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3 Relaxing Los Angeles Beaches

Beautiful Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach

Beautiful Redondo Beach, in greater Los Angeles, California

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 Beach

Hermosa Beach, California bike and jogging path Hermosa 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.

Hermosa Beach, California pier Hermosa Beach has an odd-looking little pier. It's a modern, concrete pier, but it's rather short, and there's no restaurant at the end of it, like most of the metro area piers have. Neither are there restrooms or other small businesses on the pier. However, the Hermosa Beach pier is popular with fishermen. People stroll along the pier, as well...but it's not Southern California's top strolling piers because of its lack of facilities.

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.

Hermosa Beach restaurant near the pier called Cantina Real Hermosa Beach has a pierside plaza for special events. (Note: You can stroll onto the plaza from the beach and pier areas without having to cross a busy street.) The plaza is wide enough to accommodate a crowd of visitors in the summer, and even an occasional band playing a concert.

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!

Special events plaza near the pier at Hermosa Beach, California (greater Los Angeles) There are parking lots behind the buildings of the plaza, which serve both the businesses and the beach. These lots are quite adequate most of the year, but fill up quickly on busy summer weekends. There is on-street parking, as well, and other parking lots available for beach-goers to sections of the beach lying further away from the pier area.

There are several links I'd like to give you for obtaining further information about Hermosa Beach. For one, there's a handy Hermosa Beach web cam so that you can see a live picture of its sand and bike path areas. Use the following link to view the Hermosa Beach "live" web cam. The next link I'd like to show you is for the Hermosa Beach, California Chamber of Commerce. You'll find tourist information on the Chamber of Commerce website. You'll also be able to find the Hermosa Beach schedule of upcoming special events...like the "Art Walks," which are very popular with local residents. Local artists and craftspersons line the area showing off their creations and offering them for sale. Even if you're not in the market for home decor items, the Hermosa Beach Art Walks are fun events to attend and enjoy.

If you're interested in the sport of Beach Volleyball, you'll also be able to find out (at the Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce website) when the next scheduled tournament for the area is planned. But, there are events for people with all sorts of interests---from pet lovers, who will enjoy the Dog Parade...to car enthusiasts, who will like the Auto Shows. And August is "Hawaiian Festival" time, with special events and musical groups performing to fit the theme.

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 Beach

Manhattan Beach, California--pier and volleyball areas Driving 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.)

Manhattan Beach Pier, just down the hill from the city's shopping district The Manhattan Beach pier is an attractive, modern concrete pier, which features a restaurant at the end. This is a Ruby's Diner, which features American fare---juicy burgers, thick-cut fries, chicken strips, sandwiches, and the like. The menu prices at Ruby's Restaurant in Manhattan Beach run about $7--$12 for your entree. And, of course, like any diner-style restaurant, Ruby's Restaurant features shakes so thick you can stand up a straw in them! Needless to say, because of Ruby's end-of-the-pier location, you'll get a fine Pacific Ocean view as you dine. You can expect to wait for a table if you come on the weekends or during the summer months at popular mealtime hours. Otherwise, you're likely to get your booth or table right away. Ruby's Restaurant also offers counter service, as well.

Manhattan Beach bike and jogging path A bike/jogging/skating path runs the entire length of the beach thoughout Manhattan Beach, California. (This is a continuation of the same bike and jogging path we talked about in the "Hermosa Beach" section of this page above.)

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!)

This steeply-banked hillside park in Manhattan Beach, California looks a bit strange for a city park... Here's a strange picture (on your right) that I wanted to share with you. The hills near the beach at Manhattan Beach are steep...but that didn't stop the city from building a grassy park for the local residents to enjoy! Note how they sloped this park to fit the Manhattan Beach hillside on which it sits! (Be careful not to lose your ball when you're playing here!)

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.

If you're planning a family vacation to the Manhattan Beach area, you might wish to know more about the local shopping and restaurants which are available, plus a listing of upcoming events. You can find these details at the City of Manhattan Beach's official website. You may use the following link to see the Manhattan Beach official website, which has an entire section devoted to helping visitors find their way around the city and planning a fun vacation in this lovely seaside town.

Los Angeles Beaches -- Redondo Beach

Redondo Beach Marina When 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.

Redondo Beach pier The Redondo Pier itself---even without the scenic marina, with its boats bobbing gently in the water---is quite interesting. The Redondo Beach pier is unusual because rather than jutting straight out into the water, it forms a complete loop. (Yes, you can walk its entire length without ever having to see the same sight twice!)

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!

Cute seal imprinted in the cement of the Redondo Beach pier After you pass by the area of the Redondo Beach pier that's meant for shopping and dining, then you come to the "fisherman's section" of the pier. You can watch them as they reel-in their catches.

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!

Cute jellyfish imprints in the cement of the Redondo Beach pier Here are a few handy links for planning a Redondo Beach outing or vacation. One of the best sources of information for you to know about is the Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce visitor's website. You'll not only be able to find out further information on-line---you'll ALSO get to send away for your FREE Redondo Beach visitor's guide! To access this info-packed website, you may use the following link to view the Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce official website and visitor's information.

Not only can you find out about the city of Redondo Beach on-line, you may also view a separate website specifically about the Redondo Beach pier. You'll find out everything you need to know to optimize your visit to the Redondo Beach pier on this official pier website----the names, addresses and phone numbers of all the restaurants and shops on the pier, for example. You'll also find photos of the pier, event information, and a "FAQ's" page to find out answers to miscellaneous interesting tidbits about the pier area. You may use the following link to see the Redondo Beach pier's official website.

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