explore Torrance, California. If you haven’t heard much about this city, it’s part of the South Bay in Los Angeles. It’s about a 20-minute drive from Los Angeles International Airport. Making a weekend in Torrance a perfect easy getaway.

Whether you’re looking to get outside and stay active or spend your time relaxing, you’ll find plenty to do during a weekend in Torrance. You’ll want to be sure to add in some of the great eats around the city, explore some of the local craft breweries, and visit the sites.

While you can easily enjoy a weekend in Torrance, it’s also a great launch pad to explore the rest of Los Angeles and Southern California. Stay near the beach, explore Torrance, and everything else Southern California has to offer.

Note: Thank you to Discover Torrance for hosting me on this chance to explore the city. Some accommodations, activities, and meals were provided at no cost to the author. All opinions remain my own. Thanks for a great weekend in Torrance, California! 

Getting Outside in the California Sun

There are so many different ways you can get out and enjoy the sun while you’re in Torrance. For me, the top choice is spending some time at Torrance Beach . Whether you’re looking for a place to get out on the water, hike along the sand or just rest and relax, you’ll have a breathtaking backdrop for it.

Here you will find the start of the Strand. It’s a 22-mile bike path. You can even rent a bike and ride all the way up Manhattan Beach and beyond, getting a chance to the entire South Bay Coast. In the summer, check out Perry’s Cafe & Beach Rentals to rent a ride for an afternoon.

Madrona Marsh is a beautiful piece of nature tucked right into South Bay LA. You can take a docent-led tour to explore the area. Or instead, get a view across the city at Los Arboles Park.

Eating Your Way Around Torrance

I have yet to meet an area in Los Angeles that doesn’t have some great food, but I have to be honest, I was blown away by the cuisine in Torrance. A foodies dream would be spending a weekend in Torrance eating your way around the city. From breakfast to lunch to dinner, you’ll have too many choices to just stay the weekend.

I tried my best to test as many places for you as I could in just a few days.

If you’re anything like me you’ll want to swing by Kings Hawaiian Bakery & Restaurant for breakfast. I love Hawaiian breakfast and Kings did a great job. I had a hard time deciding what to order and went with the Hawaiian breakfast burrito. It was a perfect combination of two of my favorite breakfasts.

For lunch (or brunch), pop over to Madre. As soon as I saw that they have a chilaquiles sandwich, I had to stop by. I will tell you, it did not disappoint! I’ll be sure to pop back in the future to explore more of the menu. Whether you relax out on the patio for you enjoy the live music inside on the weekend.

Head over to Hey 19 Public House for happy hour, just be warned, the menu is so tempting you’ll probably end up staying for dinner. They focus on quality ingredients and not rushing in their preparation. Trust me, it’s worth the wait. The cocktails are exceptional with their creative twists on classics. The cali-flower was probably my favorite but I also enjoyed the hippie taco and the crab cakes.

You’ll continue to find delicious options for dinner. If you want to head downtown try out Restoration Kitchen & Wine. They have a great wine list where you can create your own tasting or have the waiter give you something new to try. I love eating small plates with friends (or in my case family) since you get a chance to try a little of everything. We started with a cheese plate that had some of my favorites, then moved on to short-ribs, temptingly gooey meatballs, and porchetta.

If you’re getting your shopping on, as you should (see below), you’ll want to refresh at the Brio Coastal Bar & Kitchen. They have a nice selection of just about everything, from the appetizers to dessert. Their steak frites were exactly what I was craving. Then somehow had room for dessert. And I’m so glad they did! Those s’mores donuts are something you can’t miss.

By the time I made it over to Local Kitchen, I’ll be honest I had no more room left for food. What I can tell you is that they looked delicious and that their bartender makes some solid cocktails.

