One of the many perks of living in LA is the miles of stretching coastline. Whether you want to visit Malibu which offers 21-miles of pristine beaches or go to South Bay, a coastline consisting of fun coastal communities. South Bay offers fine-dining, fun activities, and beautiful real estate. In this article, DRU will cover the 4 primary beaches south of Venice:
- El Porto
- Manhattan Beach
- Hermosa Beach
- Redondo Beach
Located on Santa Monica Bay, El Porto Beach is just south of Dockweiler Beach in Playa Del Rey and north of Manhattan Beach. El Porto Beach is one of two beaches in the City of Manhattan Beach. From 1st Street to Rosecrans Avenue is the southern Manhattan Beach and from Rosecrans to 45th Street (where the El Porto parking lot entrance is off of Vista Del Mar) is the northern El Porto Beach.
The City of Manhattan Beach annexed this beachfront community of El Porto in 1980. El Porto is one of the most popular beaches in the South Bay area. Surfers enjoy an underwater canyon that creates waves usually larger than those at neighboring beaches. These swells have lefts and rights that break over sandbars and are consistently big when other beaches are flat. The breaks can hold waves up to double overhead.
Volleyball courts are located throughout the El Porto beach area. Roller skates and bicycles are rented out at the Surf Food Stand for recreation along the paved Marvin Braude Bike Path. The Surf Food Stand is one of the only locations that sells food at the beach. The chairs and tables with umbrellas are a picture-perfect spot to sit and enjoy your meal beachside. El Porto Surf School, aka Camp surf, offers private lessons to learn to surf as well as surf camps to teach groups how to surf. They also offer stand up paddle board lessons.
There are restrooms with showers located throughout the beach and lifeguards are on duty. No fires are permitted on the beach and dogs are also not allowed. Parking is metered with a 5-hour maximum limit.
The land in Manhattan Beach was formerly sand dunes. During the 1920s and 1930s, builders leveled uneven sandy sites and excess sand was sold and shipped to Waikiki, Hawaii, to convert their reef and rock beach into a sandy beach. The only remaining exposed sand dune is at Sand Dune Park, where sand resembling the original landscape can be found.
The city has a total area of 3.88 square miles and features 2.1 miles of ocean frontage, about 400 feet wide. Home values average around $2,280,000 due to Manhattan Beach’s oceanfront desirability, top performing school district, and commuting distance to Los Angeles.
Manhattan Beach benefits from ocean breezes that provide clean air and summer temperatures that are 10 to 20 °F cooler than the inland regions of Southern California. The Manhattan Beach Unified School District has test scores ranked #3 in the State of California, according to California Department of Education statistics. Forbes Magazine ranked Manhattan Beach Unified as the sixth best School District in the U.S. and GQ Magazine named Manhattan Beach one of the nation’s six best beaches in their July 2014 issue.
Manhattan Beach is known for its clean, wide, sandy beaches and attracts over 3.8 million visitors annually. Beach volleyball, swimming, body boarding, and surfing are popular activities among residents and visitors. Every August, the city hosts the Manhattan Beach Open Volleyball Tournament and the International Surf Festival. Lifeguard stations are located along the entire length of the beach and the beach is cleaned and groomed daily by crews from LA County Beaches and Harbors Department.
The wide flat beach makes Hermosa Beach one of the most popular places to play beach volleyball, from professional to amateur. It’s also ideal for sunbathing, surfing, and paddleboarding. The Strand bicycle path runs along Hermosa’s beach from Torrance Beach in the south, all the way to Santa Monica in the north. It’s a flat easy path that’s great 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.
The Hermosa Beach Pier sits at the end of Pier Avenue, which is one of the beach community’s main shopping, eating and partying areas, known for its bars and nightlife.
The city itself extends only about 15 blocks from east to west and 40 blocks from north to south. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.4 square miles. Situated on the Pacific Ocean, Hermosa’s average temperature is 70 degrees in the summer and 55 degrees in the winter. As a general rule, the temperature is from 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than it is inland and westerly sea breezes keep the air fresh and clean, making smogless of a problem for Hermosa Beach than elsewhere around Los Angeles.
Hermosa Beach was originally part of the 1784 Rancho San Pedro Spanish land grant that later became the ten-mile ocean frontage of Rancho Sausal Redondo. 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. On January 14, 1907, Hermosa Beach became the nineteenth incorporated city of Los Angeles County. Hermosa is a Spanish word meaning “beautiful.”
Redondo Beach may lack the name recognition of some of its more famous coastal neighbors, but the low-key, surf-friendly city is still worth a trip, whether you’re in search of a tasty seafood restaurant or a sandy beach.
The coastal portion of Redondo Beach borders lively Hermosa Beach to the north and a small sliver of Torrance to the south before the sandy shores turn to the rocky cliffs of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Most of Redondo’s coastline is residential, with the exception of the sizable Redondo Beach Marina and Pier on the city’s northern end. On Catalina Avenue toward the Torrance border, you’ll find a walkable triangle of local eateries. While there’s a Redondo Beach stop on the Metro Green Line just on the edge of the city’s inland border, you’ll most likely want to explore the coastal highlights by car.
Whether you’re in search of one of the few marinas along the L.A. coastline or simply an easygoing oceanfront destination, you’ll find plenty of worthwhile restaurants, bars, shops, hotels and attractions in our guide to Redondo Beach.