Manhattan Beach California Vacation Guide

Where to Stay And Things To See In Manhattan Beach CA

Manhattan Beach is one of the nicest beach communities in Southern California. Manhattan Beach is one of my favorite cities, I guess in the world. There are three beach communities in South Bay, Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo. I, like all three, Manhattan is cool for a few reasons. It has some low end restaurants and very high end. It has a wide long beach with a rollerblading biking lane and walking lane.

The pier is clear of all the stuff that seems to be piled on the piers in So Cal. All there is on the end of the pier is an Aquarium. Free to the public, sure it’s small, sure it doesn’t have a lot of stuff, but it’s nice to walk out there and see what they have (for free) just the same.

Manhattan is home to some major sand volleyball tournaments. It’s the worlds best place to play, not too hot, cool sand, close to places to eat or drink after the game. The beach is clean, the water is cold, the people are friendly. Why shouldn’t they be, they live in a beautiful area, the ocean wind keeps the air clean, it’s just awesome. Want to buy a condo or house there, I hope that you’re a millionaire because we’re talking some premium priced real estate.

Manhattan State Beach¬†is one of a string of beaches in L.A. County that lie between LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) and the Palos Verdes Peninsula. It’s a fair distance from the nearest freeway, and close enough to the airport to make traffic congestion a major deterrent to those coming from the north. Yet once you get there, it’s all worthwhile.

The wide sandy beach is lined with expensive beachfront homes. Gorgeous bodies abound, seemingly even more here than in other Southern California beach towns. The further you stray from the pier, the less populated the beach is. The northern section is called El Porto Beach. To the south lies Hermosa Beach.

Things To Do in Manhattan Beach

The¬†South Bay Bicycle Trail, ¬†stretches along the back of the sand, extending 22 miles from Will Rogers State Beach in the north to Torrance Beach in the south. There is also a pedestrian walkway called¬†the Strand,¬†where you can enjoy the “sights” as you burn calories walking. The Strand is up on a small bluff above the bicycle trail.

Near the Municipal Pier, vigorous young people play volleyball in the sand. Swimming and surfing are popular activities here as at most Southern California beaches.  Amenities include restrooms, outdoor showers, lifeguards, beach equipment rentals, a playground and a snack stand.

The pier itself has a small marine life aquarium, fishing, bike racks, restrooms and dressing rooms. The pier is located at the foot of Manhattan Beach Boulevard.

The street that runs through town is Highland Ave., just a few blocks from the beach. Here you’ll find a pleasing array of small shops, bars and restaurants.

Local Motels

If you want to stay in a nice beach town, not far from the airport, (LAX), these may be your best bet. Plus, if you are on a budget, motels are generally cheaper than hotels.

The two story Comfort Inn is located on 850 N. Sepulveda Boulevard, within walking distance of the pier. It features a heated pool and jacuzzi. Call 310-318-1020.

The¬†Holiday Inn Express¬†is located at 900 N. Sepulveda Boulevard. This motel is three stories high and also features a heated outdoor pool and jacuzzi. It’s also within walking distance of the pier.

A third motel choice is the¬†Sea View Inn At The Beach, located at 3400 Highland Ave., the closest motel to the beach here. It’s two stories high and features a heated outdoor pool. They’ll let you use bicycles, boogie boards and beach chairs for free.

The Shade Hotel is a modern, luxury boutique hotel located 2 blocks from the beach. The address is 1221 N. Valley Drive. Call 310-546-4995. This is a top rated hotel on TripAdvisor.

Other motel options include:

ManhattanBeach Motel
4017 N. Highland Ave.

Manhattan Village Motel And Suites
3301 N. Sepulveda Blvd.

Seahorse Inn Motel
233 N. Sepulveda Blvd.

Hi View Motel
100 S. Sepulveda Blvd.

Getting There And Parking

To get to here, take the I-405 north or south and exit on Manhattan Beach Blvd., heading west to the coast. Alternatively, you can take Rosecrans from the I-405, which takes you to the north end of town. From Rosecrans, turn left on Highland to go through town. The beach will be down the hill to the left, a couple of blocks away.

Metered parking is available along here, or you can park further away in the residential neighborhoods or in neighboring  Hermosa Beach and walk.

Note: The neighborhood parking now has a 1 hour restriction, making this not a practical option for a day at the beach. A better bet is one of the parking lots.

The pier has a parking lot with short term meters. There is a lot at 12th & Highland and also a parking structure here as well as at Highland & Rosecrans. At 14th Street, there are some meters that allow you to stay 5 hours. Bring lots of change!

Affiliate Disclosure: Some links on this page may go to the TripAdvisor website, where I will gain a small commission if you click certain links within their website. However, I wouldn’t link to that site if I didn’t think it would be useful and interesting as a supplement to this site.

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