Craft Brews Galore

For a small city, you’d be shocked how many breweries you’ll find in Torrance. There are only so many I could try during my weekend in Torrance but it gave me a chance to learn a bit of the flavor of the town. While you’ll find a good share of stouts and I.P.A.s, as someone who prefers a lighter wheat beer I was thoroughly impressed.

For both beer and setting my favorite was Stand Brewing Company. The bar staff was helpful and walked me through the different selections. I enjoyed hanging out, chatting with some folks, and enjoying the book I’d brought along. Plus these glasses were just too cute to not snap a shot!

Spend the weekend in Torrance, California exploring it's food, beaches, sites, and more.

On Saturday night, I popped by Monkish Brewing Company and the place was packed. It was a fun vibe of folks watching the game and a wide selection of beers to choose from. Plus their beers have particularly good names.

Spend the weekend in Torrance, California exploring it's food, beaches, sites, and more.

You’ll want to swing by Smog City Brewing in the afternoon or early evening so you can enjoy their patio in the sun. I also enjoyed that unlike the other two, they had tasting flights. My favorite way to get to know a brewery. I had a chance to enjoy a bit of all they have to offer. 

If you’re interested in exploring a few of the city and area’s breweries, consider joining LA Beer Hop’s South Bay Tour. While I didn’t have the chance it looks like a great way to explore the breweries and learn a little more about them. Especially if you’re only visiting for a weekend in Torrance.

Get Your Shopping On

Spend the weekend in Torrance, California exploring it's food, beaches, sites, and more.

Now I’ll be honest, I don’t normally shop too much when I travel. But I did in Torrance and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve been traveling so much that I’d need to get a few different things and Del Amo Fashion Center had all my go-to spots, and a few favorite stores I don’t have locally.

You’ll also want to explore the shops in the Historic Downtown. Or if you happen to be in town on the 4th Sunday of the month, you won’t want to miss the Torrance Antique Street Faire.

Settle In and Relax a Little

For me, part of a beach trip is to just lay back and relax. While I did part of that by taking a lovely nap on Torrance State Beach, I found a couple other ways to enjoy relaxing in Torrance as well.

Spend the weekend in Torrance, California exploring it's food, beaches, sites, and more.

One of my favorite parts of my visit was spending a lazy morning in my room at Staybridge Suites Torrance. It was a perfect place to get a little reading in, even a little work on the blog. All while sitting on a cozy couch with a cup of coffee. You’ll also want to pop down by the pool for a quick swim.

Spend the weekend in Torrance, California exploring it's food, beaches, sites, and more.

Now, a lazy morning is lovely, but if you really want to relax there is no better way to do it than a visit to the spa. I did some research and found Debunne Spa right in Torrance. And I absolutely loved it! The setting is beautiful, you can sit out in a little garden or spend some time in the sauna or steam room before you pop into your treatment. The only thing I’d change about my visit is spending some more time there before and after my massage.

And Don’t Forget to Visit Sunnydale on Your Weekend in Torrance

One thing I haven’t written about on the blog before is how much I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer, yes the best 90s television show by Joss Whedon and starring Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Spend the weekend in Torrance, California exploring it's food, beaches, sites, and more.

And when I say, LOVE, I really mean it. To the extent that I wrote my senior thesis in college on the show. It’s been a favorite of my since I started watching it in sixth grade, but somehow I never made the pilgrimage to Sunnydale High aka Torrance High School.

Don’t worry, even if you didn’t watch Buffy it’s likely that you’ve seen the high school in one of the many other films and T.V. shows it was used in in the 90s from 90210 to She’s All That.

Spend the weekend in Torrance, California exploring it's food, beaches, sites, and more.

So before you wrap up your weekend in Torrance you’ll want to pop by this filming location. It’s a quick fun addition to your itinerary.

About Megan

Megan MacNee is the founder of Traveling Nine to Fiver. From nine to five she works in the non-profit world in California. She focuses on exploring the world from her own backyard to across the globe. You'll find her sharing about explorations through food, books, travel, and more.