The South Bay in a Sea Shell
There is a saying amongst many beach residents, “No life east of PCH.” That’s because, with pristine beaches of surf and shore that stretch from San Pedro to Santa Monica, miles of biking, hiking and walking trails, as well as some of the best eateries, shops and entertainment venues in the country, who’d wanna live anywhere else?
Still, there is more to see and experience throughout the entire South Bay, a region of Los Angeles that includes the beach cities (Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach), Torrance, Palos Verdes Peninsula, San Pedro, El Segundo, as well as the inland cities (Hawthorne, Inglewood, Gardena, Carson, Lawndale, and Lomita). Their storied, tree-lined streets invite kids to ride their bikes, communities to come together for block parties, and for neighbors to meet, converse and know one another. You’ll find an abundance of manicured, grassy parks that play host to a variety of activities, sports and leisure. The award-winning, National Blue and Green Ribbon schools of these communities rank amongst the best in the country.
What’s unique about this area is its access to Downtown LA, Hollywood, Orange County, LAX, and, of course, the Pacific Ocean – to name a few. Every Angelino knows the get-me-there value of being able to easily navigate from one city, or place, to the next. Whether you commute by foot, pedal, car, train or plane, you’re only a short distance to trails, freeways, stations and the airport.
Nature abound, the South Bay remains to be one of the most relaxing places in Los Angeles. The vastness and beauty of the Pacific Ocean offers not only breath-taking views, it also keeps the median temperatures hovering in and around the 70s for most of the year. There is a respect and appreciate for animals, bird and sea life, evidenced by local organizations like Save the Bay and the Surfrider Foundation. Lastly, the many indigenous, as well as transplanted flora and fauna, adds to the tranquility and connection these communities hold dearly to the surrounding natural resources.
Manhattan Beach has been dubbed the crown jewel of the “Queens Necklace” for good reason. Its many prestigious, custom designed homes delight in spectacular ocean views and/or easy access to its 40 acres of recreational beaches thanks to the Marvin Bruade Bike Trail, aka The Strand. Notably, the median home value per square foot tops the Los Angles Metro average. The award-winning schools are some of the most excellent in the nation; Mira Costa High School boasts a college-bound standard of over 97 percent.
Words that describe Manhattan Beach also include “charming”, “small-town”, and “friendly”. The different neighborhoods have even been sub-divided into “sections”, so named according to their location’s characteristics. These areas include, the “Sand Section”, “Hill Section”, “Tree Section”, “Gas Lamp Section”, “The Village”, “Manhattan Heights”, “East Manhattan Beach”, “Liberty Village”, “Poet’s Section”, and “El Porto” – all offering something for everyone.
Visitors and residence alike are welcome to enjoy some of the finest, chef-driven cuisine like MB Post, Love + Salt, and Izaka-ya By Katsu-ya and many more. Boutique shops such as Wrights, the BeeHive and Fresh Produce, offer troves of trinket treasures as well as the latest in men’s, women’s and children’s fashions. Get dolled up and revitalized by way of one of the many nearby, high-end beauty establishments.
Talk about people watching! On any given day, you may cross paths with an A-Lister actor, musician, or a world-class, pro athlete. Known for producing some of the most renowned surfers and beach volleyball players – whom you can watch do their thing at the annual AVP Beach Volleyball Open at the Manhattan Beach Pier – locals and visitors can also participate in these, and many available types of outdoor activities.
The oceanside town of Hermosa Beach is as its Spanish moniker so appropriately describes: beautiful. Affluent, with arguably equal, if not more beautiful, ocean vistas, Hermosa is a community proud of its easy-going, beachy vibe. There is 40+ blocks of beachfront living with easy-access north and south via the Strand walk and bike path. The happening night-life, community events, parks and beach activities attract singles, families and professionals.
The reputation of Hermosa Beach’s top-ranked local schools is well-placed, often trumping some of the nearby private schools. Sports, leisure and exercise is easy to do with over 20 community parks; the dog and jog-friendly Greenbelt wood-chip trail, extending from the top of Manhattan Beach down to the end of Redondo Beach, runs through the middle of the town.
Hermosa Beach Pier is where visitors can often spy both the Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach Piers, in addition to all kinds of sea life such as seals, dolphins, and whales. Turning back toward land, Pier Avenue is chock full of shops, restaurants and entertainment venues – most notably the Lighthouse and the Comedy Club. This pedestrian-friendly street is often the hub of Hermosa Beach’s community events, such as the annual Fiesta de las Artes, the Hermosa Beach Endless Summer Classic Car Show, and the 4th of July Community Celebration.
One of the three beach cities of the South Bay, Redondo Beach was once described as “The Gem of the Continent”. It has a territory with a unique shape that extends along the shoreline (South Redondo Beach) as well as inland from Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach (North Redondo Beach). Its different regions primarily enjoy attractions that include the Riviera Village, the Marina, Harbor and Pier complexes. Locals will tell any visitor, they must stop by Tony’s on the Pier to take advantage of the seaward views from their unique “crow’s nest”, then indulge in a Fire Chief – their signature cocktail.
The RBUSD include award-winning schools that are proud to be a part of the California Distinguished Schools. Sports programs offer kids and adults the opportunity to participate in the water and on land; surfing, boogie boarding, skateboarding and volleyball. The every coveted inclusion in the Junior Lifeguard programs gives youngsters life-long skills and confidence that is so important to beach living.
The community as a whole consists of families, professionals, retirees and singles. Annual events such as the Redondo Beach Lobster Festival, Festival of the Kite, and the Back-to- School Chalk Art Festival offers the opportunity for this friendly and tight-knit community to come together for fun and get-to-know-you good times.