Best Things to Do in Hermosa Beach California: Activities, Restaurants, Nightlife and Events

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Welcome to Hermosa Beach, a vibrant coastal gem nestled in the heart of Southern California’s South Bay. This sun-soaked paradise offers an irresistible blend of laid-back charm and exciting attractions, making it a must-visit destination for beach lovers and urban explorers alike.

Best Things to Do in Hermosa Beach - Best Things to Do in Hermosa Beach
Best Things to Do in Hermosa Beach

From its pristine shoreline to its bustling pier, Hermosa Beach boasts an array of activities that cater to every taste. In this guide, we’ll dive into the best things to do in this seaside haven, exploring it’s thrilling water sports, mouthwatering eateries, pulsating nightlife, and captivating events.

See also: Best Things to Do in Big Sur Pfeiffer Beach, California

Main Attractions at Hermosa Beach

Hermosa Beach Pier

The Hermosa Beach Pier is a must-visit landmark that embodies the city’s vibrant coastal culture. Originally constructed in 1904 and rebuilt in 1913 after storm damage, the pier stretches 1,000 feet into the Pacific Ocean. It’s a prime spot for fishing, people-watching, and taking in breathtaking sunsets​.​

Hermosa Beach Pier - Best Things to Do in Hermosa Beach
Hermosa Beach Pier

Popular Activities:

  • Fishing: Bring your gear and try your luck at catching local fish.
  • Sightseeing: Walk to the end of the pier for panoramic ocean views and watch surfers catching waves.
  • Sunset Views: The pier is renowned for its stunning sunset vistas, making it a romantic spot for evening strolls.

The pier is open daily from 6 AM to 10 PM. Parking is available nearby, and you can find a variety of restaurants and bars around Pier Plaza to grab a bite or a drink​.

Hermosa Beach Promenade

The Hermosa Beach Promenade, also known as Pier Plaza, is the beating heart of the city’s social scene. This lively area is lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants, offering something for everyone.

Hermosa Beach Promenade - Best Things to Do in Hermosa Beach
Hermosa Beach Promenade

Popular Spots:

  • Good Stuff Restaurant: Known for its healthy, delicious menu items.
  • Hennessey’s Tavern: A great spot for drinks and traditional American fare.
  • The Comedy and Magic Club: Famous for hosting top comedians, including Jay Leno.

The promenade is perfect for a leisurely stroll, shopping, or enjoying a meal with friends. It’s a pedestrian-only area, enhancing its relaxed, beachy vibe​.

Hermosa Beach Strand

The Strand is a scenic, paved path that runs along Hermosa Beach, extending north to Manhattan Beach and south to Redondo Beach. This iconic route is always bustling with activity, from joggers and cyclists to families on leisurely walks.

Hermosa Beach Strand - Best Things to Do in Hermosa Beach
Hermosa Beach Strand

Activities:

  • Biking: Rent a beach cruiser and ride along the coast, enjoying the ocean breeze.
  • Jogging and Walking: The flat, smooth path is ideal for running or a casual stroll.
  • People Watching: With its constant flow of locals and tourists, The Strand is perfect for soaking in the vibrant beach culture.

Bike rentals are available at several shops along the beachfront. The path is open year-round, taking full advantage of Southern California’s mild, sunny weather​.

Tips for Visiting Hermosa Beach

  • Parking: Street parking is metered, and there are also parking lots available near the beach.
  • Transportation: Public transit options include the Beach Cities Transit and Commuter Express.
  • Hours: Most beach areas and attractions are open from early morning until late evening, ensuring you can make the most of your visit.

Hermosa Beach combines natural beauty with a rich history and a vibrant local scene, making it a perfect destination for a relaxing getaway or an adventurous day trip. Whether you’re fishing off the pier, biking along The Strand, or exploring the shops and cafes of the promenade, there’s always something to enjoy​.

See also: Best Things to Do in Laguna Beach, California

Outdoor Activities at Hermosa Beach

Beach and Water Activities

Surfing

Hermosa Beach is a paradise for surfers, with waves suitable for all skill levels. Some of the best spots to catch waves include the area near the Hermosa Beach Pier and 26th Street. If you’re new to surfing or want to refine your skills, several surf schools offer lessons and rentals. Hermosa Beach Surf School and Camp Surf are popular choices, providing both group and private lessons​.

