All American City: Torrance
Torrance, California is not the best-known destination in Los Angeles County. The city has long been a corporation magnet drawing major Asian-based businesses such as Honda and Toyota for their U.S. Headquarters. Torrance also hosts flight attendants on layovers and soccer players with games at the nearby Home Depot Center, home of the current MLS champion Los Angeles Galaxy. Most visitors to Southern California don’t consider a visit to Torrance but it’s blossoming into a place well worth discovering. Especially if you are a visiting tourist looking for excellent value and a fantastic proximity to many Southern California visitor attractions such as downtown Los Angeles, Disneyland, LAX, Hollywood, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Long Beach and Orange County — Torrance is a perfect location for you.
The City of Torrance is centrally located in southwest Los Angeles County about 20 miles south of downtown Los Angeles on the edge of Rancho Palos Verdes and also just 15 miles from Los Angeles International Airport and Long Beach Airport. The Del Amo Fashion Center, with 2,500,000 square feet of retail space and 314 retailers, is the fifth largest shopping center in the United States and features some of the best shopping in the state of California. We spent a few days in Torrance and found an awesome brewery, a world-class art collection, thoroughly delicious dining, hip accommodations and oh yeah, they have the beach!
Torrance Beach is a nice sunny stretch of beach nestled in between Redondo Beach and Malaga Cove in Santa Monica Bay. It’s ideal for swimming and even surfing when the waves are right. It is also the beginning of The Strand, a 22-mile paved and lit beach path which heads north to Santa
Monica. This beach trail begins at Torrance Beach and winds along and through the picturesque L.A. County beach scene passing through Manhattan Beach, Marina Del Rey and Venice Beach arriving in Santa Monica. The trail is ideal for walking, jogging, skateboarding or one of the best ways to see the coastline is rent a beach cruiser bike in Torrance. Cruise down this trail and experience the best of southern California — palm trees, ocean waves, sunshine and coastal enclaves.
Old Town Torrance has a collection of beautiful and historic architecture. It’s going through a resurgence with interesting businesses moving into the area. The downtown historic area dates back to 1912 and features a deep variety of boutique retail shops with an assortment of dining options. So whether your shopping preference is quaint boutique retail shops to cutting edge large shopping center options…your shopping needs can be met in Torrance.
Torrance offers a total of 2,500 hotel rooms with a wide variety of lodging flags available representing every budget. All of the major brands are represented including Best Western, Marriott, Courtyard, Days Inn, Doubletree, Hilton, Extended Stay America, Holiday Inn, Homestead, Miyako, Ramada, Residence Inn, Howard Johnson, Super 8, Staybridge Suites and Travelodge to name a few.
One of the top hotels in Torrance is The Miyako Hotel. This property captures the Japanese culture of the area, beginning with the complimentary green tea service. The Japanese auto industry has long been an important economic engine for this community and the hotel has been a central gathering place for visitors, tourists, families and business people. The Miyako Hotel is a perfect example of American, Asian and Japan fusion hospitality. Modern comforts meet the traditional luxuries at affordable rates. Another top hotel is the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Torrance/South Bay. It is conveniently located across from the Del Amo Fashion Center and just minutes from Pacific Coast highway, the Redondo Pier and pristine Torrance and Redondo beaches
In addition to the California beach scene, Del Amo Fashion Center and Old Town Torrance with deep and varied shopping possibilities, Torrance offers many other cultural attractions. Some of the top-notch attractions include The Toyota Automobile Museum, Torrance Cultural Arts Center, Chen Art Gallery at Sunrider, Southern California Live Steamers Miniature Railroad, Torrance Farmers Market, and the Pacific Electric Railroad
The Chen Art Gallery is an amazing art experience that is not widely known throughout Southern California. The Chen Gallery is located inside the world headquarters of Sunrider International. This non-profit gallery showcases one of the finest private collections of Chinese art and antiques in the United States. Exhibit displays include imperial porcelains, antique furniture, jade carvings, ancient bronzes, snuff bottles, silk textiles and ink wash paintings. Collections range from the earliest Neolithic Era to the late Qing Dynasty and beyond. This is a hidden gem in Torrance and a must for any visitor.
The Toyota USA Automobile Museum displaying more than 100 vehicles including Toyota Motorsports race cars, celebrated its Tenth Anniversary with the grand re-opening at a new 45,000 square foot location adjacent to Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Headquarters in Torrance. This is the only Toyota Museum outside of Japan and is the sister operation with the primary Toyota Automobile Museum located in Nagoya, Japan.
The purpose of the museum is to preserve a collection of significant model offerings and milestone vehicles representing Toyota’s history in the United States. It currently consists of more than 100 Toyota, Lexus and Scion cars and trucks, dating from 1958 to 2007 as well as motorsports vehicles. Special exhibits include items such as: the first Prius and drawings or a Hollywood/Futuristic features such as the Lexus Minority Report
Tom Cruise movie prototype, three very rare Toyota 2000 GTs, along with a poster of James Bond movie You Only Live Twice, where the car appeared, plus a cutaway drawing and technical schematics.
The entertainment industry has also played a prominent role in Torrance, as it has long been a favorite location for shooting movies and TV shows. One of the most famous Torrance locations is the high school where the widely and internationally popular Beverly Hills 90210 television series was filmed. You will be driving along in Torrance and recognize other notable locations from a host of TV and movie appearances including American Beauty, Pulp Fiction, The O.C., Buffy and the Vampire Slayer, Boogie Nights and Clueless.
Food and beverage options are plentiful in Torrance. The city boasts over 400 restaurants, and Old Town Torrance has seen a recent transformation welcoming in a few notable additions. With its large Asian population and a sister-city of Kashiwa, Chiba, Japan, Torrance is home to some of the best and most authentic sushi and ramen houses in Southern California. The Torrance Certified Farmers Market offers organic fruit, fresh herbs and a wide variety of vegetables, including hard-to-find Asian varieties.
There are over 120 brewpubs listed in and around Torrance and vicinity but none is more awesome than the Red Car Brewery & Restaurant. They serve delicious beer that even appeals to the non-beer drinkers and food that is equally fulfilling. Another standout dining establishment in Old Town Torrance is 1321 Downtown Taproom Bistro. The restaurant is perfect for dinner or lunch serving incredibly fresh and delicious meals using the best ingredients. They have fun themed nights such as Mac N Cheese Mondays.
Be sure to check out Torrance for their vast array of attractions, central location and incredible dining. Whether you are on vacation with your family and want to teach your kids how to surf or closing a business deal at Honda, Torrance has something for everyone.