the beach cities
Although the beach cities are more of a locals' place, they attract a huge number or tourists. They are a mecca for those who enjoy sunbathing, beach volleyball, surfing, paddleboarding, fishing, pier to pier swimming, jogging, skate-boarding, bar-hopping, great dining, shopping and concerts. One can surf next to surf legends, play volleyball next to Olympians and enjoy competitions with these giants participating.
A paved path, called The Strand, covers the South Bay coast, stretching south to Palos Verdes and north to Playa del Rey, and, if you're ready to pedal around Marina del Rey, you can bicycle all the way north to Pacific Palisades.
The Manhattan Beach Pier is home to the Roundhouse Aquarium where one can see and learn about local sea life, the 1,000 foot long Hermosa Pier is perfect for a long scenic stroll and the Redondo pier is a broad mix of colorful locals and tourists and has the feel of Coney Island with its restaurants and nightlife.
Founded in 1912, prestigious Manhattan Beach is the most expensive of these coastal towns. It is home to award winning restaurants and chefs, cool shops and galleries. It is a magnet for star athletes, celebs, young families, professionals, yuppies, executive sorts and Silicon Valley tech wunderkinds. Manhattan Beach has excellent schools, and draws young families with its festivals and holiday events geared toward children. You will find a multi-million-dollar mix of charming older bungalows alongside newly built architecturals caressing “The Strand” and abutting steep, charm filled walk streets akin to San Francisco. Manhattan, like Hermosa Beach has vast white sandy beaches and a beautiful coastline. With its easy freeway access, proximity to LAX and good schools it is a sure formula that adds up to a pricey, in-demand neighborhood.
Hermosa Beach is a beachfront city bordered by Manhattan Beach to the north and Redondo Beach to the south and east.
The city itself extends only about 15 blocks from east to west and 40 blocks from north to south, with the Pacific Coast Highway running down the middle. The Los Angeles Pacific Railway, a "trolley" system, was the first railway in Hermosa Beach, running the entire length of Hermosa Avenue on its way from L.A. to Redondo Beach. A few years later it was merged with most all other "trolley" companies in the region to form the new Pacific Electric Railway Company, informally called the Red Cars.
In 2010 CNN Money Magazine sited Hermosa Beach as one of the 10 best cities for the rich and single. It has a younger demographic along with a lot of fraternity/sorority types. In real simple terms: beach, weather, shops, dining, nightlife, and a culture of health, fitness and personality all within walking distance make Hermosa a very desirable place to live.
Redondo is the most affordable, most laid back, and very chill of the beach cities. It has a bohemian flavor all of its own. Redondo does not directly connect to Hermosa as Hermosa and Manhattan do, just because the strand cuts away before rejoining the beach and the houses are up on the bluff instead of right down at beach level. The Redondo Beach Pier is a main attraction with its dining, nightlife, shopping and family fun!
This exclusive and affluent community was founded in 1923 by Alphonzo Bell. Bell owned farm property in Santa Fe Springs, California, where oil was discovered. He bought a large ranch with a home on what is now Bel Air Road and then subdivided and developed the property with large residential lots. He also built the Bel-Air Beach Club in Santa Monica and the Bel-Air Country Club. His wife chose Italian names for the streets. She also founded the Bel-Air Garden Club in 1931.
Together with Beverly Hills and Holmby Hills, Bel Air forms the Platinum Triangle of Los Angeles neighborhoods.
Of several entrances, there are two main ones: (1) the East Gate “old Bel Air” at Beverly Glen and Sunset Boulevard and (2) the West Gate at Bellagio and Sunset. Bel Air, however, is generally subdivided into three distinct neighborhoods: East Gate, West Gate, and Upper Bel Air.
With its large, private and verdant lots, Bel Air is home to the famed Bel-Air Hotel and attracts the likes of many in the entertainment business, politics, sports, as well as many entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, etc.
Beverly Hills, an enclaved city in Los Angeles County, California, surrounded by the cities of Los Angeles and West Hollywood, was originally a Spanish ranch where lima beans were grown. Beverly Hills was incorporated in 1914 and by 2013, its population had grown to 34,658. A world renowned destination for thousands of visitors each year, Beverly Hills features internationally acclaimed five star restaurants and grand, luxury hotels as well as unparalleled shopping (marketing itself as a high-end shopping paradise).
Its reputation has even been the basis of a few popular TV shows such as The Beverly Hillbillies and Beverly Hills, 90210. Santa Monica Boulevard bisects the city, with most of the businesses being in the south, the north being primarily residential.
the bird streets & sunset strip
Sunset Boulevard has always been famous, but perhaps the best known portion of the boulevard is the mile and a half stretch of Sunset between Hollywood and Beverly Hills that has now been dubbed "The Sunset Strip."
The Sunset Strip runs between Crescent Heights Boulevard (on the east) & Doheny Drive (on the west), and highlights a premier collection of rock clubs, restaurants, boutiques, and Hollywood nightspots that are on the cutting edge of the entertainment business.
Nightlife on the Strip brings a vibrant gaudy neon, traffic jam of young cruisers on weekends, and eye-candy for people-watchers and celebrity wannabes.
The Sunset Strip has taken on an eccentric character all its own. Mammoth, hand-made billboards are one of its trademarks. These colorful advertisements were designed to catch the eye of Hollywood producers and deal-makers as they drove to work in Hollywood from their homes in Beverly Hills. Now, many of these billboards serve primarily to puff up egos of the stars they promote - which is why the industry refers to them as "Vanity Boards."
Above the Strip….
The Bird Streets have become one of the most desirable enclaves in all of Los Angeles since the millennium. The appeal of the neighborhood can be attributed to a few factors: views, location, ambiance, architecture, and reputation. Hollywood A-listers have flocked to the area for unobstructed city and ocean views, privacy, an easy drive to the major studios, great dining, entertainment and shopping. It is a stone’s throw from West Hollywood, the Sunset Strip and Beverly Hills. Modern, sleek and contemporary architecture has popped up along the hillside as developers improved lots in an effort to find the next high-profile celebrity buyer. Doheny Estates is the northernmost section of the Bird Streets which also offers some of the best views from its perch atop the foothills. Houses easily go for thousands per square foot and buyers do not balk at the price. Hot! Hot! Hot!