Hermosa Beach is located in the South Bay region of the greater Los Angeles area and is one of the three Beach Cities. Hermosa Beach is bordered by the other two, Manhattan Beach to the north and Redondo Beach to the south and east. The city’s flat sandy beach is ideal for sunbathing, beach volleyball, surfing and paddleboarding. The city itself is only about 15 blocks from east to west and 40 blocks from north to south, with the Pacific Coast Highway running down the middle. Situated on the Pacific Ocean, Hermosa’s average temperature is 70 degrees in the summer and 55 degrees in the winter. Gentle westerly sea breezes take the edge off what can be high summertime temperatures in Los Angeles and elsewhere in the county. The same breezes help keep the smog away 360 days of the year.A paved path, called The Strand, runs along Hermosa’s beach from Redondo Beach in the south approximately twenty miles north to Santa Monica and the Hermosa Beach pier is at the end of Pier Avenue which is one of the beach community’s main and shopping, eating and partying areas. The community is home to lots of beach loving athletes and sun worshippers.
Surfing is a key element of the South Bay lifestyle year-round. Powerful winter storms in the Pacific Ocean can turn typically placid and rolling South Bay waves into large and occasionally dangerous monsters, a natural draw for the local surfing population. Summer provides warm water and typically smaller waves for beginners to learn.
Beach volleyball is another important aspect of Hermosa Beach’s lifestyle. Hermosa Beach has been referred to as the Beach Volleyball Capital of the World. Hermosa Beach is home to the AVP Hermosa Beach Open tournament. The wide and flat sand beaches provide the perfect venue for the sport. Permanent poles and nets are maintained by the city year-round.
The Strand stretches north into Manhattan Beach and south into Redondo Beach and is a popular place for walkers, joggers and biking. Strolling the Strand on the bike path is always a good thing to do. Year round you will find thousands of people on foot, bicycle, skateboard, rollerblade, with strollers, enjoying the sun and the surf. Homes located on The Strand frequently sell for $5-40 million. Of the three Beach Cities, only Hermosa Beach owns its own beach. The other two cities’ beaches are owned by the county of Los Angeles.
Running parallel to The Strand is a beautiful linear trail known today as the Hermosa Valley Greenbelt. Once part of a railroad easement, this narrow 24-acre (97,000 m2) strip had long been the subject of heated controversy and pressure from various commercial interests. The Greenbelt is also now part of the Federal Rails to Trails network. RUDAT (an urban architectural planning group) found that Hermosa Beach, thanks in large part to the existence of the Greenbelt, was a “world class pedestrian city” as attested to by RUDAT member Jerry Compton in the public record.
The city also has eight other parks:
• Cypress Park also known as Clark Field (9th & Ardmore) – Baseball/Softball Diamond, Basketball and Tennis Courts
• South Park (Valley Drive & 4th) – Children’s play area, Inline Hockey Rink, Large open field for Soccer and Football
• Bi-Centennial Park (4th & Ardmore)
• Fort Lots-o-Fun (6th & Prospect)
• Noble Park (The Strand & 14th)
• Edith Rodaway Friendship Park (Prospect between Gentry & Hollowell)
• Valley Park (Valley Drive & Gould) • Skateboard Park ( Pier Ave)
• Roller Hockey rink (South Park) – 4th and Valley Drive is frequently used for friendly pick-up games and league matches.
• Basketball (Cypress Park) – Two outdoor courts on 9th and Valley Drive
• Baseball/Softball (Cypress Park)- Lighted field with lights on 9th and Valley Drive behind the basketball and tennis courts
• Tennis – Lighted courts on 10th and Valley / Ardmore
• Skateboarding Park – Lighted park behind the Hermosa Beach Playhouse
• Lawn Bowling Club is located next to Clark Building at 861 Valley Drive
The district has two schools:
• Hermosa View Elementary (Kindergarten to Grade 2)
• Hermosa Valley Elementary (Grades 3 through 8 )
• Mira Costa High School of Manhattan Beach Unified School District or
• Redondo Union High School of the Redondo Beach Unified School District
The Hermosa Beach City School District as a whole received a score of 915 on the 2006 California Academic Performance Index, neighboring Manhattan Beach Unified School District scored just below at 906 making it one of California’s best performing districts. Each individual school also ranks at the top of its respective category. Hermosa Beach also has a private school:Our Lady of Guadalupe, a Catholic school with classes up to the eighth grade.
• HermosaBeach.org City of Hermosa Beach Event Calendar
• Fiesta Hermosa Arts and crafts festival which has taken place for the last 35 years every Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend • SouthBayEvents.com The locals’ weekly entertainment and activities guide to Hermosa Beach.
• Hermosa Ironman Unofficial triathlon every July 4, consisting of running a mile in the sand, paddling a mile on a surfboard, and downing a 6-pack of beer. Then keeping it down for 15 minutes.
• AVP Hermosa Beach Open Started in 1969 and typically in June. Attracts combinations of pros and near pros. It’s best to know a local to get in.
• Hermosa Beach Film Festival Started in 2005 and typically in August. Short films from each year are chosen to be screened at the Hermosa Beach Playhouse
• International Surf Festival Surfing, Paddleboarding, Pier to Pier Swim Events. Beginning of August
• Hennessey’s Paddle Board Festival U.S. Paddleboard Championships. Typically in July.
• Hermosa Beach Sunset Concert free concert series from bands who perform on the beach. Starts July 22 – Aug. 5 (3 Weeks)
• Farmers’ Market Every Friday from 12 noon to 4 pm, rain or shine. (Valley Drive between 8th and 10th Streets)
• Sand and Strand Run The second oldest standing run in the L.A. area. Unique is its course design, with 45% of the run on the Strand and 55% on the beach. February during low tide.
• Shakespeare by the Sea- the South Bay’s free Shakespeare in the Park company. Performances run June through August in a variety of venues in Los Angeles and Orange County. Shakespeare by the Sea