Hermosa Beach, where it
HERMOSA BEACH, Calif. — If anyone knows about the beach cities of Southern California, it’s Cris Bennet.
As the owner of the Good Stuff restaurant here since 1979, with another branch in Redondo Beach, and a former location just up the road in Manhattan Beach, when Bennett says Hermosa has the best beach of them all, you take him seriously.
“Our beach is amazing,” he says. “Long and clean, we’ve got great waves … this is Southern California, live and direct, with sunny skies, beautiful weather … everything you could ask for in a beach community.”
Today, we bring our USA TODAY cameras to Hermosa, the tiny (less than 20,000 people in a 1.5-mile square) L.A. suburb where it’s seemingly summer all year round, a Beach Boys song come to life.
Beach volleyball is huge in Hermosa, and always happening. The town is so well known for surfing that the No. 1 photo spot, at least during our frequent visits, always seems to be standing by the statue of notable surfer Tim Kelly.
For those who prefer going on wheels when visiting, Hermosa Cyclery (right behind Good Stuff) rents bikes and skates for folks to ride up and down the paved, vehicle-free 22-mile bike and walking trail the Strand, which extends from Torrance in the south all the way up north to Pacific Palisades.
The heart of Hermosa is Pier Plaza, a large pedestrian walkway that leads down to the water, home to many festivals (art shows, farmer’s markets and the like) as well as the center of trendy restaurants and youth-oriented bars that attract crowds well into the night. (If you don’t like noise, visit Hermosa by day.)
Jefferson Graham brings his cameras to the tiny Southern California community of Hermosa Beach for a USA TODAY video tour.
Hermosa is fun in the sun, but folks who aren’t into the party scene might want to steer clear of the town on July 4th.
America’s birthday is one of the busiest days, an ode to drinking that begins in the morning with an odd, city-sanctioned event called the Iron Man. As the website says, “Run a mile, paddle a mile, then chug a 6-pack of beer. The first to finish without puking wins.”
Last July, a local TV reporter’s standup got a new life on YouTube, when her interview subjects got thrown up on during her segment.
Note that it’s illegal to drink on the beach, but on July 4th, the city takes a mulligan on that one.
But enough about that side of Hermosa.
In our accompanying gallery, we aim to show you the best of Hermosa — the iconic pier, the waves, sunsets, surfers, volleyball players, Bennett’s long beach and the surf statue.
Photowalk tip: The best place to get a cool overhead shot of Hermosa Beach is on the third floor of Hennessey’s Tavern, which has an outdoor deck that lets you see Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo, as well as nearby Catalina Island on a clear day.
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