You’re on an emergency vacation, a three-day break from work or just want to get away to a fun place for a short amount of time.
Here is what to do and where to go if you only have 72 hours to spend in Hermosa Beach, CA, a fun and lively Los Angeles beach town. Instead of providing a day-by-day itinerary, these PubClub.com 72-hour guides provide a list of things to do, places to visit and recommendations on restaurants and bars. It’s up to you in what order to do them and in a place as intimate as Hermosa, you’ll probably do the same things all days during your visit.
But first, here’s a little about this small slice of Southern California paradise.
About Hermosa Beach, California
This small town of about 20,000 residents is located six miles south of Los Angeles International Airport. There’s no need to worry about the weather because it’s 70 and sunny 320+ days a year but do bring a sweatshirt or light jacket because it gets cool at sunset and in the evenings all 12 months. You won’t need or even want a car when visiting Hermosa.
How small is Hermosa Beach? Less than 1.5 square miles. You’ll be spending most of your time along the beach, which is 35 blocks long. The streets are numbered 1st through 35th.
The dress code is beach casual. In fact, the girls often complain the guys wear nothing but shorts, sandals and t-shirts while they like to show off a little fashion glamor from time to time.
While there are many young families in Hermosa it has a long-standing and well-deserved reputation as being a singles’ party town. Age doesn’t matter; having fun does, tho.
Fun Things to Do In Hermosa Beach
Here’s a rundown of the top fun must-do activities in Hermosa.
• Spend Time On The Strand
The Strand is the lifeblood of Hermosa. It’s a strip of concrete (and thus please do NOT call it a boardwalk) that runs between the sand and multi-million houses. There’s a break at the pier (approximately 12th Street) with pedestrian-only Pier Plaza leading to Hermosa Avenue, the main beach street that runs parallel to The Strand.Pier Plaza is where you will find most of the bars, activity and in the immediate area, the restaurants.
The Strand is ideal for walking, running and riding a bike.
• Go To The Beach
Well duh, right!?
The beach is wide, about two blocks long to the ocean. Unlike Florida beaches there are not any beach rentals such as umbrellas, watercraft or parasailing so it’s a good place to work on your tan and watch the surfers. There’s also a LOT of beach volleyball; it’s the king of sports in Hermosa.
The Pacific Ocean can be a bit rough if you go out too far and the temperature is often chilly. It’s a refreshing 70 or so July-September and a downright cold – upper 50s-upper 60s – the rest of the year.
Alcohol is not allowed on the beach and cops are well clued into adult beverages in red solo cups.
• Watch The Spectacular Sunsets
This is a daily must-do event in Hermosa because they are spectacular.
• Rent A Bike
Riding a bike along The Strand is one of the great pleasures of being in Hermosa Beach. Hermosa Cyclery, behind the Strand House hotel, rents bikes for $30/day. You’ll only need the one-speed beach cruiser. Do like the locals do and cruise up and down The Strand. Take it south to neighboring Redondo Beach or north to neighboring Manhattan Beach.
If you want an all-day adventure, go to the Santa Monica Pier, which is approximately about 35 miles round trip.
• Take A Walk On The Pier, Which Was Featured In The LaLa Land Movie
It’s easy to spend an hour each day walking on the pier, which was featured in the movie LaLa Land.
A Quick Guide To Hermosa Beach Bars & Nightlife
To get immersed in Hermosa Beach’s bars, all you need to do is go to Pier Plaza where its nightlife nirvana. Know before you go: the bars in Hermosa are small, many with a capacity of around 100 people. There are no mega nightclubs – this isn’t Vegas – and there are lines that form on weekends starting about 9 p.m. The bars close at 2 a.m., with the first last call taking place at about 1:15 a.m.
Here’s a quickie guide to the bars: Sharkeez is THE prime party place, daytime and nighttime. Across Pier Plaza, Tower 12 – which is where we do our podcast, PubClub LIVE! – has a bit of a more sophisticated – but still beachy crowd. Next to Sharkeez is American Junkie and Patrick Molloy’s which on Thursdays has a jamming band comprised of the area’s top musicians in a event called South Bay Jam.
Speaking of live music, the Lighthouse Cafe – also featured in LaLa Land – has music seven days a week and in the 50s and 60s was one of the top jazz clubs in America.
Hennessey’s has been in Hermosa almost as long as the beach.
There are more bars a half-block away on Hermosa Ave. You’ll find a cluster of them from Pier Ave.,to 13th Street with The Underground being a casual English-style pub (the entrance is in the alley). A couple blocks to the south, on 8th & Hermosa, is good dive bar called Barnacles.
A Quick Dining Guide To Hermosa Beach
Breakfast places abound and the aforementioned Hennessey’s has one of the best in town. At least one time you’ve got to sit at one of the small tables at Scotty’s on The Strand; you will literally be sitting on The Strand. The food there is just so-so but it’s the best people-watching place in the entire area.
Sharkeez has surprisingly good food for being a party bar and Tower 12 takes the bar menu to an even higher level. Palmilla Cocina y Tequila is a small and upscale Mexican restaurant and at 22nd Street the Bottle Inn is a excellent Italian restaurant with a great selection of wines.
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