The Looking Glass is a semi-submersible boat, meaning the top deck is above water and the lower deck is underneath the water line. On the lower deck there are comfortable, cushioned benches and two seven-foot-long picture windows, on opposing sides of the vessel, for viewing underwater.
My husband and I take this fun tour, as part of his birthday gift, every year. Each time we see something different, whether is it the undersea environment, a new bird or another species of fish. We enjoy viewing the natural beauty of the ocean and coastal wildlife.
Expect to see pelicans, particularly the California, also known as, Pacific Brown Pelicans, which can also be grey in color when mature. A fish you will definitely see is the Opal Eye perch, named due to their pretty blue eyes. Another regular fish on the tour is the silver Jack smelt or California smelt, used as bait by anglers. Sea lions, identified by ear flaps, are a standard sighting on buoys and abandoned docks.
The flora and fauna change depending upon the time of day, weather and year. The last time we took this boat trip, we saw orange garibaldi, which is the California State fish, a Zebra perch, a Snowy egret, a Heermann’s gull and a Western gull. On earlier boat tours string rays swam by. The skipper doubles as a docent and is very informative. The best time of day to go is in the mid-morning to early afternoon, when the sun's rays light up the sea bed.
Photo opportunities abound in this scenic atmosphere, so make sure to take a camera along. Wear comfortable walking shoes to descend a vertical ladder, to the lower deck and ascend to the top deck. Use sun screen, as half of the trip is on the open top deck. Most days the climate is pleasant, but, in the winter months a windbreaker might be needed.
The Looking Glass is open every day in the summer, from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. When summer ends this attraction is only open on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Each tour leaves every hour, on-the-hour and lasts about 30 minutes. The adult fee is $15.00 and $10.00 for children. Kids really like this ride, especially the underwater part. The ship has a 19 person capacity.
On rainy days and on very breezy days, with white caps on the water, this attraction will be closed. Also, on major holidays, such as Christmas, the tour is closed. Therefore, call before going or check weather and their website.
The ship is located inside the Redondo Beach marina, by the neon yellow paddle boats, north of the fish markets. Paid parking, by the hour, is available in the underground or covered lot at the harbor.
Other activities inside the bay include sail boating, pedal boating, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking and gondola rides.
We are looking forward to another trip.
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