HERMOSA BEACH

The moment you set foot in Hermosa, you’ll probably start hearing Beach Boys melodies softly playing in your head. Surf’s up, the sun is out, and the volleyball players are on the sand.
This beachfront area in the Southbay is known for all things you’d probably find in a 60s Frankie and Annette movie, and nobody wears anything but flip-flops. Life centers around the Pacific Beach and The Strand, where you’ll find plenty of bars, cafes, and restaurants. The area is a bit more vanilla than it’s northern neighbor Venice, but younger and funkier than nearby Manhattan Beach.
Come along for a slice of idyllic LA, in a neighborhood that’s just one Endless Summer.

Stop 1: Gum Tree Cafe

This “Aussie-inspired” cafe is all about the toasts, so we were on board for patio-seating and avocado-on-buckwheat eating (we added eggs, too!) The toasted quinoa and Aussie Pies are also favorites, and the adjourning shop is adorable.

(238 Pier Ave, Hermosa Beach)

Stop 2: Hermosa Beach Pier

The pier was first erected in 1904, and still serves as a focal point for all things Hermosa. On the Saturday we were there, a local beach volleyball tournament was going on and families were flocking ocean-side with boogie boards and picnic lunches. It’s also home to a summer concert series (free on Sundays!)

(1 Pier Avenue, Hermosa Beach)

Stop 3: Curious Gift Shop

Holy cuteness. If you’re ready to decorate your charming beachside cottage, this is the place to come…or if you’re just looking for the kind of shop that serves beer to customers as they walk through the door (cuz, yep. They do!) Curious has everything from vintage Olympic prints to Southbay coloring books, plants in Moscow Mule cups, the best greeting cards, and charming furniture. Just make sure you finish that can of PBR before you head out!

(128 Pier Avenue, Hermosa Beach)

Stop 4: The Source Cafe

In a neighborhood where people spend most of their days in bathing suits, a place like The Source Cafe makes sense: they serve handcrafted smoothies, sandwiches and juices and boast about their “art of nourishment.” We went all green, ordering an iced matcha latte and a Healing Refresher juice (pineapple, grapefruit, tumeric, ginger, dandelion, lime, cilantro, cucumber) that were both delicious. A perfect place to fuel up, and feel less guilty about the margaritas you’ll surely be drinking later in the day!

(509 Pier Avenue, Hermosa Beach)

Stop 5: Greenbelt Park

This little park area is part of a larger, 3.5 mile trail that extends through Hermosa and Manhattan Beach. Although it’s close to the neighborhood’s main strip, the park is peaceful and a calm green patch of nature — great for dog-walkers and runners (insider’s tip: no bikes allowed).

(36 Pier Avenue, Hermosa Beach)

Stop 6: Dia de Campo

This Mexican seafood joint could not be more perfect after a day at the beach: cold margarita glasses, fresh fish, and long communal tables for leisurely meals. We arrived just in time to enjoy their “Bandito Hour,” scoring $1 oysters and a hearty Mahi Bowl with house rice and corn salsa.

Insider’s Tip: live acoustic music every Wednesday from 5-7pm.

(1238 Hermosa Avenue, Hermosa Beach)

Stop 7: Paradis Ice Cream

Who knew the Danish were so good at ice cream?! Not us, until we entered Paradis. The shop has a wide selection of handmade ice creams and sorbets, using fresh fruit and milk. This location is one of many franchises across Europe and now California, opened just last year by a young couple from Copenhagen. It’s Denmark’s most popular ice cream chain, and you can taste why: the scoops are light and fluffy, not as dense without the cream. The fruit sorbets were delightful, but we were smitten with the sea salt caramel and peanut butter chocolate caramel. Liflig!

(1309 Hermosa Avenue, Hermosa Beach)

The Details:

There are a number of buses into Hermosa Beach, and walking/biking/skating around is a breeze once you’re on Hermosa Ave (as you can see by our itinerary). More info here.

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