3 Relaxing Los Angeles Beaches
Beautiful Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach
Three connecting cities make up the Los Angeles "South Bay" area, the lovely seaside towns of Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach. As you drive southwards through these pleasant beach towns, you'll find that they blend from one to the other without any noticeable break. If you don't see a sign, you won't know when you leave one city and enter the next. And yet, the three beach cities are different from one another, as well. On this page, we'll talk about the attractions and activities you may expect to find on your family vacation getaways to these charming greater Los Angeles beaches.
Los Angeles Beaches -- Hermosa BeachHermosa Beach is a handy beach town, with shopping and restaurants adjacent to the central pier area. The town's business district parallels the beach, as well--so even if you're not near the pier, you have access to a various stores and dining opportunities.
A wide, concrete path for biking, jogging, skating and strolling extends the entire length of Hermosa Beach. (The bike path actually extends through all three of these lovely beach towns---it goes on for miles!) This path gets a bit crowded at times--and not just with tourists on the weekends, either. The local residents love their recreation path, and it's especially busy in the mornings before work, and in the evenings when the people get home.
On the beach near the pier are numerous, permanently-set-up volleyball nets--Hermosa Beach is a big "beach volleyball" town, and both pro and amateur tournaments are held here from time to time. Whenever you visit Hermosa Beach, you're quite likely to find beach-goers practicing up for a tournament...or simply playing volleyball on the sand just for the enjoyment of the sport.
The beach itself is wide, and the sand is white and clean. You'll enjoy setting up your beach umbrella and lazing on the shore. It's a fine beach for swimming, as well.
Waves are moderate; there are many children swimming and wading here during the summertime. As with all of the Southern California beaches, the water is relatively cold. Water temperatures stay in the 60's most of the year, and only rise into the 70's on rare summer days. (No wonder you see surfers wearing wet suits year round!)
Although California lies directly across the continent from Florida, California does not have the same warm Florida ocean water. Florida lies along a current called the "Gulf Stream," a giant "river within the ocean" which brings warm water towards Florida from the still-warmer Caribbean waters. On the other hand, the California coast lies along a stream of water headed southwards from the cold Alaskan oceans. No, it's not freezing cold; but the water will feel more like you're swimming at Cape Cod than in a tropical climate.
Several restaurants are located on this plaza, including the casual Cantina Real (Seen in the photo to your left), which serves reasonably priced Mexican food.
If you don't see a restaurant that interests you in the plaza area, it's only a short stroll to the other businesses along Hermosa Beach's main business thoroughfare. On the business street, you'll not only find restaurants, but businesses of every kind. The lucky folks who live in Hermosa Beach actually do their everyday shopping along a business strip which is only one block from the Pacific Ocean!
So, if you're interested in finding out more about Hermosa Beach restaurants, attractions and special events, you may use the following link to see the
visitor's information pages of the Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce official website.
Los Angeles Beaches -- Manhattan BeachDriving on southward from Hermosa Beach, you'll suddenly realize how flat Hermosa had been. That's because going through Manhattan Beach, the roadway rises onto a bluff. Eventually, you must look down long, steep streets to see the ocean. (Notice in the photo below on your right, how you're looking DOWN at the Manhattan Beach pier. I took that photo only about 1/2 block away from the beach, and already the bluffs had begun to rise up.)
But the beach itself in Manhattan is just as flat a beach as any in the metro area. Manhattan Beach features a wide swath of clean, white sand. Many permanent volleyball nets are set up, and beach volleyball is VERY big in Manhattan Beach. The city hosts various pro and amateur tournaments throughout the year. (In the picture to your left, you can see local volleyball players practicing their sport at the nets alongside the Manhattan Beach pier.)
As in Hermosa Beach, the Manhattan Beach recreational path is much-loved by the city's residents, and can get crowded during the popular morning before-work and the evening after-work exercise times. Be sure to try it out! You'll feel more "like one of the natives" when you're out on the path strolling or skating!
The Manhattan Beach business district runs parallel to the beach, although about 2 blocks away from it. In this nearby business district, you will find a variety of shops and restaurants. Note, though, that because of the terrain, you'll have to walk up a steep hill from the beach in order to get to them. (The bright side? Hill-climbing is great exercise!)
Next, I wanted to leave you some important links for gathering more information about Manhattan Beach. First of all, here's the link to a
map of Manhattan Beach, California.
Los Angeles Beaches -- Redondo BeachWhen you visit Redondo Beach, you'll notice one difference about the pier area right away. The Redondo Beach pier sits side-by-side with a marina! In fact, Redondo Beach has turned the pier/marina area into quite a tourist attraction. You'll find a variety of restaurants from which to choose both on the pier itself, as well as on the adjacent marina grounds.
Redondo Beach's pier and marina is the heart of the action in this beachside city. Yes, you'll also find beautiful bathing beaches with clean, white sand. (The photo at the top of this page shows how beautiful is Redondo's sandy beach.) But, since this is the only one of the 3 Los Angeles beaches in this area to boast a marina, tourists from all over the metro area visit Redondo Beach to enjoy it.
The first part of the Redondo Pier is lined with restaurants and business offering a variety of delights to appeal to its visitor's differing interests. You may dine in an elegant seafood restaurant...or simply buy the "catch of the day" at a fresh fish market. You can buy a colorful kite to sail at the beach, or a souvenir postcard to send to "the folks back home." You may play arcade games in the Redondo Beach arcade. And, of course, there are even more stores through which you may browse than I'm mentioning here!
Then, you may just keep strolling to enjoy the smell of the salt air, the feel of the breezes on your face, and the sights and sounds of the sea gulls who live on the pier. There's one more interesting sight that's not found at any other Los Angeles area pier...cute little sea-animal imprints on the pier's concrete! In the photo on your left, you can see the imprint of a seal; and in the picture on your right, you'll see some jellyfish. Your kids will enjoy strolling along this section of the Redondo Beach pier just to see how many different fish and sea creatures they can spot!