Guided Bicycle Tours In Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach & Redondo Beach
You don’t need to get Black Friday or Cyber Monday or even go to the mall or Internet to find the perfect Christmas gift for your beach-loving relative or friend.
Instead, go to the beach!
Give the person the Beach Cities Bike Tours, a guided tour of the Los Angeles South Bay towns of Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach. Or, if you get the Deluxe Package, up to Venice Beach and Santa Monica.
All on a bicycle!
The tour β given by long-time Los Angeles beach veteran Kevin Wilkerson β goes along The Strand, a beach walk and bike path that parallels the sand and Pacific Ocean.
The tour points out Hollywood movie and film locations, top surf spots, the mecca of beach volleyball, South Bay historical sites and the Southern California beach lifestyle.
The guide also gives recommendations on his favorite restaurants, bars and nightlife.
The tours cost just $25/hour (bike rentals extra), and that’s for up to groups of four (most tours last two hours).
So there’s a bonus β in addition to having a unique and great present for relative or friend, you can have a gift for yourself, as well.
Hermosa, Manhattan & Redondo Beach To Reach Into 80s
Is this Halloween or a summertime weekend party?
From a weather standpoint it’s more of the latter in the Los Angeles Beach Cities of Hermosa, Manhattan and Redondo Beach. In fact, t’s that way all up and down the California coast, from San Diego to Santa Monica to Santa Barbara.
The area is under what locally is known as Santa Ana conditions, which means warm winds from the deserts are blowing westward toward Los Angeles.
Inland in places like Fontana, this means raging winds hitting 70+ mph. This makes for dangerous driving conditions on “the Grapevine,” the section of the 1:15 freeway headed to Las Vegas.
But at the beach, the Santa Ana winds bring temperatures in the 80s, little to no breeze and, because it pushes all the smog out over the ocean, spectacular sunsets.
The high in Hermosa Beach is to hit 85 on Halloween afternoon.Β And there’s not a cloud in the sky.
So those wanting Halloween-type weather of rain, howling winds, even a little lightening, this is not the place to be for it. However if your costume involves bathing suits, surfboards or anything you wear in the summertime, then you’ll be in the right spirit(s).
Beach Cities Bike Tours Has Special Tour For #WineLovers
Wine Lovers have something to celebrate in the the Los Angeles South Bay.
But instead of being on the popular #WineWednesday hashtag, it’s on Thursdays.
Beach Cities Bike Tours, which gives guided tours of Hermosa, Manhattan and Redondo Beach, also has a wine tasting tour on Thursday evenings.
The tours starts at 5 p.m., at the Hermosa Beach Pier.
From there, it’s onto wine tasting at Uncorked in Hermosa Beach, followed by wine tasting at The Bottle Inn just off The Strand in Hermosa. It finishes at BALEENKitchen in King Harbor, Redondo Beach, for its half-priced wine night which includes live music.
The tour lasts two hours (you can stay all night at Baleen if you chose, of course) and is the price $50 for groups up to 4 people.Β Each additional person is $10, plus it’ s$10 for each wine tasting and the wine consumed at Baleen Kitchen, of course.
You must supply your own bike; rental shops can be recommended. Tips are accepted.
Site Of Former Biltmore Hotel Is Prime South Bay Real Estate
If you are going along The Strandβ the beachfront walking/running/bicycling path β in the Los Angeles beach town of Hermosa Beach, you may wonder why there’s a patch of manicured dirt with a few palm trees just north of the pier.
After all, with a full view of The Strand, sand and Pacific Ocean, this is prime real estate. You might expect to see a business there, say a small hotel or big restaurant or bar.
Well this is the (short) story of why there is not a hotel there and why it is instead humble Noble Park.
There used to be a hotel on this site. It started out as the private Surf and Sand Club in 1926, then became The Biltmore Hotel in the 1930s.
It was an elegant place β it seems as if most elegant places back then were called “the Biltmore” β that attracted celebrities and political dignitaries. It had a fancy restaurant, an Olympic-sized pool and a bar with rooftop dancing.
Rooftop dancing!? How did they have that back then when today we can’t even have a rooftop bar in Hemosa!?
Eventually, the hotel fell into decline and became home of a Mexican restaurant, La Playta. That place was great; it was pretty much a slab of concrete where local singles would go for beers on sunny weekend afternoons.
Well one day in the late 80s, a developer came along and wanted to build a hotel. So La Playta was moved back a few yards β it’s almost hidden now but it’s still there β and plans went ahead for a modern version of the Biltmore.
This was supported by some locals and fought by others. The city was as divided over this as it was recently over an oil drilling issue.
Eventually it passed, was contested, went to court and it eventually ended in a tie!
Since the developers had to win the measure, it lost in the tie. The hotel was defeated by a single vote.
Now not knowing what to do with the property the city entertained other ideas and eventually, almost by default, settled on a small park.
It’s a nice park, to be sure, but it would generating a lot more revenue as a hotel or some other business.
A rooftop bar with dancing would, of course, be as popular at night as the beach is during the day.
In Hermosa Beach, It’s A Long Way Across The Sand To The Pacific Ocean
I’m coming to you while sitting on the sand in Hermosa Beach, one of the little beach towns in Los Angeles County.
But I can barely see the Pacific Ocean, even though it’s right in front of me. That’s because Hermosa β like most of the beaches in this area β are so wide it’s the equivalent of three city blocks from the sidewalk to the water.
In fact, Southern California has some of the widest beaches in the world.
In other places, you can step on the sand and be steps from the water.Β Here, you could put the Rose Bowl on the beach and still not reach the ocean.
The only other beach I can compare it to is Siesta Key on central Florida’s Gulf Coast.Β A couple of places on Siesta make for long walks to the water.
But here, every beach is wide β Santa Monica, Venice, Manhattan, Hermosa, Long Beach, Huntington Beach, etc.Β It’s only when you get down to Laguna Beach do things become more standard.
In San Diego, the beaches are not wide. Pacific Beach and Mission Beach are a Frisbee throw from wakway to water. But they are in L.A. County. And also in Santa Barbara.
A wide beach has its advantages, of course. In Hermosa and Manhattan, there’s plenty of space for two-wide volleyball courts and they don’t come close to sunbathers and surfers.
The sand is not crowded, either. There’s always plenty of room to put down your towel.
The disadvantage is that you can’t sprint from the sidewalk and make a dramatic plunge in the ocean. It’s too far of a run; you’ll be worn out long before you get to the water.
Plus β and here’s another thing about these beaches β they have the deepest sand in the world. So trying to run on it is a truly exhausting experience.
Rolling down not the road or highway β and not stuck in L.A. traffic β in the South Bay means one thing: riding along the beach on a bicycle.
There’s a path that runs from the foot of Palos Verdes through Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach (and, indeed, all the way to Santa Monica) known as The Strand.
And, as featured on the KCBS 6 o’clock news recently, there’s a tour guide that will show you all the highlights.
It’s Beach Cities Bike Tours and it’s a ride that showcases TV show and film locations, the birthplace of beach volleyball, a top Southern California surf spot (remember the Beach Boys line, “all over Manhattan”) and points out top restaurants, bars and Happy Hours.
There’s even a wine tasting tour on Thursdays!
Tours are seven days a week, from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. The cost is $25/hr for up to four people and slightly more for larger groups.
The Tour is ideal for tourists, people who have recently moved to the South Bay, flight attendands and plots, people on conventions and, well, everyone!