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Poliwog Park in Manhattan Beach is one of the great parks in the South Bay

If you feel as if you visit the same neighborhood park and are wanting to branch out without venturing too far from home, then try a visit to the South Bay. You’ll find many parks to choose from offering different amenities and facilities, and as a bonus, many also provide great views!

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Poliwog Park in Manhattan Beach is one of the great parks in the South Bay

Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach. Photo courtesy of Jeanne Fratello, editor of DigMB.com.

Polliwog Park
1601 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

At this 18-acre park, you’ll find plenty to keep the kids busy. The large pond (complete with ducks and geese) borders a natural wildlife refuge, home to migratory birds. There’s also an amphitheater which is often used for concerts and special events. The children’s play area includes a play structure resembling a lighthouse. There are separate areas for younger children, as well. You’ll also find picnic areas, restrooms, and an exercise course here.

Live Oak Park and Joslyn Community Center
1601 Valley Dr., Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

The almost-nine acre Live Oak Park is one of Manhattan Beach’s oldest parks. You’ll find two children’s play areas here (one affectionately called “tot lots” for younger kids). In addition, there are tennis courts, basketball courts, picnic areas, and large grassy areas all make up this popular spot.

Sand Dune Park
33rd and Bell Ave., Manhattan Beach CA

This park is named for the 100-foot high sand dune here. At the top of the dune, you’ll enjoy a panoramic view. (However getting to the top can be quite a workout). Here children will enjoy a play area complete with swings and climbing equipment. There are a few picnic tables as well as restrooms available. In addition, Sand Dune Park has been noted for the number of different bird species that have been seen here. Important note — to exercise on the sand dune, an advance registration is required and can be done online.

Marine Avenue Park
1625 Marine Ave., Manhattan Beach, CA

Marine Avenue is one of the newest parks in Manhattan Beach. At just over 7.5 acres, you’ll find lots to do here including a full-size baseball field, basketball courts, exercise area, turf soccer field, picnic areas, and children’s play areas. Parents will also appreciate the fact that there are two children’s play areas, one for younger kids and one for older kids.

Bruce’s Beach
Highland and 27th St., Manhattan Beach, CA

It may not be the largest park in Manhattan Beach, but many think it offers the best sunset viewing spots. At the three-acre Bruce’s Beach, you’ll find a basketball half-court, shady trees, and benches perfect for resting and enjoying the view. In addition, you can feel good bringing your family here when you know the history of Bruce’s Beach — more than 100 years ago, the beach area near this site was the “only beach resort in Los Angeles County for all people.” Today, Bruce’s Beach stands as a reminder that “friendship, goodwill and respect for all begins within our own boundaries and extends to the world community.”

White Point Park
W. Paseo Del Mar and Kay Fiorentino Dr., San Pedro, CA 90732

You can picnic, play, and photograph here! White Point Park offers great views of the ships sailing in and out of the Port of Los Angeles, and on a clear day, you can see Catalina Island in the distance. You’ll also find a children’s play area here as well.

Point Fermin Park
807 Paseo Del Mar, San Pedro, CA 90731

Point Fermin Park offers families 37 acres to explore. Among gardens, large grassy areas, and shady trees, you’ll also find picnic areas, a small amphitheater, and a children’s playground here. As a bonus, this picturesque park offers incredible views!

Hopkins Wilderness Park
1102 Camino Real, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

Hopkins Wilderness Park is an “urban wilderness campground and nature study area.” Within these 11-acres, you’ll find beautiful views among four ecological habitats (forests, streams, ponds, and meadows). As you and the kids explore, you’ll see a variety of trees and plants, as well as birds, lizards, turtles, and more. Families can also make a reservation to camp in this scenic park. The Park is open six days a week from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm (closed on Wednesdays and certain holidays).

Franklin Park
807 Inglewood Ave., Redondo Beach, CA 90278

Families can spend a delightful time at Franklin Park. You’ll find picnic areas with barbecues, two basketball courts, a children’s play structure, and lots of grass. Pack a picnic, bring some balls, and plan to spend several hours here. Regularly visiting families speak highly of the park’s location in a quiet, residential neighborhood.

Veterans Park
309 Esplanade, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

Veterans Park is a 6.3 acre park with ocean views. You’ll find a children’s play structure, lots of grass and trees, and a memorial to Redondo Beach’s veterans. Be sure to bring a kite — families speak of great kite-flying conditions here. In addition, each Thursday, from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, Veterans Park hosts the Redondo Beach Certified Farmers’ Market. You’ll find a large selection of fruits and vegetables, fresh flowers, baked goods, prepared foods, fish, and more.

