A Winter Escape
to Redondo Beach
Story and photos by Greg Aragon
here is something special about Redondo Beach in the offseason.
Summer crowds have retreated, the weather remains wonderful, and of
course it is still an awesome California beach town full of charm and
A friend and I recently snuck away to the city for an
exciting and relaxing mid-week getaway. Our adventure began at the luxurious,
water-front Crowne Plaza Redondo Beach & Marina Hotel, where we
checked into a sleek and modern 7th-floor room overlooking three marinas
and hundreds of colorful sailboats.
Redondo Beach is a classic, year-round California
The room was highlighted by two comfy queen beds, 43-in
flat screen TV, high-speed Internet, office desk/station, coffee-maker,
and a balcony with table and chairs and great views of beautiful King's
Harbor and the Pacific Ocean.
Beyond its 342 guest rooms, the Crowne Plaza exudes
class and California beach charm. Set on Harbor Drive, across from the
Redondo Beach Pier, the hotel boasts a spacious marble-laden lobby,
with giant fish tank and gift shop. Next to the lobby is the signature
restaurant, Splash Mediterranean Bistro, and on the 3rd level there
is a rooftop pool and Jacuzzi, which also overlooks the ocean.
The Crowne Plaza combines luxury and ocean-front
Once acquainted with the hotel, we walked across the
street to the city's historic pier area, where we strolled around Fishermans
Wharf and the marina. Along the way we encountered fisherman with their
lines stretching from the wooden planks down to the water, a fish market
with fresh lobsters and crabs, gift shops, a few taverns and eateries,
and scores of giant pelicans standing guard atop numerous posts. We
also discovered a statue of George Freeth, the countrys first
surfer, and Kincaid's, where we had a delicious lunch.
Redondo Beachs pier is full of things to do
Located above a rocky cove in Fishermans Wharf,
classic American surf and turf in a memorable location. Our lunch began
with jumbo shrimp cocktail and a couple spicy Bloody Marys. I
followed this with an open-faced crab sandwich and a cup of clam chowder
and my friend enjoyed a club sandwich and fries. While eating, we sat
on the patio, absorbing a wonderful sea breeze, while watching schools
of fish swim below us and pelicans and other birds fly above and dive
in the water.
Kincaid's on Fishermans Wharf serves surf
and turf above the water
After lunch I hit Fitness Evolution, which is located
next to the hotel and is open to hotel guests. I then relaxed with a
magazine and a nap at the Crowne Plaza's rooftop pool and Jacuzzi area.
Back at the room, we changed and headed to the hotel's exclusive Concierge
Lounge for happy hour with complimentary drinks and Hors d'oeuvres.
When happy hour ended we started right back up again
with a happy night. As the cool, crisp ocean air drifted in our room,
we put on jackets and strolled across Harbor Drive to Portofino Marina,
where we experienced Baleen Kitchen, hidden behind a fleet of beautiful
yachts and fishing vessels.
While sitting beside large bay-front windows we dined
on scrumptious lobster sliders with crispy jalapenos, garlic roasted
shrimp, Caesar salad, and a super tender grilled pork chop with grain
mustard mashed potatoes, with roasted apple. This romantic dinner was
enhanced by a couple glasses of red wine and incredible views of the
boats bobbing in marina a few yards away.
Nestled in Portofino Marina, Baleen Kitchen is a
In the morning we rented a bike from the hotel and rode
down the ocean front bike path that meanders 21 miles along the coast,
through Venice and Santa Monica, all the way to Malibu.
With winter here, Redondo Beach is also a great place
to go whale watching. One of my favorite places for this is Voyager
Excursions, which begins its season on December 27 and runs through
April. The excursions take place aboard the 65-ft, 125-passenger Voyager
and follow gray whales around the Palos Verdes Peninsula and Catalina
Channel as they make their way from Alaska
Mexico and back.
Redondo Beach is a perfect winter beach getaway
The Crowne Plaza Redondo Beach & Marina Hotel is
located at 300 N. Harbor Dr., Redondo Beach, CA. 90277. For more information
on staying at the hotel, call 310-318-8888 or visit: www.cpredondobeachhotel.com.
For more information on Redondo Beach, visit the Redondo Beach Chamber
of Commerce and Visitor's Bureau website at: www.redondochamber.org.
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