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Hermosa Beach, California

Coordinates: 33°51′59″N 118°23′59″W / 33.86639°N 118.39972°W / 33.86639; -118.39972
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Hermosa Beach, California
The Hermosa Beach Pier on a summer day
The Hermosa Beach Pier on a summer day
Flag of Hermosa Beach, California
Official seal of Hermosa Beach, California
"The Best Little Beach City"[1]
Location of Hermosa Beach in Los Angeles County, California.
Location of Hermosa Beach in Los Angeles County, California.
Hermosa Beach, California is located in the United States
Hermosa Beach, California
Hermosa Beach, California
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 33°51′59″N 118°23′59″W / 33.86639°N 118.39972°W / 33.86639; -118.39972
Country United States
State California
CountyLos Angeles
Incorporated (city)January 14, 1907[2]
 • TypeCouncil-Manager
 • MayorRaymond Jackson
 • Mayor pro temporeJustin Massey
 • CouncilmembersRob Saemann
Dean Francois
Michael Detoy
 • City treasurerKaren S. Nowicki
 • City clerk (Appointed)Myra Maravilla
 • Total1.43 sq mi (3.69 km2)
 • Land1.43 sq mi (3.69 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)  0%
Elevation26 ft (8 m)
 • Total19,728
 • Density14,000/sq mi (5,300/km2)
Time zoneUTC-8 (PST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP Code
Area code(s)310 and 424
FIPS code06-33364
GNIS feature IDs1652719, 2410749

Hermosa Beach (Hermosa, Spanish for "Beautiful")[7][8] is a beachfront city in Los Angeles County in the U.S. state of California, United States. Its population was 19,728 at the 2020 U.S. Census. The city is located in the South Bay region of the Greater Los Angeles area; it 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 beach is popular for sunbathing, beach volleyball, surfing, paddleboarding, bars, cycling and running. The city itself extends only about 15 blocks from east to west and 40 blocks from north to south, with Pacific Coast Highway running down the middle. Situated on the Pacific Ocean, Hermosa's average temperature is 70 °F (22 °C) in the summer and 55 °F (13 °C) in the winter. Westerly sea breezes lessen what can be high summertime temperatures in Los Angeles and elsewhere in the county and help keep the smog away 360 days of the year.

A paved path, called The Strand, runs along Hermosa's beach from Torrance Beach in the south approximately twenty miles north to Santa Monica. The Hermosa Beach Pier is at the end of Pier Avenue, which is one of the beach community's main shopping, dining and entertainment areas.


Don Manuel Domínguez, a signer of the Californian Constitution and owner of Rancho San Pedro, which included all of modern-day Hermosa.

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 (6.1 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.

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.

Golden State Silk Mills in Hermosa Beach, c. 1925; the small city was the center of the West Coast silk industry[9]

The Los Angeles Pacific Railway, a trolley system, was the first trolley service in Hermosa Beach, running the entire length of Hermosa Ave. on its way from L.A. to Redondo Beach. A few years later it was merged with most other trolley companies in the region to form the new Pacific Electric Railway Company, informally called the Red Cars.[10]

The Santa Fe Railway was the first railroad to run through Hermosa Beach.[11] 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 Santa Fe 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 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. On January 14, 1907, Hermosa Beach became the nineteenth incorporated city of Los Angeles County.


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).[12]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2), all of it land.


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))

Climate data for Hermosa Beach, California
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 91
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 65.7
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 48.0
Record low °F (°C) 27
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.02
Source: [13][14][15]

Hermosa Beach has an average of 325 days of sunshine a year.[16] 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.[17] 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 °F (3 to 5.5 °C) 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-80s 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, on average, there is just about 14 inches of rain per year in the city.

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.


