The 9 Best Stroller-Friendly Walks in the South Bay
The Terranea trail loop that ends at Nelson's
One of our favorite low-key activities to do as a family is go out for a stroll. Whether it's just so Agnes does her business before dinner or whether we walk .25-mile down to our local park.
We have a couple of loops in the neighborhood that we do on weekdays, but on the weekends we like to change it up so we'll often hop in the car and drive to some picturesque walking destinations. Lucky for us, we live in a beautiful part of the state and several coastal walks/drives are at our Waze-driven fingertips. And we want to take advantage of it as much as we can while we're here.
In case you're a parent looking to change up the scenery on the weekends (and you absolutely don't have to have kids to enjoy these walks, we're just keeping parents and their strollers in mind since that's what life-stage we're in at the moment), put on your walking/jogging shoes and let's hit the pavement.
- Most people probably don't realize you don't have to book a +$400/night hotel room to enjoy Terranea and its stunning property. There's a beautiful loop we discovered that's open to the public -- no reservations required. And there are a couple of "entry points" for the loop. Our favorite is to park at the Pelican Cove parking lot (31300 Palos Verdes Dr. S) and walk south along Palos Verdes Dr (you'll see the Par 3 course on your right). Then take a right at Terranea Way and take an immediate left along the Flowerfield Trail. You'll eventually proceed by apartments on your left. Walk all the way to the ocean (through a little corridor with a wrought-iron fence to protect you from the wayward golf ball). Once you see the ocean, you can go left for about 10 minutes along the Vanderlip Park Trail before it dead ends and you'll turn around to continue along the coast. Follow the dirt path or "Terranea Trail" with the resort on your right. When you get to the area with the big pool on your right, you'll veer left down a slightly declined driveway. With the adult pool area on your right, veer to the right (north again) along Terranea Trail. There is a big staircase before you hit Nelson's (a great spot to grab a meal -- some of the most spectacular views in all of L.A. County) and I always employ MainMan's assistance to walk the stroller up the stairs. You'll stay on the driveway then hop back on the dirt trail (there is a ramp and a staircase here) where you'll meander along the coast back to the Pelican Cove parking area. Option B is just pulling into the free/public parking lot off Terranea Way and walking down the path that leads you to the pool area. And kind of doing a half-loop. Things to keep in mind: bring your binoculars. Depending on the time of year you might see whale spouts. There's also a resident falconer at Terranea. If you're lucky you might see him patrolling the grounds with his trained hunter on the prowl for pigeons and seagulls. WARNINGS: Drinks at Nelson's are SUPER pricey and my parents both got attacked by cactus at different points along the trail. [caption id="attachment_430" align="aligncenter" width="480"] Part of the Terranea loop trail (the southern point)[/caption]
- Our other go-to walk on the PV Peninsula is an out-and-back walk that takes you from a parking lot at the northern part of Calle Entradero to the Point Vicente Lighthouse. Head south on Calle Entradero for about 200 yards before you turn right onto a dirt path called Seascape Trail. You can take this as far as you want. When we have our pup we'll try to get to the Point Vicente Interpretive Center, but when it's just me and LG we can make it to the lighthouse. Our bulldog mix Agnes is sensitive to the heat so we just watch how far we go with her when the sun is blazing. You can also just park at the PVIC parking lot and walk north. We've seen hawks, falcons and all kinds of ocean life from these beautiful cliffs. There are puppy poop bags along the way which is always appreciated and the parking lot that we always use does have a porta-potty. [caption id="attachment_431" align="aligncenter" width="480"] The walk near Point Vicente Interpretive Center in Rancho Palos Verdes[/caption]
- If you're into boats and harbors like us, then you'll love this out-and-back walk. A few weekends ago we parked at the 22nd Street Park in San Pedro and crossed the street past the Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club to walk along the harbor. This was about a 45-minute walk. There's a Doubletree towards the end of the first leg and we grabbed a coffee for the walk back. For an alternative, you can park off Miner Street and walk along the sidewalk on the other side of the marina.
- One of my favorite walks/runs to do with LG is along Torrance County Beach. We park along Paseo de la Playa then walk down the ramps (there are a few to choose from so you can park anywhere along the water and head to the paid parking lot and you'll find one) and cruise the boardwalk (I actually have no idea what the stretch of sidewalk is, but it follows the beach all the way to the Redondo Pier). If you have a dog you'll have to walk along the sidewalk above the beach (no dogs are allowed on the beach boardwalk). The lengths of our walks vary -- sometimes we'll stop at one of the lifeguard towers and turn back, other days we'll make it to the Pier and do a loop there, making sure to hit up the fishermen's spots so we can see the herons and seagulls lurking about. [caption id="attachment_429" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Somewhere in the middle of RAT (right after Torrance) and Torrance Beach[/caption]
- When we lived in El Segundo, one of my favorite runs was heading west on Grand from our apartment and running along the boardwalk south to El Porto (a popular surfing spot/nook in between El Segundo and Manhattan Beach). For stroller purposes, we'll skip walking down the big hill of Grand and we'll start our walk in the parking lot off W. Grand Ave @ 30225 W. Grand Ave. Then head south along the boardwalk. Go as far or short as you want!
- Another only slight variation on the previously listed walk is to park somewhere off Rosecrans and to follow the boardwalk to the Manhattan Pier, along "The Strand," and to loop back to your vehicle.
- When we lived in Culver City, I used to love driving to Playa Vista and doing a walk over by Loyola Marymount. I parked my car in the Playa Vista Sport Park parking lot and walked north along Lincoln. Once you pass the baseball field you'll go up a slight incline, then take a left on Cabora Drive. This is a pedestrian-only walkway that takes you east along the river. This is a great place to take your kids in the stroller and walk your dog, too. Some let their dogs off-leash, so just be aware if you're kid's feeling adventurous and wanting to get out of the stroller. The trail goes for a while, we'd normally do 20 minutes in, 20 minutes back out.
- Another walk in this general neighborhood is a nice loop through Playa del Rey. You can park on Pacific Ave. just west of the baseball field. Then head north, with the lagoon to your right, then at the T make a left to the beach and do a nice walk along the water, looping back wherever you see fit. Option B is to head east along Ballona Creek -- there's a nice-sized trail here, too.
- One final walk will take you to our hometown in PV and it combines cliff views and a neighborhood walk. Park your car on Paseo del Mar by Malaga Cove School. You'll be able to check out a lovely gazebo overlooking the South Bay (make sure you look down at the stunningly picturesque Palos Verdes Beach & Athletic Club -- wish we could afford to become members here). Head north past what's called the Neighborhood Church on your right. Enjoy the views for a bit along the cliffs and you might even see some whale spouts or pelicans flying by at eye's length. Next cross the road and head back along Paseo del Mar, turning right onto Via Arroyo. Next go left on Via Almar, which becomes Via Corta. Cross Palos Verdes Dr. heading towards the Malaga Cove Plaza. Hop into Malaga Cove Ranch Market for a snack and a coffee. Then you can head back to your car and/or baby's nap. [caption id="attachment_428" align="aligncenter" width="640"] The gazebo overlooking South Bay and Palos Verdes cliffs[/caption]
Have any faves I didn't mention here? Please share in the comments!