Ocean breezes, sandy toes, and beachside eateries are just a sampling of what a day in Hermosa Beach has to offer, but this cozy community is more than just fun in the sun. The next time the ocean air is calling your name, head to Hermosa Beach for a fun family adventure. Don’t miss these 10 things to do while you’re there.
1. Sand Sledding
Who needs snow when you’ve got sand? While the rest of the country is raking leaves in fall and donning snow boots in winter, Hermosa Beach residents head to the dunes to sled down the sand “mountains.” This is guaranteed family fun for kids (and adults) of all ages.
2. The Hermosa Valley GreenBelt
The 3.7-mile-long trail known as the Hermosa Valley Greenbelt is a city hike and the perfect backdrop for a nature-themed scavenger hunt with the family. The landscaped trail runs parallel between Ardmore and Valley Drive.
Kids walking along the GreenBelt. Photo by Traillink.com
3. Bike ride on the Strand
Have lunch at kid-friendly eatery The Good Stuff, just steps from the beach, and then head next door to Hermosa Cyclery to rent bikes for a fun game of “I-spy” along the Strand in search of the the French Brigade. This local celebrity can be found skateboarding with his five French bulldogs while handing out stickers to the kids.
4. Homemade Gelato
We all scream for ice cream, especially the homemade gelato at Paciugo. With around two dozen flavors to choose from (including eight dairy-free flavors), this shop serves the perfect frozen treat to devour while strolling the local shops.
Photo courtesy of Art Zone Children's Studio
5. The Art Zone
This creative playtopia is a city mainstay. The exciting, arts based environment nurtures creativity, experimentation, and artistic discovery. Drop in during their “open play” hours and watch your imaginative geniuses make masterpieces.
6. Farmers Market
Hermosa Beach is home to two different weekly farmers markets. On Wednesdays from 11am to 4pm, head to the Pier for free samples, balloon art, and train rides, along with the 40-plus vendors offering produce, prepared foods, and more. On Fridays from 12pm to 4pm, enjoy live music while perusing the produce stalls at the market between 11th and Valley.
South Park has had a recent do-over. Photo courtesy of City of Hermosa Beach
7. Play at the Park
Every city has a favorite park, but Hermosa Beach has three. Little ones love Fort-Lots-of-Fun for its unique play structure that showcases an ocean view from the top of the slide. The newly renovated South Park entices families with a huge grass field for picnics or a game of soccer. The circular cement path around the perimeter is great for teaching little ones how to bike, skateboard, or skate. The expansive Valley Park includes 5.33 acres, making it one of the largest parks in Hermosa Beach. Play basketball, roast marshmallows on a fire pit, play soccer on one of the grassy fields, or roam the enormous playground for hours of family fun.
8. Visit the Hermosa Beach Museum
To get a sense of the history of Hermosa Beach, be sure to stop at the city’s local museum, where the exhibits include artifacts related to several of the city’s landmarks and include one dedicated to the Beach Volleyball Hall of Fame.
Hermosa Beach Pier may look familiar from a certain movie... Photo by Coolcaesar/CC BY-SA 3.0
9. Surfing and Beach Volleyball
If staying on the sand is more your speed, ride the waves with a family surf lesson, and then hit the courts where the pros play beach volleyball each year for the AVP.
10. Step on the “set” of La La Land
Retrace Ryan Gosling’s steps in La La Land with a visit to the Lighthouse Café on the Strand. Then, step outside and walk the Pier, studded with the same street lights as seen in the movie while the actor performed the Oscar-winning song, City of Lights.
Top photo: Kids sledding on sand mountains. Photo courtesy of Tanya Rothman