Perry Park
2301 Grant Ave., Redondo Beach, CA 90277

Within the 4.13 acre Perry Park families with children of all ages will find something to do. The park features children’s play areas, picnic areas, a sports field, and basketball courts. Additionally, you’ll find the Perry Park Teen Center here. The Teen Center is a 4,000 square-foot space with recreational activities inside. It also hosts special activities for those who are 12-16 years old.

Anderson Park
2229 Ernest Ave., Redondo Beach, CA 90278

Anderson Park is made up of 12.4 acres. Families will find basketball courts, tennis courts, and children’s play areas. In addition, you’ll find lots of green open spaces for relay games as well as benches and tables for picnics. In addition, regular visitors speak just as highly of the friendly families that frequent the park as they do of the facilities themselves.

Recreation Park
401 Sheldon St., El Segundo, CA

If you’re looking for an El Segundo park that offers a lot of choices, then head to Recreation Park. Here your family can enjoy racquetball, lawn bowling, tennis, basketball, and roller hockey. And there are lots of open, green areas — perfect for games of tag and/or a picnic.

Hilltop Park and Pool
corner of Maryland Street and Grand Ave., El Segundo, CA

Hilltop Park invites families to enjoy its picnic area and playground. While not super big, families speak highly of Hilltop Park as a great spot for young ones. During the summer months, the park also has a swimming pool. Because of its placement at the top of a hill, kids will also enjoy the view of nearby Los Angeles International Airport.

Valley Park
2521 Valley Dr., Hermosa Beach, CA

Valley Park includes 5.33 acres, making it one of the largest and most popular parks in Hermosa Beach. Here you’ll find basketball courts, a fire pit, a large grassy field, and a children’s playground.  Special seasonal events are held in this park as well, including “Movie in the Park” and “Shakespeare by the Sea.”

(Charles H.) Wilson Park
2200 Crenshaw Blvd., Torrance, CA 90501

You’ll find lots to do at Wilson Park. Facilities include a fitness course, tennis courts, softball diamonds, picnic areas, sand volleyball courts, children’s play equipment, and much more. And don’t forget that Wilson Park is also home to the Southern California Live Steamers. Free public run days are offered on the 1st Sunday (from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm) and 3rd Saturday (from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm) of each month. Kids will love going for a ride on these mini-trains.

Paradise Park
5006 Lee St., Torrance, CA 90503

The kids will be busy at Paradise Park. The play equipment includes some wiggly slides and fun climbing structures. The play structures are shaped like a train, a submarine, and a planet. The park also offers a picnic area, tennis courts, and large grassy fields.

Los Arboles “Rocketship” Park
5101 Calle de Ricardo, Torrance, CA 90505

Take the kids to this park, and they most likely will feel like they’re almost astronauts. You’ll find swings, slides, and playground equipment as well as rocket-shaped climbing structures. And while you won’t find public restrooms here, you will find picnic areas and great views of the city.

Lago Seco Park
3920 235 St., Torrance, CA 90505

Your family can almost do it all at Lago Seco Park. A sand-free children’s playground, picnic areas and barbecues, a fitness course, basketball court, softball diamond, and a community garden are all waiting for you here at this popular Torrance park.

Robert E. Ryan Community Park
30359 Hawthorne Blvd., Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

You may find yourself coming to this park as much for its facilities as for the view! Families will enjoy picnic areas and barbecues, a baseball diamond, a children’s playground, and a “tot lot.” It’s a great spot for scenic family photos.

Ladera Linda Community Center and Park
32201 Forrestal Dr., Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

Lots of family fun here! Facilities at the Ladera Linda Community Park include a basketball court, children’s playground, a “tot lot,” and trails (for walking, jogging, hiking). Many families find it to be a scenic spot and return again and again.

Fred Hesse, Jr. Community Park
29301 Hawthorne Blvd., Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

Frequent visitors to this park speak of its cleanliness, beauty, and many amenities. You’ll find barbecues and benches, a sand volleyball court,  baseball fields, a soccer field, walking paths, and a children’s playground. Pack a picnic and plan to stay a while to enjoy the outdoors and the beautiful views.

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Wendy Kennar (387 Posts)

Wendy is a freelance writer who finds inspiration in her nine-year-old son and from her experiences from her twelve-year teaching career. Her writing has appeared in several publications and anthologies, both in print and online. She prefers sunflowers to roses and thinks chocolate is okay at any meal. You can find her at wendykennar.com.


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