Rental Shops:

  • Spyder Surfboards: Known for its wide range of surfboards and gear.
  • ET Surf: Offers rentals and expert advice for surfers.

Beach Volleyball

Hermosa Beach is often hailed as the birthplace of beach volleyball. The city hosts numerous volleyball courts along the shore, attracting both casual players and professionals. The Hermosa Beach Open, held annually in July, is one of the most prestigious tournaments, drawing top players from around the world​.

Major Tournaments:

  • Hermosa Beach Open: Part of the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour.
  • International Surf Festival: Features the famous Charlie Saikley 6-Man Volleyball Tournament.

Swimming and Sunbathing

Hermosa Beach is perfect for swimming and sunbathing, with its clean, clear waters and soft sandy shores. The beach is patrolled by lifeguards, ensuring safety for all visitors. For the best sunbathing spots, head to the stretch near the Hermosa Beach Pier, where the sand is soft and the views are stunning​.

Safety Tips:

  • Always swim near lifeguard stations.
  • Pay attention to posted signs about water conditions.
  • Stay hydrated and apply sunscreen frequently.

Land Activities

Cycling and Rollerblading

The Strand, a 22-mile paved path, is ideal for cycling and rollerblading. It connects Hermosa Beach with Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach, offering breathtaking ocean views along the way. You can rent bikes and rollerblades from Hermosa Cyclery, located conveniently near the pier.

Popular Rentals:

  • Hermosa Cyclery: Offers a variety of bikes, skates, and beach gear.
  • Beach Cities Bike Rentals: Known for their friendly service and extensive selection.

Hiking and Walking Tours

For those who prefer walking or hiking, the Hermosa Valley Greenbelt provides a peaceful escape. This 3.5-mile trail is shaded by lush trees and is perfect for a leisurely walk or a brisk jog. Additionally, the Hermosa Beach Historical Society offers guided walking tours that explore the rich history and culture of the area​.

Popular Routes:

  • Hermosa Valley Greenbelt: Ideal for a nature walk.
  • Guided Historical Tours: Offered by the Hermosa Beach Historical Society, these tours provide insights into the city’s past​.

Hermosa Beach is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a range of activities that cater to all interests. Whether you’re riding the waves, spiking a volleyball, or cycling along The Strand, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this beautiful coastal city.

Dining and Nightlife

Restaurants

Hermosa Beach offers a vibrant dining scene with a variety of culinary delights to satisfy any palate. Here are some popular spots you won’t want to miss:

The Bottle Inn Hermosa: This Italian-American gem has been a local favorite for over 40 years. The cozy, welcoming atmosphere makes it perfect for a casual dinner or a special date night. Don’t miss the fried calamari and the lobster angel hair pasta​.

Zane’s Restaurant: Located at the corner of Pier and Hermosa Avenues, Zane’s serves up fresh seafood and delicious steaks. The Ahi Tuna Tartar and cioppino are standout dishes, and the dessert menu featuring cinnamon sugar churros with vanilla bean gelato is a must-try.

Barsha: A hidden treasure offering North African cuisine, Barsha is known for its charming ambiance and affordable prices. Try the falafel sliders or the rich seafood stew, and pair your meal with a selection from their extensive wine list​.

Vista: For a more upscale experience, head to Vista on the Hermosa Beach Pier. This seafood restaurant offers breathtaking ocean views and a menu featuring fresh, local ingredients. It’s the ideal spot for a romantic dinner at sunset​.

Tower 12: Combining California-inspired cuisine with a laid-back beach vibe, Tower 12 is the place to be for good food and great views. Located on a second-story deck, it’s perfect for a casual meal or a night out with friends​.

Bars and Nightlife

Hermosa Beach comes alive at night with a diverse array of bars and clubs, each offering a unique experience:

The Lighthouse Cafe: The Lighthouse Cafe is a historic venue that’s been a hub for live music since the 1940s. Enjoy jazz, rock, and blues performances in an intimate setting​.

Hennessey’s Tavern: Hennessey’s Tavern is a lively spot is perfect for a night out, offering great views of the beach and a fantastic rooftop bar. It’s a popular place to grab a drink and enjoy the bustling atmosphere of Pier Plaza.