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[18]


According to the 2020 United States Census, there were 19,728 residents of the city, of whom 77.9% identified as White (73.4% Non-Hispanic White), 0.6% Black or African American, 0.0% Native American, 7.3% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and 11.6% as Two or more races. 11.4% of residents were of Hispanic or Latino origin, of any race.[19]


The 2010 United States Census[20] reported that Hermosa Beach had a population of 19,506. The population density was 13,673.6 inhabitants per square mile (5,279.4/km2). The racial makeup of Hermosa Beach was 16,928 (86.8%) White (80.9% Non-Hispanic White),[21] 229 (1.2%) African American, 49 (0.3%) Native American, 1,111 (5.7%) Asian, 46 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 325 (1.7%) from other races, and 818 (4.2%) from two or more races. There were 1,632 residents of Hispanic or Latino ancestry, of any race (8.4%).

The Census reported that 19,491 people (99.9% of the population) lived in households, 11 (0.1%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 4 (0%) were institutionalized.

There were 9,550 households, out of which 1,878 (19.7%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 3,254 (34.1%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 460 (4.8%) had a female householder with no husband present, 325 (3.4%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 710 (7.4%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 64 (0.7%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 3,644 households (38.2%) were made up of individuals, and 606 (6.3%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.04. There were 4,039 families (42.3% of all households); the average family size was 2.80.

There were 3,093 residents (15.9%) under the age of 18, 1,242 (6.4%) aged 18 to 24, 8,516 (43.7%) aged 25 to 44, 4,898 (25.1%) aged 45 to 64, and 1,757 (9.0%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37.0 years. For every 100 females, there were 111.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 112.1 males.

There were 10,162 housing units at an average density of 7,123.5 per square mile (2,750.4/km2), of which 4,255 (44.6%) were owner-occupied, and 5,295 (55.4%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.0%; the rental vacancy rate was 4.4%. 10,083 people (51.7% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 9,408 people (48.2%) lived in rental housing units.

According to the 2010 United States Census, Hermosa Beach had a median household income of $101,655, with 3.4% of the population living below the federal poverty line.[22]


As of the census[23] of 2000, there were 18,566 people, 9,476 households, and 3,553 families residing in the city. The population density was 12,982.4 inhabitants per square mile (5,012.5/km2). There were 9,840 housing units at an average density of 6,880.7 per square mile (2,656.7/km2). 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, 12.0% of the population was under the age of 18, 6.1% was from 18 to 24, 55.0% from 25 to 44, 20.1% from 45 to 64, and 6.8% was 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.


6th and The Strand Hermosa Beach

Arts and culture[edit]

Hermosa Beach Pier Surfer Statue
Hermosa Beach sunset concert
  • Fiesta Hermosa: Arts and crafts festival which has taken place for the last 35 years every Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend
  • 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. "First to finish without puking wins!"[24][25][26]
  • AVP Hermosa Beach Open: Started in 1969 and typically in June. Attracts combinations of pros and near pros. Free event open to everyone.
  • ShockBoxx Art Gallery: Located at 6th & Cypress in the arts district. Showcasing domestic and international artists with avant-garde style themes. Free and open to the public. Check the website for show dates.[27]
  • 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 31 – August 21 (4 weeks)
  • Farmers' Market Every Friday from 12 noon to 4 pm, rain or shine. (Valley Drive between 8th and 10th Streets) Also, every Wednesday from 1pm to 6pm in the Pier Plaza (by the pier)
  • 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.[28]
  • The Lighthouse Cafe, a seminal West Coast jazz venue, is located in Hermosa Beach.
  • The Hermosa Beach Community Drum Circle occurs every third Sunday of the month from noon to 3 pm at Hermosa Pier.
  • The Comedy and Magic Club where comedian Jay Leno has been performing since 1978.[29]
  • Hermosa has a rich history in punk rock music, with many notable bands including Black Flag, Red Kross, The Descendents, Pennywise, OFF! and Circle Jerks having all lived or rehearsed in town over the years.

