Hermosa, Leo Carillo and others
A local surfer and youth leader is remembered by a statue at the foot of Hermosa Beach’s pier, which should be proof aplenty that riding the waves is taken very seriously indeed in this slightly downbeat beachside community. Away from the sands and surf, however, the town has little to merit a stop.
Leo Carillo State Beach
Approaching from the north on Hwy-1, Leo Carillo State Beach marks your arrival in Los Angeles County and, in keeping with LA’s showbiz roots, is named after the actor who played Pancho in TV’s Cisco Kid series. Most weekdays, bronzed beach bodies are conspicuous by their absence and attention focuses on the state beach’s cave-and tunnel-ridden bluffs and the breeze-tormented fishermen who cast hopefully into its offshore kelp beds.
Like neighbouring Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach draws its share of surfers, though high-rise condominiums and holiday apartments loom behind the sands and families on vacation are often as much in evidence as tanned beach bums. Beside the beach, the ramshackle wooden walkways of Fisherman’s Wharf hold a tame selection of shops and odd stalls.
On any sunny weekend bikinis, biceps and surfboards are still as much in evidence at Surfrider Beach as they were in the early 1960s, when Frankie Avalon and Annette Furnicello starred in the low-budget beach party movies made here.
However hot Zuma Beach may be in summer, it’s cooler than the San Fernando Valley – the quintessential LA suburb, infamous for its smog and for its air-headed “Valley Girls” – which is why, on any summer weekend, the entire valley population appears to have relocated to the picnic tables and snack-stands here, the easiest beach to reach from the valley.
The beaches and their hinterlands are of course popular for villa holidays.
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