Sister to Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach is one of the three beach cities of Southern California’s South Bay. Known for its white, sandy beaches and bustling bar scene, it’s not only a popular tourist/sightseeing destination, but also a hot spot for watersports and beach volleyball.
A relatively constant westerly sea breeze maintains Hermosa Beach at a pretty comfortable temperature when L.A. is drowning in heat waves, enticing sunbathers and hoards of families equipped with sand buckets and beach towels. Likewise, it blows the smog away from the shore, so ocean vistas from the pier and from the famous paved path called The Strand are some of the best in the area.
The Marvin Braude Bike Trail, also known as The Strand, runs along Hermosa Beach from Torrence Beach in the south for almost 20 miles up through Redondo Beach, Venice Beach, Manhattan Beach, Santa Monica, and Will Rogers State Beach. It was once a railroad easement, and it is now a major attraction for walkers, joggers, and those who prefer to sightsee by bicycle, though those seeking solitude will be sorely disappointed. Along the way, tucked into Hermosa Beach, visitors will find notable venues like the Farmers Market (every Friday from 12 noon to 4 p.m.), The Lighthouse Café (a popular jazz club), The Comedy and Magic Club (purportedly the old stomping grounds of Jay Leno) in addition to continual outdoor music spectacles that fly by. Bikers and joggers will also find themselves weaving amongst barefoot surfers, glamorous women wearing oversized sunglasses, skateboarders, dogs, and tourists of all sorts.
Like Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach maintains a number of beach volleyball courts that feature permanent poles and nets. These courts have turned out some of the best professionals in the sport, many of whom have competed in the AVP Hermosa Beach Open—a tournament that attracts professionals and serious amateurs. It’s a true spectacle to witness for those who visit in June.
As with its sister cities, Hermosa Beach provides ample opportunity for watersports. The scene is quintessentially SoCal, and surf shops line the pier as instructors entice tourists with lessons and rental gear. The same bodes true for the blooming stand-up paddleboard business, and cruises/sailboats offer deals for whale watching and sightseeing.
Amenities include restrooms, showers, restaurants, shops for rentals and lessons, and lifeguards stationed on the beach. Beach wheelchairs are available, as well. Note that no pets are allowed on the beach, and Hermosa Beach is open daily from 6 a.m. to midnight.