If you wanted to describe the quintessential beach town of the South Bay, it would have to be Hermosa Beach. Rollerbladers, bike riders, surf shops, happen` taverns and bars, burger joints and the like are all next to each other on Hermosa’s busy Pier Plaza, the South Bay’s answer to Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade. The pedestrian mall,packed every weekend, is home to the spirit of “The Endless Summer.”
Hermosa Beach, (pop. 18,000) is just 4 miles south of Los Angeles International Airport and a little over 15 miles southwest of downtown L. A. Despite the emphasis on beach culture, Hermosa still enjoys the high quality of life and small town atmosphere of its larger neighbor, Manhattan Beach. It has two excellent elementary/intermediate schools of its own, Hermosa View and Hermosa Valley, and it’s high school students can go to either Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach or Redondo Union High School in Redondo Beach, both fine schools. Hermosa also has its own police force and is considered to be a safe place. The climate is mild with ocean breezes keeping temperatures cool in the summer and making Hermosa relatively smog free. The average temperature in summer is 74 degrees, the winter average is 55 degrees. Freeway access in Hermosa Beach is good, although you will drive further to get to the 405 than you would in Manhattan Beach.
Hermosa has a fun and slightly bohemian feel to it. Besides Pier Plaza and its wide array of restaurants and clubs, Hermosa’s downtown area is also home to the Comedy and Magic Club (where Jay Leno performs every Sunday). Pier Avenue ends (where else?) at the Hermosa pier, a 1228′ fishing pier.
Hermosa Beach has several neighborhoods including the Sand Section, which consists of the first 4 or 5 blocks east of the ocean and includes The Strand, Hermosa’s ocean front walk. Other neighborhoods include the Hermosa Valley and East Hermosa. As in all South Bay Beach Cities, older beach cottages and small homes are being torn down to make way for large, expensive homes and townhouses.