The South Bay is geographically defined as the area of Southwest Los Angeles County bound by Los Angeles
International Airport to the north, along the Century Freeway (105) east to the Long Beach Freeway, then south along the
Long Beach Freeway (710) to the Los Angeles Harbor, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the south. Its name comes from
its location at the south end of beautiful Santa Monica Bay.
Comprised of 15 cities, the South bay is home to El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, Torrance, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills and Rolling Hills Estates, Lomita, Carson, Gardena, Inglewood, Hawthorne, and Lawndale, as well as portions of the city of Los Angeles (San Pedro and Wilmington), and unincorporated Los Angeles County. Each city has its own distinctive personality and history; each offers the real estate investor or home buyer something different and special.
El Segundo: Immediately south of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), lies the community of El Segundo. Originally the site of Standard Oil Company's second refinery operation (hence its name), El Segundo has become known as an "All American City". A real small town USA feeling abounds in El Segundo, which boasts a marvelous school system and outstanding community and athletic facilities.
The Beach Cities: Just south of El Segundo lie the beach cities of Manhattan, Hermosa, and Redondo. A favored destination for surfers, volleyball players, and beachcombers alike, these three cities are blessed with beautiful shorelines, spectacular sunsets, and all that goes with the California sand and surf.
Conveniently located near major freeways and thoroughfares, Manhattan Beach provides easy access to those wishing to enjoy the best of Southern California. A thriving community, Manhattan Beach is home to beach volleyball, tennis, and golf tournaments, movie studios, fantastic restaurants, and a highly rated school system.
Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach lie south of Manhattan. Hermosa is the smallest of the beach cities, but it is truly a beach town, complete with walk streets, a great pier, and downtown. Redondo Beach is the largest of the beach cities and home to King Harbor, the Beach Cities' only marina and boat harbor. Redondo is also home to the South Bay Civic Light Opera - a renowned regional musical theatre company, and a wonderful seafront area enjoyed both by tourists from around the world, as well as local residents.
Torrance and Lomita: Stretching from the shoreline south of Redondo, inland to the east, the city of Torrance, and its smaller neighbor, the city of Lomita, share slightly warmer days than the beach cities, yet all of the benefits of the being within the coastal breeze zone. Excellent schools, civic, cultural, and sporting facilities are enjoyed by Torrance residents, as well as a wonderfully redeveloped Old Town area.
The Palos Verdes Peninsula is the jewel of the South Bay. The peninsula is comprised of four cities: Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills, and Rolling Hills Estates. Home to some of the best golf courses in Southern California, the peninsula is also known for its equestrian facilities, exclusive gated communities, and prestigious neighborhoods, top-rated schools, a truly glorious coastline, and the South Coast Botanic Gardens.
The Los Angeles Harbor Cities: The Los Angeles Harbor area has grown tremendously over the past twenty years. Once small towns, San Pedro, Wilmington, Harbor City, and Carson have all grown up along with the harbor. Petroleum refineries, light industry, and of course, the shipping, receiving, and transport of goods from and to domestic and overseas markets, form the economic base of these cities. Each of the harbor area cities has a truly international flavor, great "old" neighborhoods, as well as newly-developed, upscale residential and commercial areas.
Gardena, Lawndale, Hawthorne and Inglewood: These South Bay cities are inland from the west- and south-facing communities. Gardena has a long history as an agricultural community was derived from Japanese-American owned truck farms and vast strawberry fields dating back to pre-WWII days. Still preserving its Asian farming roots, Gardena now encompasses a mix of old and new, east meets California west.
Lawndale, Hawthorne, and Inglewood lie just east and north of north Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, and the Los Angeles International Airport. Currently undergoing significant redevelopment, their proximity to the Beach Cities, yet substantially more affordable housing market, makes them an increasingly popular inland destination.
The South Bay, with Los Angeles International Airport at the north and the Port of Los Angeles to the south, with the sun setting over the beautiful Pacific Ocean to the west, is a prime area for real estate investment and a wonderful place to call home!
Special thanks to 2008 SBAOR President Carol Olney for writing this material.