Patrick Molloy’s: Known for its vibrant patio scene, Patrick Molloy’s is a great spot to enjoy live music and soak up the sun. It’s a favorite among locals and visitors alike​.

Baja Sharkeez: If you’re in the mood for a lively cantina vibe, Baja Sharkeez is the place to go. This beachside bar serves up tasty Mexican cuisine and refreshing cocktails in a fun, energetic atmosphere​.

Tower 12: This popular bar and restaurant doubles as a nightlife hotspot. With its handcrafted cocktails and local brews on tap, Tower 12 is perfect for those looking to party into the night. The nautical-themed decor and beach views add to the charm​.

For a night filled with music, dancing, and great food, Hermosa Beach’s dining and nightlife scene offers endless options to explore and enjoy. Whether you’re sipping cocktails at a rooftop bar or dining on fresh seafood with an ocean view, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.

Annual Events and Festivals

Hermosa Beach Festival

The Fiesta Hermosa is one of the biggest events in Hermosa Beach, held twice a year on Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends. Established in 1972, it transforms Pier Avenue and Hermosa Avenue into a vibrant marketplace with over 250 vendors offering arts, crafts, jewelry, and unique goods.

The festival also features a carnival with rides like the Ferris wheel and slide, live music across multiple stages, and a variety of food and drink options. It’s a family-friendly event that brings together locals and visitors for a weekend of fun and community spirit​.

Surf Festivals and Competitions

The International Surf Festival is a highlight of the summer, taking place from July 31 to August 4, 2024. This event celebrates the coastal lifestyle with a variety of competitions, including surfing, bodysurfing, paddleboarding, and the iconic Judge Taplin Medley Relay.

Participants range from young children to seasoned veterans, showcasing their skills and passion for water sports. The festival promotes physical fitness and community spirit, with events like the Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Swim and the Charlie Saikley 6-Man Volleyball Tournament drawing large crowds​.

Local Art and Music Festivals

Hermosa Beach is also home to several cultural events that highlight its artistic and musical heritage. The Hermosa Beach Film Festival in August screens independent films right on the sand, providing a unique cinematic experience with the ocean as a backdrop.

The Summer Concert Series offers free live music performances every Thursday evening from early June to mid-August, featuring genres like rock, reggae, blues, and jazz. These events not only entertain but also support local artists and musicians, fostering a strong sense of community and boosting tourism.

In addition to these major festivals, Hermosa Beach hosts a variety of smaller events throughout the year, such as the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Shakespeare by the Sea, and the annual Pets in the Park. Each of these events contributes to the vibrant culture and communal atmosphere that Hermosa Beach is known for​.

Accommodation Options in Hermosa Beach

Hotels and Resorts

Hermosa Beach boasts a range of top-rated hotels that cater to different tastes and budgets. Here are some of the best options:

Beach House Hotel at Hermosa Beach: Located right on the beach, this hotel offers luxurious oceanfront suites with stunning views. Guests love the spacious rooms, cozy fireplaces, and the complimentary breakfast. It’s a perfect spot for a romantic getaway or a relaxing vacation​.

H2O Hermosa: This boutique hotel is just a two-minute walk from Hermosa Beach. With modern amenities, a fitness center, and a rooftop terrace, it’s ideal for those looking to stay in style. The friendly staff and excellent location make it a popular choice​.

Hotel Hermosa: Situated a short walk from the beach, Hotel Hermosa offers contemporary rooms, many with ocean views. The hotel features a pool, hot tub, and a lively rooftop lounge. It’s great for both families and solo travelers​.

Grandview Inn: Known for its excellent location and affordability, Grandview Inn provides comfortable accommodations with easy access to the beach, shops, and restaurants. Free parking and Wi-Fi are added perks​.

Vacation Rentals

For a more home-like stay, vacation rentals in Hermosa Beach are a fantastic option. Renting a home or apartment allows for greater flexibility and space, especially for families or groups.

Benefits of Staying in a Vacation Rental:

  • Space and Privacy: Enjoy the comfort of a full home, complete with multiple bedrooms, living areas, and often a private patio or yard.
  • Cost-Effective: Vacation rentals can be more economical for extended stays or larger groups.
  • Local Experience: Staying in a residential area gives a taste of local life and can be more immersive than a hotel.

