This Town Within a Town in the South Bay Was Made for Meandering

Plan a small town adventure in Riviera Village

A town within the bounds of Redondo Beach, Riviera Village is a midcentury creation designed with one big goal in mind: to get you to drop by and linger for a bit. The advent of freeways was killing local businesses along PCH, so shopkeepers turned to architect Victor Gruen for help. Known for creating shopping malls that helped siphon business from many a small town, he laid out a triangular neighborhood with space for 300 shops, restaurants, and galleries—and plenty of parking mere yards from the beach.

huckleberry's riviera village shopping
Flasks at Huckleberry’s gift shop

Lisa Corson

Coffee Cartel is a happy ’90s throwback, with its thrift-store sofas, poetry nights, and book-lined walls. It’s Father’s Day every day at Huckleberry’s, a gift shop brimming with cigars and fancy pen sets. You can take a sound bath while stocking up on oils, crystals, and incense at Sacred Stone. You’ll want to clear some wall space at home after a visit to Dion Gallery, which specializes in classic travel posters, movie broadsheets, and retro modern art. The Catalina Cooking Store holds classes amid its rainbow of Le Creuset cookware and other elegant culinary tools. Pick up a linen-lined picnic basket there, and make tracks to Yellow Vase cafe and florist, a sunny spot where you can get some panini and macarons to go before wandering down to the sand. In a place this cute, the Sunday farmers’ market is almost a given, but if you want a taste of what life was like here back when the neighborhood was new, head to the Bull Pen, which has been dishing out thick steaks in a plush dining room that looks like it’s changed little since 1948 (in a good way).

riviera village bull pen redondo beach riviera village
The chefs at Bull Pen know their meat and potatoes.

Lisa Corson

Also be sure to check out…

Burnout Beach

Climb the rebuilt 1930s staircase of the Hollywood Riviera Beach Club to find Miramar Park. The glamorous hotel was destroyed by fire in 1958, but you can still enjoy the views of the Pacific, keeping an eye out for whales and dolphins. You’re guaranteed to spot the concrete dolphin in the park; it’s not far from the 300-pound bronze frog staring out to sea.

Perry’s Cafe and Beach Rentals

If you’re looking for some seaside fun but lack the accoutrements, Perry’s can set you up right. Pop in for whatever you need, from chairs and umbrellas to beach cruisers and surfboards. Everything’s rentable by the hour.

RELATED: Redondo’s Brief Stint as the Port of Los Angeles

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