Parks and recreation[edit]

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, and several amateur CBVA tournaments during the year. The Strand stretches north to Santa Monica and south to 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] On the same Ballot, the public approved a referendum added a utility user's tax by 2% to help pay for the purchase, to be sunset after the property was acquired. [citation needed] As a result, the Hermosa Valley Greenbelt has the quality of a rural country lane, home to the monarch butterfly 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. The AIA R/UDAT (Regional/Urban Design Assistance Team) found that Hermosa Beach, thanks in large part to the existence of the Greenbelt, was a "world class pedestrian city".[30]

The city also has eight other parks:[31]

Other facilities:

  • Skateboard Park – Pier Avenue and Ardmore Avenue
  • 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.


Local government[edit]

According to the 2009 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.[32]

The structure of the management and coordination of city services is:[33]

City Department Department Head
Administration Suja Lowenthal[34] (City Manager)
Finance Viki Copeland
Community Development Carrie Tai
Recreation & Community Resources Lisa Nichols
Personnel and Risk Manager Vanessa Godinez
Police Chief Paul LeBaron
Public Works Joe SanClamente

The Beach Cities Health District,[35] 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,[36] it was created in 1955 as South Bay Hospital and took on its current name in 1993. Beach Cities Health District opened AdventurePlex,[37] 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.[38]

The Los Angeles County Fire Department has a sectional lifeguard headquarters located at the Hermosa Beach Pier since the new building opened its doors since 2006, currently commanded by Capt. Tracy Lizzotte who leads the entire "Team HB" as part of "Team South" in the L.A. County Lifeguard. Currently located at 1200 The Strand housed a lifeguard garage where response vehicles have parked.


In the California State Legislature, Hermosa Beach is in the 26th Senate District, represented by Democrat María Elena Durazo, and in the 66th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Al Muratsuchi.[39]

In the United States House of Representatives, Hermosa Beach is in California's 36th congressional district, represented by Democrat Ted Lieu.[40]

In the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama won 61% of the vote compared to 36% for John McCain.[41]


Public schools[edit]

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 for grades Kindergarten through 8. Before Proposition 13 passed, Hermosa Beach had five elementary schools (North, South, Hermosa View, Prospect Heights, Valley Vista) and one junior high school (Pier Avenue).

Residents of Hermosa Beach were in South Bay Union High School District until 1993, when it dissolved.[42]

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 three schools:

  • Hermosa View Elementary (Pre-k to Grade 2)
  • Hermosa Vista Elementary (Grades 3 and 4)
  • Hermosa Valley Middle (Grades 5 through 8)

At the high school level, public school students can choose between two schools:

The Hermosa Beach City School District as a whole received a score of 915[43] on the 2006 California Academic Performance Index, neighboring Manhattan Beach Unified School District scored just below at 906[44] 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 Vista Elementary
Hermosa Valley Middle 910
Mira Costa High School 852

Private schools[edit]

Hermosa Beach also has one private school:

At one point the International Bilingual School, a Japanese preparatory school for grades K-9, moved to Hermosa Beach. In 1992 the school moved to Palos Verdes Estates.[45]


In addition to the Los Angeles Times, Hermosa Beach is served by the hometown Easy Reader, local daily the Daily Breeze and local weekly the Beach Reporter.

Filming location[edit]

  • The TV show Summerland was partly filmed here.
  • Scenes of the TV show The O.C. were filmed on the Hermosa Beach Strand, Pier and Plaza.[46]
  • The Beach House on the TV show Beverly Hills, 90210 is located on the north end of The Strand (1994/1995 seasons).
  • The city was the site of the start and the first task on The Amazing Race 31.
  • In 2019, the fourth season of Veronica Mars filmed primarily in Hermosa Beach, mainly at the Sea Sprite Hotel.[47]

Notable people[edit]

Sister city[edit]

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

See also[edit]


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  3. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
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  6. ^ "USPS – ZIP Code Lookup – Find a ZIP+ 4 Code By City Results". Retrieved January 18, 2007.
  7. ^ "Profile for Hermosa Beach, California, CA". ePodunk. Retrieved September 12, 2012.
  8. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. pp. 155.
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