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City of Hermosa Beach
—  City  —

Location of Hermosa Beach in Los Angeles County, California
Coordinates: 33°51′59″N 118°23′59″W / 33.86639°N 118.39972°W / 33.86639; -118.39972
Country United States
State California
County Los Angeles
Incorporated (city) 1907-01-14[1]
 - Mayor[2] Patrick "Kit" Bobko
 - Mayor Pro Tempore Michael DiVirgilio
 - Councilmembers Peter Tucker, Michael Keegan, J.R. Reviczky
 - City Treasurer John Workman[3]
 - Total 5.91 sq mi (15.30 km2)
 - Land 1.43 sq mi (3.70 km2)
 - Water 4.48 sq mi (11.60 km2)  75.79%
Elevation 26 ft (8 m)
Population (2000)[4]
 - Total 18,566
 Density 12,982.4/sq mi (5,012.5/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP Code 90254[5]
Area code(s) 310 and 424
FIPS code 06-33364
GNIS feature ID 1652719

Hermosa Beach is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. The population was 18,566 at the 2000 census. 2006 population estimates are 19,435.

The city is located in the South Bay region of the greater Los Angeles area and is one of the three Beach Cities. Hermosa Beach is bordered by the other two, Manhattan Beach to the north and Redondo Beach to the south and east.

The city's flat sandy beach is ideal for sunbathing, beach volleyball, surfing and paddleboarding. The city itself is only about 15 blocks from east to west and 40 blocks from north to south, with the Pacific Coast Highway running down the middle. Situated on the Pacific Ocean, Hermosa's average temperature is 70 degrees in the summer and 55 degrees in the winter. Gentle westerly sea breezes take the edge off what can be high summertime temperatures in Los Angeles and elsewhere in the county. The same breezes help keep the smog away 360 days of the year.

A paved path, called The Strand, runs along Hermosa's beach from Redondo Beach in the south approximately twenty miles north to Santa Monica and the Hermosa Beach pier is at the end of Pier Avenue which is one of the beach community's main and shopping, eating and partying areas. The community is home to lots of beach loving athletes and sun worshippers.



Hermosa Beach was originally part of the 1784 Rancho San Pedro Spanish land grant that later became the ten-mile (16 km) Ocean frontage of Rancho Sausal Redondo. In 1900 a tract of 1,500 acres (6 km²) was purchased for $35 per acre from A. E. Pomroy, then owner of the greater part of Rancho Sausal Redondo. Messrs. Burbank and Baker, agents, bought this land for Sherman and Clark who organized and retained the controlling interest in the Hermosa Beach Land and Water Company,

In early days, Hermosa Beach — like so many of its neighboring cities (Inglewood, Lawndale, Torrance) — was one vast sweep of rolling hills covered with fields of grain, mostly barley. During certain seasons of the year large herds of sheep were grazed over this land, and corrals and large barns for storing the grain, as well as providing shelter for horses and farm implements were located on the ranch between Hermosa and Inglewood. The Spanish words Rancho Sausal Redondo mean a large circular ranch of pasture of grazing land, with a grove of willow on it.

Tim Kelly Lifeguard Memorial Statue at Hermosa Beach Pier & Volleyball courts

The first official survey was made in the year 1901 for the board walk on the Strand, Hermosa Avenue and Santa Fe Avenue; work on these projects commenced soon after. In 1904 the first pier was built. It was constructed entirely of wood even to the pilings and it extended five hundred feet out into the ocean. The pier was constructed by the Hermosa Beach Land and Water Company. In 1913 this old pier was partly washed away and later torn down and a new one built to replace it. This pier was built of concrete 1,000 feet (300 m) long, and paved with asphalt its entire length. Small tiled pavilions were erected at intervals along the sides to afford shade for fishermen and picnic parties. A bait stand was built eventually out on the end. Soon after, about 1914, an auditorium building was constructed; it has housed various enterprises and at present the public rest rooms, the Los Angeles Life Guard Service, and the local branch of the Los Angeles County Public Library occupy rooms in the building. This pier is municipally owned.

