Hermosa Beach in California

January 3rd, 2018 | Destination: | Rubric: General |

© Estrategy/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Estrategy/cc-by-sa-3.0

Hermosa Beach is a beachfront city in Los Angeles County. Its population is at 20,000. The city 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 beach is popular for sunbathing, beach volleyball, surfing, paddleboarding and bars. The city itself extends only about 15 blocks from east to west and 40 blocks from north to south, with the Pacific Coast Highway running down the middle. A paved path, called The Strand, runs along Hermosa’s beach from Torrance 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 shopping, eating and partying areas. Hermosa is a Spanish word meaning “beautiful”.

The wide flat beach makes Hermosa Beach one of the most popular places to play beach volleyball, from professional to amateur. Hermosa Beach is home to the AVP Hermosa Beach Open tournament, and several amateur CBVA tournaments during the year. The Strand stretches north to Santa Monica and south to Redondo Beach, and is a popular place for walkers, joggers and biking. 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 lovely 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. After years of litigation and wrangling, the city was poised to permit intensive retail and condominium development in the mid-1980s when a grassroots group spearheaded by activist Rosamond Fogg forced the matter to a vote. The City Council at the time was divided over whether the matter was of much importance but after an energetic and passionate campaign, the citizens found that the greenbelt was a vital recreational resource and mandated its preservation for the use and enjoyment of residents and visitors. This ballot initiative passed by almost 87%, the highest in California history. The previous November the public approved a referendum increasing the utility user’s tax by 4% to help pay for the purchase. As a result, the Hermosa Valley Greenbelt has the quality of a rural country lane, home to the monarch butterfly and many bird and animal species. At any time of day or night joggers and walkers enjoy its soft woodchip trails and graceful landscaping. 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”.

Pier Statue © Estrategy/cc-by-sa-3.0 Pier Plaza © Estrategy/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Sirabder87/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Estrategy/cc-by-sa-3.0 6th Street and The Strand © Estrategy/cc-by-sa-3.0 © flickr.com - InSapphoWeTrust/cc-by-sa-2.0
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6th Street and The Strand © Estrategy/cc-by-sa-3.0
Arts and culture

  • Fiesta Hermosa: Arts and crafts festival which has taken place for the last 35 years every Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend.
  • 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. “First to finish without puking wins!”
  • 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 31 – August 21 (4 weeks).
  • Farmers’ Market: 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.
  • Lighthouse Cafe, a seminal West Coast jazz venue.
  • Hermosa Beach Community Drum Circle occurs every third Sunday of the month from noon to 3 pm at Hermosa Pier.
  • Comedy and Magic Club, where comedian Jay Leno has been performing since 1978.

Read more on DiscoverLosAngeles.com – Hermosa Beach, Wikivoyage Hermosa Beach and Wikipedia Hermosa Beach. Photos by Wikimedia Commons.



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