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  • Christine Lee

3 Peaceful Places Where I Find Healing in South Bay L.A.

When I returned to L.A. after escaping my domestic violence partner, I suffered from constant headaches and PTSD. Fortunately, I lived very close to Redondo Beach, so I would walk there for hours and just listen to the waves. It was the only place where I felt peace, and I sought more places that could give me a similar feeling throughout the South Bay. Here are just three areas that really helped me during my healing process.


1. Beach (avoiding tourist-trap areas)


In the South Bay, we have three main beaches - Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach. All of them have piers that are regularly packed with tourists. I try to avoid going there during the weekends, especially during the summer. The piers are not as crowded however if you go there early in the morning or around the sunset on Mondays-Thursdays. In general, I prefer to go to specific parts of the beaches that are usually lesser known. For example, the southernmost part of Redondo Beach is called Torrance Beach. It's far from the Redondo Beach Pier, and I love how the waves crash against the cliffs of Palos Verdes. I also enjoy walking the strand in North Manhattan Beach until the walkway ends. There are multi-million dollar houses on one side and the beautiful beach on the other.


2. Parks


The South Bay has some cool parks throughout several neighboring cities, and some of them are huge! I love walking the perimeter of Wilson Park in Torrance and peering into the area that has a mini-train station. I keep missing the days when they give free rides to the public, but I've been on a similar train ride in Fort Myers, FL and loved it. Redondo Beach has a wilderness park where a couple of my friends actually got married! It's very peaceful, and you can even camp there if you want. The parks give me an opportunity to be surrounded by trees and cute kids. I like walking past the playgrounds and seeing the youthful innocence of the children who are playing there with their parents or caretakers. They remind me of how simple life can be and how happy they are just being in the moment.


3. Palos Verdes Cliffs


USA Today calls Palos Verdes 'the hidden coastal, rural, coastal gem of Los Angeles County.' Many Koreans living in the South Bay call Palos Verdes their retirement dream. It's one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen in my life, and I live just a few minutes from it. So I take advantage of this little gem as often as I can by walking on its hiking trails. But the 'hikes' I go on are more like leisurely walks. I sometimes start around the Point Vicente Lighthouse and snake around past the Terranea Resort (which is still a dream staycation destination that I can't afford yet). When I feel like taking a break, I grab lunch or a drink at Nelson's, which overlooks the beautiful Pacific Ocean. Admiring the natural beauty from this vantage point uplifts my spirit and reminds me of how small I am and how great God is.


I love that these places are all free to access, and although you may not live here, why don't you think about some places that are local to you that bring you that sense of inner peace? I used to love sitting inside of a bookstore - is there a favorite section you like? Mine was fiction literature. My husband and I also walk regularly at our neighborhood malls- usually when it first opens or when it is about to close (so it's not too crowded). Let me know if you have specific types of places in mind, I'd love to try out your suggestions too. :)




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