If you like 80s and 90s pop culture, you might be happy in Torrance, California. Buffy the Vampire Slayer went to Torrance High School, and it was also the setting of “She’s All That” and “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” This beach city in the bay area of Los Angeles County is also the hometown of Chuck Norris and Quentin Tarantino.
Torrance was established in the early 1900s to be an industrial “working man’s paradise.” Founder Jared Sidney Torrance brought major industrial firms and a railroad to Torrance and incorporated the city in 1921. Today, Torrance is not really an industrial city, but it is home to some major employers, including King’s Hawaiian, which is headquartered here — you know, those tiny sweet buns that sliders come on.
Torrance is really a beach town. It’s right near the popular beach cities of Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach, but there’s no need to brave those crowded beaches. Torrance Beach offers 1.5 miles of sand that is much less crowded than its better-known neighbors, and it’s the starting point of Southern California’s bike path. You’ll also get picturesque views of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. For a more secluded beach, head to Torrance’s semi-secret RAT Beach — this may sound odd but RAT stands for “Right After Torrance.” This unincorporated stretch of beach is only accessible by foot and is popular among surfers. Speaking of surfing, this is SoCal, so surfing is a way of life here; you might want to invest in a board.
After a day on the beach, you’ll be ready for a cold beer. Check out one (or all) of Torrance’s 12 breweries. For breakfast, do as the Californianas do and grab an acai bowl; if you’re not into the health thing, satisfy your sweet tooth at one of the city’s many bakeries and dessert shops.
Real estate in Torrance ranges from modern California apartment buildings and condos to beach bungalows and Spanish-style houses. But beachy SoCal living doesn’t come cheap. The median sales price of homes is $735,000 and median rent per month is $3,250. It’s a family friendly city with 70 percent of residents being married and 66 percent being homeowners.
Other things to do in Torrance: Be one with nature at the Madrona Marsh Nature Center, take in the views at Los Arboles Rocketship Park or enjoy the scenery at the Torrance Art Museum.