If you’re looking for a down-to-earth beach & play destination that’s family friendly and not a tourist trap, you’ll find it at the Redondo Beach Pier. Spending a day here lets little ones explore sandy beaches, wildlife, a nostalgic arcade, glass bottomed boat and kite heaven while everyone indulges in seafood and endless desserts. Take a look at our guide to spending an insider’s day out on the Redondo Beach Pier.
photo credit: Maila H via yelp
Play and Explore
Redondo Fun Factory
Stop by the Fun Factory for a trip down memory lane where they have all the classic arcade and carnival games. Your trip might not be complete without a spin on the Tilt-a-Whirl, but we don’t recommend going on it after a meal—some kids get dizzy just watching the ride! Tickets are $2 on the weekends and $0.50 on rainy days. Your quarters will go a long way here and kids can easily be entertained for hours. Kids crack up at the outdated prizes you can win. Hey, who doesn’t need a new wall clock or toaster oven from the 80’s?
123 International Boardwalk
photo credit: tiarescott via Creative Commons
Bring all your beach gear and lounge for as long as you want at Redondo Beach, right by the pier. On a busy weekend, you might see the entire beach covered with umbrellas and families sunbathing and snacking away, but you’ll still be able to find a nice area to set up. The sand may be a bit rough, but your little engineers can build sand castles and chase each other down into the water while you relax with ease of mind since there are plenty of lifeguards on duty.
photo credit: Julia K via yelp
If you don’t mind crowds, head to Redondo Beach Pier when there’s a special event for some extra fun. In early March there’s the Annual Festival of the Kite and September has the Annual Back-to-School Chalk Art Festival. Throughout the summer, there are free outdoor movies (Fridays in June) and free concerts (Thursdays and Sundays in July & August). Check the event listing online for specific dates.
photo credit: Whit Andrews via Creative commons
The End of the Pier
Take a stroll along the Pier to see what kinds of fish are being caught—there have been plenty of stingray sightings this year, too. You also won’t miss the gigantic pelicans that hang out in the area, sometimes stealing a fish or two from the local fishermen. They love posing for photos, but don’t get too close for a selfie.
100 Fisherman’s Wharf
Redondo Beach, CA
photo credit: Kobe Pearl & Gem Co.’s Facebook page
Kobe Pearl & Gem Co.
Stop by Kobe Pearl & Gem Co. and let your little explorers hand select their own oysters with cultured pearls inside. If they’re super lucky, they’ll even find the rare black pearls. Get the pearls set into a necklace or earrings for them as souvenirs.
100 Fisherman’s Wharf, Suite D
photo credit: Judy Park
Sunshine Kite Company
The younger crowd will enjoy the sight of the Sunshine Kite Company with all its pinwheels and kites on display, spinning in the breeze. It’s guaranteed that your wild thing will want to touch each and every one of those pinwheels even if they look the same to you. The older ones (ages 6 & up) can catch a free yo-yo class here every weekend at 3 p.m.
110 Fisherman’s Wharf
photo credit: Nicole B via yelp
“Looking Glass” Semi-Submarine
Take a 30-minute undersea tour in the “looking glass” semi-submarine where the upper deck allows you to check out the sea lions lounging about the abandoned docks while the lower deck lets Nemo-lovers view all the beautiful fish in the sea. The best time of day to go is in the mid-morning to early afternoon, when the sun lights up the sea bed. The boat is located inside the Redondo Beach Marina by the neon yellow paddle boats (another fun outing!), north of the fish markets.
150 International Boardwalk
photo credit: Jay V via yelp
Quality Seafood, Inc.
If you want to eat like a local, grab lunch at Quality Seafood, Inc. along the International Boardwalk where everyone can choose their own seafood selection. Choose from Dungeness crabs, lobsters, shrimps, oysters, you name it, and have them steamed, grilled or fried. If kids don’t like to see their fish whole, they might prefer the fresh clam chowder. Tables are hard to come by here as it’s mostly self-serve. The key is having someone “claim” a table while another stands in line to order. Don’t forget to get newspaper to use as your placemat and some mallets to let your little seafood lovers hack away at crustaceans. They’ll enjoy this part way too much, but at least you’ll be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor. If you really want to do what the locals do, bring your own condiments. And baby wipes.
130 S International Boardwalk
photo credit: Christopher H via yelp
Pacific Fish Center & Restaurant
If this all sounds like too much work, head over to Pacific Fish Center & Restaurant where you can order from a large variety of fresh seafood, including a beautiful platter of sashimi, and enjoy a nice view of the ocean. The meal comes complete with bibs for everyone, much to the delight of the younger members of the family, who like to see parents wearing baby accessories.
131 Fisherman’s Wharf
photo credit: Kristen S via yelp
Pier Bakery has the best foot-long churros in town, hand-rolled in cinnamon and sugar, served hot and crispy on the outside and soft and doughy on the inside. Even if your little sweetie pie didn’t leave room for desserts, the churros will be devoured in no time.
100 Fisherman’s Wharf, Suite M
photo credit: AngryJulieMonday via Creative Commons
If you haven’t been to a local fair lately, Charlie’s Place is the place to be as they serve delicious strawberry funnel cakes, topped with strawberries and whip cream, perfect for the family to share for a late breakfast, lunch, snack or pre-bedtime treat.
200 Fisherman’s Wharf
photo credit: Nejib B via yelp
On a hot day, something cold sounds better than a fried treat. Head on over to Bella Gelato where they have more than twenty different selections. The white chocolate Nutella is a must try.
100-A Fisherman’s Wharf
Good to Know
The Pier isn’t exactly a dog-friendly place, so it’s best to leave your pets at home. Paying for parking at the Pier is so simple, the pay machines even provide a reminder option, sending you a text message reminder fifteen minutes before your time expires.
What does your perfect day out at the Redondo Beach Pier look like? Tell us in the comments below!