• Photo: Thomas J. Sebourn / Shutterstock

Hermosa Beach

This energetic beach city boasts some of the priciest real estate in the country. But down by the sand, the vibe is decidedly casual, with plenty of pubs and ambling young couples. Volleyball courts line the wide beach, drawing many amateur and pro tournaments. The walkable 300-meter pier features dramatic views of the coastline winding southward.

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