The Santa Fe Railway was the only transportation system through Hermosa Beach. It was seven blocks from the beach. The street that led to the tracks was called Santa Fe Avenue, but was later renamed Pier Avenue. There was no railway station for Hermosa, but Burbank and Baker built a railway platform on the west side of the tracks near Santa Fe Avenue, and later the Railroad Company donated an old boxcar to be used as a storage place for freight. In 1926, the Santa Fe Company built a modern stucco depot and installed Western Union telegraph service in it.

The first city election for city officers was held December 24, 1906. The town incorporated and its charter was obtained from the state on January 14, 1907. Hermosa Beach was incorporated in 1907 and celebrated its 100 year anniversary on January 14, 2007. On January 14, 1907, Hermosa Beach became the nineteenth incorporated city of Los Angeles County.

The name Hermosa comes from Spanish and means "beautiful," an accurate description of this beach dwelling community looking out on sunsets.

Hermosa Beach lifestyle

A typical day on this path will see thousands of people on foot, bicycle, skateboard, rollerblade and stroller enjoying the sun and surf. A live image of the Strand and surf can be seen here.

Surfing is a key element of the South Bay lifestyle year-round. Powerful winter storms in the Pacific Ocean can turn typically placid and rolling South Bay waves into large and occasionally dangerous monsters, a natural draw for the local surfing population. The Summer provides warm water and typically smaller waves for beginners to learn.

Beach volleyball is another important aspect of Hermosa Beach's lifestyle. Hermosa Beach has been referred to as the Beach Volleyball Capital of the World.[6] The wide and flat sand beaches provide the perfect venue for the sport. Permanent poles and nets are maintained by the city year-round. Many people playing are professionals, but amateurs are welcome too.

In 2009, Hermosa Beach was designated the best place to live for the rich and single, according to CNN Money.[7]

Parks and recreation

The wide flat beach makes Hermosa Beach one of the most popular places to play beach volleyball, from professional to amateur. Hermosa Beach is home to the AVP Hermosa Beach Open tournament. The Strand stretches north into Manhattan Beach and south into Redondo Beach and is a popular place for walkers, joggers and biking. Of the three Beach Cities, only Hermosa Beach owns its own beach. The other two cities' beaches are owned by the county of Los Angeles.

Running parallel to The Strand is a lovely linear trail known today as the Hermosa Valley Greenbelt. Once part of a railroad easement, this narrow 24-acre (97,000 m2) strip had long been the subject of heated controversy and pressure from various commercial interests. After years of litigation and wrangling, the city was poised to permit intensive retail and condominium development in the mid-1980s when a grassroots group spearheaded by activist Rosamond Fogg forced the matter to a vote. The City Council at the time was divided over whether the matter was of much importance but after an energetic and passionate campaign, the citizens found that the greenbelt was a vital recreational resource and mandated its preservation for the use and enjoyment of residents and visitors. This ballot initiative passed by almost 87%, the highest in California history.[citation needed] The public also substantiated this effort by taxing themselves millions of dollars in order to purchase the lands.[citation needed] As a result, the Hermosa Valley Greenbelt has the quality of a rural country lane, home to butterflies and many bird and animal species. At any time of day or night joggers and walkers enjoy its soft woodchip trails and graceful landscaping. The Greenbelt is also now part of the Federal Rails to Trails network. RUDAT (an urban architectural planning group) found that Hermosa Beach, thanks in large part to the existence of the Greenbelt, was a "world class pedestrian city" as attested to by RUDAT member Jerry Compton in the public record at [2]

The city also has eight other parks:

  • Cypress Park also known as Clark Field (9th & Ardmore) - Baseball/Softball Diamond, Basketball and Tennis Courts
  • South Park (Valley Drive & 4th) - Children's play area, Inline Hockey Rink, Large open field for Soccer and Football
  • Bi-Centennial Park (4th & Ardmore)
  • Fort Lots-o-Fun (6th & Prospect)
  • Noble Park (The Strand & 14th)
  • Edith Rodaway Friendship Park (Prospect between Gentry & Hollowell)
  • Valley Park (Valley Drive & Gould)
  • Skateboard Park ( Pier Ave)

Other facilities:

