After the town incorporated in 1907, it purchased two miles of beach from the Hermosa Beach Land and Water Company reserving the beachfront in perpetuity as a beach playground. Later dubbed “The Strand” this broad walkway is free from commerce and available for the residents but also for all beach lovers in Southern California. As the town grew it became a popular vacation destination during the summer months.
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 gastropubs, 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 railroad 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 artwork, 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.
Slightly more affordable than its neighbor Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach real estate is still pricey. Condos are the most affordable properties in the city, they start at $800,000 for a 2 bedroom 2 bath unit. Townhomes range in price from $1,100,000 for older units to $3,000,000 for newly constructed stand-alone units. Single-family homes located on the ocean-front Strand top out at $12,000,000.
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.