Judy Rae

Best of the Beach 2018 Travel

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The Sea Sprite Motel on the Hermosa Strand remains an unchanged reminder of Hermosa’s simpler days. The Greenwald family opened the hotel in 1963 and continues to run it like a home away from home. Photo by Kevin Cody


Sea Sprite

The Sea Sprite has been welcoming guests since the 1960s and is a charming anomaly. This modest beachfront property has been defiantly resistant to change, and though it’s a bit worn, the units are clean and welcoming. The families who have been enjoying vacations there for decades cherish the experience of ocean views and short strolls to restaurants of every description. There is no room service, and the rooms are light on amenities, but the people who have been returning for over fifty years like this place just as it is.   

1016 The Strand

Hermosa Beach


The Manhattan Beach Shade hotel’s enclosed patio is a favorite venue for social gatherings. Easy Reader file photo


Shade Hotels

The two Shade Hotels are the home team when it comes to upscale South Bay lodging. Both are architecturally bold and modern, but use colors of sea and sky and expanses of wood and fabric to create an atmosphere of serenity. Rooms have all the high tech conveniences, as well as spa tubs and the other amenities that are all about sheer luxurious pleasure. These hotels are where we pamper our guests, and occasionally ourselves when there are repairs going on at home or we just want to get away without leaving town.


1221 N. Valley Dr.

Manhattan Beach

(310) 546-4995


655 N. Harbor Dr.

Redondo Beach

(310) 921-8940


Runner-Up: The Portofino Hotel & Marina

260 Portofino Way

Redondo Beach

(310) 379-8481


Travel agent

Automobile Club of America (AAA)

The travel agency business has taken a beating from the internet, but plenty of people still prefer the personal service and advice that an experienced professional can provide. After all, most of those websites deliberately make it difficult to compare their offerings with their competitors, while a travel agent is an impartial pro whose job is to do just that. Most services are free, and any consulting fee you might spend is trivial when you take into account how many hours you’ll spend flipping between airline, tour company, or cruise line sites. The best travel bargain may be the one that starts long before the trip does.

Automobile Club of Southern California

700 S. Aviation Blvd.

Manhattan Beach

(310) 376-0521


Runner-Up: Beach Travel

215 #A Pier Ave.

Hermosa Beach

(310) 376-8956



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