01 of 04
A Bit About LA's South Bay Beach Towns
The area that Angelenos call "south bay" is located on the south side of the C-shaped Santa Monica Bay. The string of beach towns that begin south of LAX are Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach.
California Highway 1 is the major street passing through these towns. It's called Pacific Coast Highway in Redondo and Hermosa Beach, but its name changes to Sepulveda when it enters Manhattan Beach north of Artesia Blvd.
In all three of these fun towns, the beach is accessible to everyone, with a paved oceanfront path that's always full of walkers, runners, bicycle riders and skaters. They each have a nice pier to enjoy, too.
02 of 04
Where to Stay: Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach or Redondo Beach?
You can base your choice of which town to stay in based on hotel characteristics and price. They're all so close together that you could stay in any of the three towns and enjoy them all within just a few miles of your hotel.
If you're looking for a specific style, this may help:
If towns have a personality, Manhattan Beach is the hoity-toity one, with upscale shops and a fancy hotel.
Hermosa Beach is the local surfer dude, a little rough around the edges, but friendly.
Redondo has a split personality, with a busy pier full of old-fashioned amusements and fishermen, but calls its shopping area the "Riviera."
03 of 04
Finding a Hotel in Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach
In general, the further you get from the ocean, the less expensive your hotel room will be.
Hotels along Pacific Coast Highway and Sepulveda are on a busy, commercial street. Their rates will be lower and they generally don't charge for parking.
Hermosa Beach Hotels
Hermosa Beach has the nicest beachfront hotel, the Beach House. You can walk out the front door of this place and have sand in your shoes in seconds. Read guest reviews of the Beach House and compare prices at Tripadvisor.
You'll also find several less-expensive places to stay along Pacific Coast Highway. To find the best place for you and your budget, read guest reviews and compare prices on Hermosa Beach hotels at Tripadvisor.
Redondo Beach Hotels
You'll also find some nice places to stay in Redondo Beach near the marina, the Redondo Beach Hotel and Crowne Plaza. Both are just across the street from the marina and a short walk to the Redondo Beach Pier. The Portofino Hotel and Yacht Club sits between the marina and... the breakwater wall and has nice views of both marina and ocean.
To find the best place for you and your budget, read guest reviews and compare prices on Redondo Beach hotels at Tripadvisor.
Manhattan Beach Hotels
The "fancy" hotel in Manhattan Beach is Shade. Located a few blocks from the beach, it's a newer, hip place whose lobby bar can be overrun on weekend nights.
You'll also find some hotels along Sepulveda Blvd., but north of Manhattan Beach Blvd. the beach town feel declines. To find the best place for you and your budget, read guest reviews and compare prices on Manhattan Beach hotels at Tripadvisor.
Other Locations Nearby
If you're looking for a really great weekend hotel deal, expand your search into El Segundo. It's not much of a beach town but has several nice places to stay in a business area on Mariposa Avenue. With little weekend business, they're some of the best bargains in town - and close to a Metro Green Line station, which connects you to the rest of Los Angeles without needing to drive.
To find the best place for you and your budget, read reviews and compare prices on El Segundo hotels.
04 of 04
Finding Other Places to Stay in Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach
You won't find any traditional bed and breakfast inns in this part of Los Angeles, but there are plenty of options on AirBNB, including some "floating apartments" on someone's boat. You can search AirBNB for any of the three city names and then move the map around to see what's available in all of them.
If you dream of staying "at the beach," don't let a listing with pictures of the beach fool you. I have seen listings with photos like that which are a half mile or more away. Check the location on a map to be sure it's really at the beach and not just nearby. Or ask the host before you book.
Also, beware of listings that say "beach style" or "beach view."
The houses on the walking streets near the ocean in Manhattan Beach can make an especially fun place to stay. The magic words to find them are "walk street" or "walking street." But not all such streets are close to the ocean and you should check a map to be sure you... know exactly what you're getting.