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. It is bordered by Manhattan Beach to the north, and Redondo Beach to its east and south. Of the three cities, only Hermosa Beach owns its own beach. The other two cities' beaches are owned by the county of Los Angeles.
Hermosa ("beautiful" in Spanish) is an accurate description of this city's beach, which is also flat, sandy, and long; 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. 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. The wide and flat sand beaches provide the perfect venue for the sport. Permanent poles and nets are maintained by the city year-round.