After incorporation in 1907, The City of Hermosa Beach purchased two miles of the oceanfront preserving it in perpetuity as a beach playground. Later dubbed “The Strand” this broad walkway is free from commerce and available for all residents and all beach lovers in Southern California.
In the 1940’s, Hermosa became a well known jazz spot with the opening of the Lighthouse nightclub boasting a nationally renowned house band in addition to playing host to many jazz greats including Miles Davis and Chet Baker. The 1960’s saw Hermosa Beach become the ultimate beach town populated by surfers and counter culture types. But in recent years Hermosa has evolved into an upscale community with a palm tree-lined main street called Pier Avenue offering gastro pubs, coffee shops, fine dining and upscale home goods stores.
Hermosa Beach is the smallest of the three South Bay beach cities. It is sandwiched between the larger cities of Redondo Beach on the south and Manhattan Beach on the North. The topography here rises from the ocean offering many residents an ocean view with a nightly sunset to enjoy. Hermosa Beach is bisected by Pacific Coast Highway providing easy access to freeways, shopping, employment centers and the other beach cities.
In addition to The Strand, joggers and dog walkers use the tree-lined “Green Belt”, a former right-of-way for the historic Red Car rail road line that brought residents of Los Angeles to the beach cities at the turn of the 20th century.
Several annual events are popular with residents and visitors. On Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, the city hosts Fiesta Hermosa, a street fair featuring hand-made items, original art work, live music and tasty food stalls. Beach volleyball is almost a religion here. The beaches are dotted with volleyball nets and the city hosts the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tournament among others. The International Surf Festival is a reminder of the city’s early roots in the surf culture of the 1960’s.
Despite being located in the middle of a densely populated area, Hermosa Beach has a laid back, small town feel where the focus is on the sun, sand and surf.
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