Hermosa and Manhattan Beach are beachfront cities. As the official birthplace of surfing in California, Hermosa is home to the Surfers Walk of Fame. Part quaint beach town, part post-college town, Hermosa Beach incubated Black Flag, the Descendants, and the Beach Boys. An unusual combination of homey and hoppin’, you’ll know you’re viewing a house for sale in Hermosa Beach when you begin to notice the street signs, which are brown with an almost antique typeface. Hermosa is anything but outdated, however. 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, eating, and partying areas. Whether you want to stroll through an art gallery with a latte, rollerblade on the Strand, or catch the sunset with a margarita during happy hour, you’ll find somewhere to do it near the cross streets of Pier and Hermosa Avenues. Make sure to stop by the statue of Tim Kelly surfing that’s right on the pier. If you’re under 35 or over 30 and experiencing a midlife crisis, Pier Avenue is the place to go for a night out. Go early or spend the evening standing in queue on the pier. The dress code includes bleached hair, flip-flops, and cheap shades.

In Manhattan Beach, Marvel Studios is making movies down the street. This area now includes its own mini-Hollywood; CSI: Miami and other shows film at Raleigh Studios. Manhattan is known for its beach and sand dunes, popular bike paths, bars, and restaurants on streets leading down to the beach. LA natives prefer Manhattan to any other beach. It’s an international volleyball and wave-catching mecca, and the place where the Beach Boys first saw people surfing. This mostly residential community boasts a more laid-back, mature nightlife scene than its scrappier neighbor, Hermosa Beach. There’s an abundance of shops and cafes. Café Pierre, a French bistro, has been a local fixture since 1977. The area near the main pier of Manhattan County Beach draws the biggest crowds and stays lively at night after the beachcombers, volleyball players, and metal detector dudes clear out. Savvy locals love the nearby El Porto Beach for its quiet(er) shores and massive waves.

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