Popular platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo offer numerous listings in Hermosa Beach, ranging from cozy beachfront apartments to spacious family homes.

Camping and RV Parks

While Hermosa Beach itself doesn’t have camping facilities, nearby areas offer great options for campers and RV enthusiasts.

Dockweiler State Beach: Located just north of Hermosa Beach, Dockweiler State Beach offers RV camping right on the sand. Facilities include full hookups, picnic tables, and fire pits. It’s a unique experience to camp so close to the ocean.

Tips for Campers:

  • Reservations: Make sure to book your spot well in advance, especially during peak seasons.
  • Essentials: Bring all necessary camping gear, including a good tent, sleeping bags, and cooking supplies.
  • Respect Nature: Follow local regulations and leave no trace to preserve the natural beauty of the beach.

See also: Best Things to Do at Crystal Cove State Park: Camping and Hiking Trails

Tips for Visiting Hermosa Beach

Best Times to Visit

Hermosa Beach enjoys pleasant weather year-round, making it a great destination at any time. However, the best times to visit are in the late spring and early fall.

May: This is when the summer heat kicks in, offering perfect beach days and a vibrant atmosphere with various events and festivals. One of the highlights is Fiesta Hermosa, a large Memorial Day weekend celebration with live music, artisan markets, and a carnival.

September: The weather remains warm, and the crowds from the peak summer season have thinned out, making it ideal for a more relaxed visit. The temperatures are typically in the high 70s°F (around 25°C), with minimal precipitation, providing great conditions for beach activities.

December: For a unique experience, visit during the holiday season. The weather is cooler but still comfortable for outdoor activities, and the town is beautifully decorated with festive lights. Events like the Sand Snowman Contest add a special charm to the holiday season at the beach​.

Transportation and Accessibility

Getting around Hermosa Beach is easy, whether you’re driving or using public transportation.

Public Transport: The Beach Cities Transit (BCT) offers convenient bus services connecting Hermosa Beach to neighboring areas like Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach. It’s a cost-effective and eco-friendly way to travel around the beach cities​.

Parking Tips: Parking can be challenging during peak times. Street parking is metered, and there are several public parking lots near the beach and Pier Plaza. Arrive early to secure a spot, especially on weekends and during events. Some hotels also offer parking, which can be a convenient option if you’re staying overnight​.

See also: Best Things to Do at Huntington Beach, CA

Final Thoughts on Best Things to Do in Hermosa Beach California

As the sun sets over the Pacific, casting a golden glow on Hermosa Beach’s shoreline, it’s clear why this coastal paradise continues to captivate visitors and locals alike. From its sun-drenched beaches and exhilarating water activities to its diverse culinary scene and vibrant nightlife, Hermosa Beach offers a perfect blend of relaxation and excitement.

Whether you’ve spent your days surfing the waves, indulging in local delicacies, or dancing the night away, this charming community leaves an indelible mark on all who experience it’s magic. As you plan your visit, remember that Hermosa Beach is more than just a destination; it’s a lifestyle that embodies the best of Southern California’s laid-back coastal culture.

FAQs on Best Things to Do in Hermosa Beach California

Why is Hermosa Beach famous?

Hermosa Beach is renowned for its nearly 2 miles of ocean frontage, offering 94 acres of public beach. It is one of the most popular beaches in Los Angeles County, known for its excellent surf, great swimming areas, and numerous volleyball nets along the sand. These features make it a favorite destination for both locals and tourists.

Is Hermosa Beach a wealthy area?

Yes, Hermosa Beach is considered a wealthy area. In 2018, the per capita income was $106,731, which is high relative to both California and the national average. Additionally, a significant portion of the population, 78.31% of adults, hold a 4-year degree or graduate degree, compared to the national average of 21.84%.

What state is Hermosa Beach in?

Hermosa Beach is located in the state of California. It is a beachfront city in Los Angeles County.

What famous people live in Hermosa Beach?

Hermosa Beach is home to several celebrities, including Jimmy Kimmel, Vince Vaughn, Zoey Deschanel, and Kendrick Lamar. Additionally, many athletes from the Kings, Lakers, and Clippers choose to reside in the area. The relaxed atmosphere and the local culture allow them to live relatively undisturbed.

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