Los Angeles Beaches are as much of an attraction as Disneyland or Hollywood are. I have recently returned from a holiday in Los Angeles. I am in the lucky situation that friends of mine have moved there recently and settled in Hermosa Beach.
To be honest with you I would have never thought of staying at a beach for a Los Angeles ‘City’ break but as I learned this is the correct way of doing it. Accommodation is cheaper and you are a short distance from all the attractions Los Angeles has to offer.
The Beaches stretch from Malibu to Long Beach with Santa Monica, Venice, Manhattan, Hermosa, Redondo and many other Beaches in between. The famous PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) connects all of these and a trip down the PCH is also a very popular holiday idea to keep in mind in southern California.
On this trip I visited Redondo, Hermosa (where I stayed) and Manhattan beaches. They are all very different in what they have to offer. Redondo is probably the smallest of them. It has a large traditional wooden pier with many small speciality shops and some great seafood restaurants.
Hermosa Beach on the other hand is way more developed but still has a relaxed and casual atmosphere. This is where you can see the California lifestyle being enjoyed at its best, from surfing to beach parties to boardwalks to volleyball. The beachfront sidewalk called The Strand is the Hermosa Beach thoroughfare for the active, filled with bicyclers, runners and walkers. Hermosa also has a great boardwalk that stretches for miles and a large modern pier where you can sit and read a book or just watch the world go by. It also has great themed restaurants from Mexican to Irish. Its shops and galleries are also great.
Manhattan Beach is where all the ‘beautiful’ people hang out. Just walk down to the beachside sidewalk and take a stroll. You can walk for miles in either direction and never run out of things to see. Manhattan Avenue and Manhattan Beach Boulevard are lined with lots of fun shops and places to eat. I rate Manhattan Beach 4 stars out of 4 for the prettiest pier, most active beach area and best shopping of the South Bay beach towns.
Twenty five minutes will take you to Rodeo Drive and Beverley hills area. Take a Tour of the Stars homes in Beverley Hills and a walk down the famous Rodeo Drive is a must. I always wanted to find the Hollywood sign but never did on previous visits to Los Angeles. But this time I did and it is well worth it, You will have to drive up the Hollywood Hills which is a harrowing enough drive as the narrow road twists for miles but well worth it at the end. So the next time you are thinking of a trip to Los Angeles, stay at one of the beach cities and have the best of both worlds.