Many visitors to Torrance won’t realize that this part of the United States is actually only 15 minutes away from LAX Airport, and offers an amazing getaway for those who choose to make the trip here. Torrance is known by locals as being a hidden gem in this part of California, and it the perfect destination if you are looking for some fun in the sun, as the coastline here stretches for over a mile of pristine beach.
For anyone who loves water sports, you can go swimming or surfing at Torrance Beach, as well as taking advantage of the wonderful beachfront promenade which has recently been redeveloped. As well as sun, sea, and surf, you will also find an array of cultural options in Torrance, such as museums and art galleries, and one of the best things to experience in the city is a trip to the Historical Society to learn all about how this city came into existence.
In addition to a laid back beach vibe and a strong historical heart, the city is also famous for its delicious eateries, cafes, bars, and live music venues, so whatever area of Torrance you choose to explore, there is always something to see and do.
Lets explore the best things to do in Torrance:
1. California Museum of Fine Art
The California Museum of Fine Art is often simply referred to by its nickname, Cal Muse, and is known as being a powerhouse cultural venue in the South Bay area.
The museum has collections by artists from all over the world, and is something of a museum and an art gallery at the same time, which means that this is a unique space in which to learn more about the history of art in the California region and abroad.
If you are interested in art, then definitely don’t give this amazing museum-gallery hybrid a miss.
2. Strand Bike Trail
California is known for its gorgeous weather, so make the most of it by getting outside and enjoying the scenery on the Strand Bike Trail.
The trail runs from Torrance Beach along the coast to Will Rogers State Beach in Malibu, so you can enjoy the sea breeze as you bike as well as the gorgeous vistas over the water.
The trail runs for 22 miles in one direction and there are a range of cafes and eateries where you can grab a bite to eat as you explore.
3. Torrance Historical Society
Anyone who is interested in the history of Torrance should not miss a trip to the Torrance Historical Society, where you will find a huge range of activities on offer.
Many of these will take you back through the historical and cultural background of this city, and you will find permanent exhibits at the Historical Society as well as rotating galleries and fun events like walking tours that will take you to all the points of interest in the city.
The best thing to do is to head to the Historical Society headquarters and check out what is on when you are in town.
4. Torrance Beach
In the city of Torrance, the jewel in its crown has to be the spectacular Torrance Beach, which showcases the best of the California land and seascape.
The beach is known for its vast swathe of coastline, so with that in mind it has a feeling of being less crowded and relaxing, and you can look over to the beautiful neighboring Palos Verdes peninsula and take in the breathtaking views that abound here.
As well as the beach itself, you will also find bars, restaurants, and cafes nearby, so that you can stop for a drink or a bite to eat at the same time as visiting this exquisite natural landmark.
5. Toyota Auto Museum
If you are looking for a quirky attraction to visit in Torrance then consider a trip to the Toyota Auto Museum.
Many people won’t know that Toyota has a history of 55 years of making automobiles, and the museum will take you back to the start and fill you in on how this company came to evolve into the well known brand it is today.
As well as learning about the story of Toyota, you will also get to see vintage automobiles and a selection of auto related memorabilia.
If you want a guided tour of the facility then you will need to make an appointment in advance.
6. Mitsuwa Marketplace
When you make the trip to Torrance, you may think that you are miles away from Japan, but actually you will find that there is a little piece of this island nation right here in California.
Mitsuwa Marketplace is known in the area for being a hub of Japanese businesses and shops, so if you want to try some Japanese food or buy some Japanese imported products, then make sure not to miss this unexpected part of Torrance.
7. Chen Art Gallery
For a look at Chinese history through its art, look no further than the Chen Art Gallery which has over 1,000 items in its collection.
The exhibits here will take you back through 5,000 years of Chinese history, and you will get to see items such as pottery pieces and other ceramics that date from the Ming and Qing dynasties.
There are over 15 different sections in the gallery that all feature unique periods of Chinese history, and if you like Chinese art and antiques then this makes a fine day out in Torrance.
Calling ahead is highly recommended as all visits are led by a tour guide and tours last between 90-120 mins. Please check with the website for more info at www.chenartgallery.org
8. The Jolly Oyster Market
California is known for its gorgeous beaches and seas, and with that in mind it is also famous for its delicious seafood.
To that end, you can enjoy a range of aquatic life here such as toothsome oysters and juicy clams, and there is no better place to find the freshest produce than at the Jolly Oyster Market.
Here you will find a range of seafood that is sourced from the region and is known for being organic and sustainable, so know that you are also supporting the local farming community if you shop here.
9. Torrance Farmers Market
For the best local produce in Torrance, look no further than the Torrance Farmers Market where you will find vendors from the region selling their wares.
The market takes place every Tuesday and Saturday from 8 am until 1 pm, so make sure that you head on down early to find the best buys and the crispest fruits and vegetables in Torrance.
There are also other treats like home baked goods.
10. Torrance Antique Street Faire
Torrance Antique Street Faire is located in the delightful downtown area of Torrance and is a well known attraction in the city that is perfect for anyone who loves to browse for hidden treasure.
At the street faire, which takes place throughout the year, you will find over 180 antiques vendors selling a range of vintage items including collectables and curios, and if you are looking for a quirky souvenir from your time in Torrance then this is a great place to look for it.
Check local listings to see when the next street faire is due to take place.
11. Alta Loma Park
To enjoy one of the green spaces in Torrance, consider heading out to Alta Loma Park which spreads over 5 acres of prime land in the city.
There are a range of facilities here such as basketball courts as well as picnic areas if you fancy a bite to eat, and a range of children’s play areas to suit different age groups.
There are even barbecue pits available if you fancy throwing something on the grill and spending some time enjoying the California weather.
12. Del Amo Fashion Center
Del Amo Fashion Center is the best spot in the city to indulge in some retail therapy, and to help you do just that you will find over 200 vendors at this amazing mall.
The facility spans three floors and you can expect to find clothes, shoes, accessories, and a range of other products here such as home furnishings.
There are also a variety of dining options in case you get hungry and there is also an outdoor village area as part of the mall.
13. Torrance Promenade
The Torrance Promenade is one of the premium destinations in the city of Torrance and was recently remodeled to give it a fresh new look.
The promenade not only lets you take in some of the best views in the city, but it is also filled with shops and dining options that will suit all tastes and budgets.
As a result, this makes a great place to come in the evening for a stroll, and you can explore and go wherever the mood takes you.
14. Torrance Bakery
The Torrance Bakery first opened in 1984 and has been a family business ever since.
As such, locals will tell you that this is one of the best places to come in the city if you are looking for some delicious bites and you can try a range of favorites such as sandwiches and pastries, all of which are made on site much as they have been for decades.
15. Torrance Park
Torrance Park is the place to come if you want to spend some quality time out of doors, and is known for being one of the best loved open spaces in the city.
The park runs over 10 acres of lush land and has picnic areas and barbecue pits as well as children’s play areas so that all the family can enjoy a day out.
There are also baseball diamonds and basketball courts so you may even catch a local game in progress depending on when you visit.