  • Roller Hockey rink (South Park) - 4th and Valley Drive is frequently used for friendly pick-up games and league matches.
  • Basketball (Cypress Park) - Two outdoor courts on 9th and Valley Drive
  • Baseball/Softball (Cypress Park)- Lighted field with lights on 9th and Valley Drive behind the basketball and tennis courts
  • Tennis - Lighted courts on 10th and Valley / Ardmore
  • Skateboarding Park - Lighted park behind the Hermosa Beach Playhouse
  • Lawn Bowling Club is located next to Clark Building at 861 Valley Drive, Hermosa Beach. Open to the public and they furnish equipment and instruction to beginners. The club was founded in 1936, when Mayor John Clark obtained the approval of the City Council to install a green at his own expense. In 1958, a clubhouse was donated and in 1963 a second green was laid. In the 1960s, over 150 bowlers could be seen all dressed in white. When membership waned, the second green was lost to the basketball court. The club is informal and seeks new members.


A typical summer day in Hermosa Beach

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 18,566 people, 9,476 households, and 3,553 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,012.8/km² (12,982.4/mi²). There were 9,840 housing units at an average density of 2,656.8/km² (6,880.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 89.58% White, 0.80% Black or African American, 0.40% Native American, 4.40% Asian, 0.22% Pacific Islander, 1.68% from other races, and 2.91% from two or more races. 4.82% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 9,476 households out of which 14.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 30.6% were married couples living together, 4.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 62.5% were non-families. 39.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.95 and the average family size was 2.65.

In the city the population was spread out with 12.0% under the age of 18, 6.1% from 18 to 24, 55.0% from 25 to 44, 20.1% from 45 to 64, and 6.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 112.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 113.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $81,153, and the median income for a family was $104,645. Males had a median income of $67,407 versus $50,295 for females. The per capita income for the city was $54,244. About 1.7% of families and 4.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.1% of those under age 18 and 3.0% of those age 65 or over.

There are eight hotels and one youth hostel in the city.



Local Government

According to the city’s most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the city’s various funds had $32.4 million in Revenues, $33.9 million in expenditures, $93.8 million in total assets, $12.2 million in total liabilities, and $23.0 million in cash and investments.[9]

The structure of the management and coordination of city services is:[9]

City Department Director
City Manager Stephen Burrell
Finance Director Viki Copeland
Community Development Director Ken Robertson
Community Resources Director Lisa Lynn
Personnel Director and Risk Manager Michael Earl
Police Chief Gregory Savelli
Public Works Director Richard Morgan
Fire Chief David Lantzer

The Beach Cities Health District [10], provides health and wellness services to the residents of Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, and Redondo Beach. The voters of the three beach cities elect the 5-member Board of Directors to 4-year terms. One of 78 California Health Districts [11], it was created in 1955 as South Bay Hospital and took on its current name in 1993. Beach Cities Health District opened AdventurePlex [12], a Manhattan Beach fitness center for kids and their families, in 2002. Filled with mazes, tunnels, outdoor rock climbing walls, complex ropes courses, and an indoor gym, AdventurePlex challenges children physically and intellectually in health-focused recreational activities.

The United States Postal Service Hermosa Beach Post Office is located at 565 Pier Avenue.[13]


In the state legislature Hermosa Beach is located in the 28th Senate District, represented by Democrat Jenny Oropeza, and in the 53rd Assembly District, represented by Democrat Ted Lieu. Federally, Hermosa Beach is located in California's 36th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +11[14] and is represented by Democrat Jane Harman.

In the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama won 61% of the vote compared to 36% for John McCain.[15]


Hermosa Beach has its own elementary school and middle school but high school students are served by either Manhattan Beach or Redondo Beach where rankings are in the 80 to 90th percentiles. Hermosa Beach residents are zoned to Hermosa Beach City School District [3] for grades (Kindergarten through 8).

In 2005, Hermosa Valley and Hermosa View schools were honored as U.S. Department of Education National Blue Ribbon Schools, along with 33 California schools and less than 300 schools across the nation. The award was based on academic achievement. Hermosa schools are among the top 10% of schools in the state with students scoring at or above the 90% in the highest grade tested in reading and math. For the award, the Department of Education reviewed growth in scores over a three-year period.

