Expect to pay a premium to live so close to the beach. Hermosa Beach's boundaries extend about 15 miles east to west and about 40 blocks north to south. The iconic Pacific Coast Highway runs down the middle of the city, and it's this highway that divides much of the city. On the beach side of PCH, you're more likely to find an affordable apartment rental, some with fantastic views. Just remember that the closer to the ocean you get, the more congested it'll be in the extended summer months. Single-family homes within walking distance to the beach may well be out of the budget of most real estate shoppers, but areas east of PCH are filled with apartment buildings and condominiums, some up on hills so you can see the ocean even if you're miles away from it.
Hermosa Beach boasts different neighborhood communities, all offering different draws for renters and potential homeowners.
The Strand: Beachfront homes are separated from the swath of sandy beach by The Strand, a paved walkway often populated by joggers, people walking their dogs and people on bikes or inline skates. Finding a home for rent here will be almost impossible, but you might be able to snag a luxury studio apartment in one of the newer condo units.
West of PCH: As everywhere in Hermosa Beach, multiple housing units are beginning to outnumber single-family homes. Most homes in this area boast impressive views in the evenings of the setting sun. You can find places to live here after much searching (using a rental broker can save a lot of time).
East of PCH: Living on higher ground has its perks. You're more likely to have amazing ocean views and gentle breezes, but you save a little on rent by being further away from the waves. Lots of cookie-cutter neighborhoods are here, so if your heart is set on a house rental in Hermosa Beach, this is your best bet.
Plenty of shopping and dining can be had on Pier Avenue on the southern tip of The Strand. At the end of Pier Avenue is the Hermosa Beach Pier, a popular spot for people to drop a fishing line. You can also spend your Friday afternoons shopping at the Farmers' Market. Lovers of The Bard will want to schedule time to see a performance of Shakespeare by the Sea. The free performances are staged June through August in various South Bay venues. The Hermosa Beach Film Festival held at the Hermosa Beach Playhouse in August is a great place to see short films, while August is also when bands perform free concerts on the beach as part of the Hermosa Beach Sunset Concert series.
As a beachside community, Hermosa has more than its share of annual sporting events and contests. The Hermosa Ironman Triathlon is held on July 4. Unlike other triathlons, this one includes running, paddling on a surfboard and concludes with drinking a six pack of beer. If you want to test your mettle on something slightly less intense, or not as alcohol-fueled, check out one of the many surfing, paddle boarding or pier-to-pier swim events. The Sun and Strand Run held in February every year follows a course that is roughly half on the Strand and half on the beach.
Not every day has a sporting contest, though. On those days when you just want to break a sweat, run parallel to The Strand along the Hermosa Valley Greenbelt. Play soccer on the open field at South Park, or play a few tennis matches at Cypress Park. Skateboarders will love the Skateboard Park on Pier Avenue, or the lighted park behind the Hermosa Beach Playhouse. Strap on your skates and get into a pickup hockey game at South Park. The park is also an ideal place to sign up for a local league.