The district has two schools:

The Hermosa Beach City School District as a whole received a score of 915[16] on the 2006 California Academic Performance Index, neighboring Manhattan Beach Unified School District scored just below at 906[17] making it one of California's best performing districts. Each individual school also ranks at the top of its respective category.

School 2006 API Score
Hermosa View Elementary 950
Hermosa Valley Elementary 910
Mira Costa High School 852

Hermosa Beach also has a private school:

  • Our Lady of Guadalupe, a Catholic school with classes up to the eighth grade. Although it is a religious school, there is no convent so most classes are taught by lay persons. Religious studies and services are provided by Franciscan friars and priests.


Pier Plaza in downtown Hermosa Beach

Hermosa Beach is located at 33°51′59″N 118°23′59″W / 33.86639°N 118.39972°W / 33.86639; -118.39972 (33.866314, -118.399681).[18]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.3 km² (5.9 mi²). 3.7 km² (1.4 mi²) of it is land and 11.6 km² (4.5 mi²) of it (75.80%) is water.


Hermosa Beach, California
Climate chart (explanation)
average max. and min. temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
source: / NWS

Average air temperature - (Summer 74 °F (23.3 °C)/ Winter, 55 °F (12.7 °C))

Average water temperature - 60 °F (15.5 °C) (Summer 68 °F (20 °C)/ Winter 50 °F (10 °C))

Hermosa Beach has an average of 325 days of sunshine a year.[19] Because of its location, nestled on a vast open bay (Santa Monica Bay), morning fog and haze is a common phenomenon in May, June and early July (caused by ocean temperature variations and currents). Locals have a particular terminology for this phenomenon: the "May Gray" and the "June Gloom". Overcast skies are common for June mornings, but usually the strong sun burns the fog off by noon.[20] Nonetheless, it will sometimes stay cloudy and cool all day during June, even as other parts of the Los Angeles area will enjoy sunny skies and warmer temperatures. At times, the sun shines east of PCH, while the beach area is overcast.

As a general rule, the temperature is from 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit (3 to 5.5 degrees Celsius) cooler than it is inland. A typical spring day (mid-April) is sunny, pleasant and about 68 °F (20 °C). In the summer, which stretches basically from May to late October, temperatures can reach to the mid-80's Fahrenheit (about 30 °C) at the beach. In early November, it is about 68 °F (20 °C). In late January, temperatures are around 63 °F (17 °C). It is winter, however, when the hot, dry Santa Ana winds are most common. In mid-December 2004, temperatures soared to 84 °F (28 °C) in Santa Monica, for a few straight days, with perfectly sunny skies.

The rainy season is from late October through late March. Winter storms usually approach from the northwest and pass quickly through the Southland. There is very little rain during the rest of the year.

Hermosa Beach usually enjoys a cool breeze blowing in from the ocean, keeping the air fresh and clean. Therefore, smog is less a problem for Hermosa Beach than elsewhere around Los Angeles.


According to the City's 2008 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[9] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees  % of Total City Employment
1 City of Hermosa Beach 184 4.63%
2 24 Hour Fitness 158 3.98%
3 Von's Companies 142 3.58%
4 Shorewood Realtors, Incorporated 99 2.49%
5 Hope Chapel 91 2.29%
6 Ralph's Grocery 77 1.94%
7 Hermosa Beach School District 67 1.69%
8 Patrick Molloy's 64 1.61%
9 Comedy & Magic Club 54 1.36%
10 Glen Ivy Hot Springs, Incorporated 52 1.31%

Cost of living

6th and The Strand Hermosa Beach

The beautiful beach lifestyle comes at a price: according to public data from the LA Times, real estate prices increased almost 20% per year between 1999 and 2005.[citation needed] Properties within short walking distance of the ocean routinely sell for well over US$1.5 million. Those with direct, unhindered views routinely ask in excess of $2 million. Money Magazine ranks communities in the area as some of the most expensive places to live in America. Homes located on The Strand frequently sell for $3–10 million. The home pictured to the right sold in 2003 for $8,100,000. The average 3-bed 2-bath home costs about $649 per square foot or $1,500,000 as of 2006.[citation needed]

West of PCH single homes mix with apartments, some have sunset views. East of PCH, the hills rise into upper middle class neighborhoods of tract homes with custom touches. Since the 1980s gentrification has set in, and many single-family dwellings and apartment buildings have been razed for condominiums. Multiple housing units dominate slightly over single family homes.


Hermosa Beach Sunset Concert
  • City of Hermosa Beach Event Calendar
  • Fiesta Hermosa Arts and crafts festival which has taken place for the last 35 years every Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend
  • The locals' weekly entertainment and activities guide to Hermosa Beach.
  • Hermosa Ironman Unofficial triathlon every July 4, consisting of running a mile in the sand, paddling a mile on a surfboard, and downing a 6-pack of beer. Then keeping it down for 15 minutes.
  • AVP Hermosa Beach Open Started in 1969 and typically in June. Attracts combinations of pros and near pros. It's best to know a local to get in.
  • Hermosa Beach Film Festival Started in 2005 and typically in August. Short films from each year are chosen to be screened at the Hermosa Beach Playhouse
  • International Surf Festival Surfing, Paddleboarding, Pier to Pier Swim Events. Beginning of August
  • Hennessey's Paddle Board Festival U.S. Paddleboard Championships. Typically in July.
  • Hermosa Beach Sunset Concert free concert series from bands who perform on the beach. Starts July 22 - Aug. 5 (3 Weeks)
  • Farmers' Market Every Friday from 12 noon to 4 pm, rain or shine. (Valley Drive between 8th and 10th Streets)
  • Sand and Strand Run The second oldest standing run in the L.A. area. Unique is its course design, with 45% of the run on the Strand and 55% on the beach. February during low tide.
  • Shakespeare by the Sea- the South Bay's free Shakespeare in the Park company. Performances run June through August in a variety of venues in Los Angeles and Orange County. Shakespeare by the Sea
  • The Lighthouse Cafe, a seminal West Coast jazz venue, is located in Hermosa Beach.


Beach House Hotel above The Strand

There are seven hotels in Hermosa Beach ranging in price from $79–$450 per night depending on the season. All hotels are within walking distance of the beach, restaurants and nightlife. The following list below is sorted by price and distance from the beach.

Notable residents


In addition to the Los Angeles Times, Hermosa Beach is served by local daily the Daily Breeze and local weeklies the Beach Reporter and the Easy Reader. The main online reference for locals and visitors is which offers a weekly entertainment guide, as well as a full local business listing. The TV show Summerland was partly filmed here.


Segments of the television show The O.C. were filmed in Hermosa Beach (and more in neighboring Redondo Beach), not Newport Beach. This was necessary because of union rules that make it expensive to film outside of Los Angeles County.[23]

In the late 1970s the rock band Black Flag emerged from Hermosa Beach, and played their first show at Valley Park. The infamous "church" profiled in The Decline of Western Civilization was on Pier Avenue, though it has since been torn down.

Hermosa Beach has been the sister city of Loreto, Baja California Sur, since 1967.



  1. ^ "Incorporation Dates of California Cities". Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  2. ^ "City Council - City of Hermosa Beach, CA". Retrieved 2009-03-14. 
  3. ^ California League of Cities, Elected City Treasurers
  4. ^ "Hermosa Beach city, California - Fact Sheet - American FactFinder". Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  5. ^ "USPS - ZIP Code Lookup - Find a ZIP+ 4 Code By City Results". Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  9. ^ a b c City of Hermosa Beach CAFR Retrieved 2009-08-18
  10. ^ Beach Cities Health District
  11. ^ List of California Health Districts
  12. ^ AdventurePlex
  13. ^ "Post Office Location - HERMOSA BEACH." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
  14. ^ "Will Gerrymandered Districts Stem the Wave of Voter Unrest?". Campaign Legal Center Blog. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  19. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Los Angeles, California, United States of America". Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  20. ^ "Santa June Gloom". Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  21. ^ "Rachel Hunter and Jarret Stoll pay $3.645M for a house in Hermosa Beach, CA", September 21, 2007
  22. ^
  23. ^ The O.C. Filming Locations

External links


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