People that live in LA. notoriously stick to their immediate neighborhood (thank you traffic!) but this is such a diverse city with tons of fun things to do. Some friends and I ventured down to the South Bay with one question in mind: What are some fun things to do in Manhattan Beach beyond the things we usually do? Hope it gives you some ideas for an entertaining day of your own.
If you’re visiting Southern California from elsewhere, you’re probably spending time at all the typical Los Angeles tourist spots like Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. Make sure to read our 15 Mistakes to avoid when visiting Los Angeles that will help you make the most of your trip. You’ll also love these 9 Best Scenic drives in Los Angeles.
While it’s fun to see those areas, seeing a place where Angelenos live and play is what will make you love L.A. Manhattan Beach is just one of the 13 Prettiest Beaches in Southern California.
Spending the Day in Manhattan Beach: 7 Fun Things to Do
1. Coffee & Classic Cars in Redondo Beach is a Great Place to Start the Day
We planned to spend our day in Manhattan Beach, but had to make a quick and necessary pitstop in Redondo Beach to grab some delicious coffee at The Boy and the Bear. I saw the coffee shop on a volleyball weekend and wanted to check it out. Across the street we fortuitously discovered a classic car club called Garage 77 where you’re able to rent exotic cars for the day. What sounds better than driving around in a classic convertible car on a summer day by the beach?
Related post: 13 Prettiest Beaches in Southern California
2. Shopping in Cute Manhattan Beach Boutiques is one of the Best Things to Do
Next, we made our way up to Manhattan Beach Blvd. to shop at some beachy boutiques. Hot summer days call for lots of dresses, hats, sunglasses, and light colors. Gum Tree has great home decor items. This is the perfect place to get gifts too. Find super cute dresses, jewelry and more at Katwalk. Trina Turk cater to those summer shopping needs for fashion and home decor. Always a Trina Turk fan, I figured I would like this store but it’s just an absolute treat to shop here.
3. Manhattan Beach is Filled to the Brim With Great Restaurants
Soon enough we found ourselves hungry for lunch. There are so many good options for different types of meals in Manhattan Beach. Up the street from the pier is a cute little, bustling seafood restaurant we kept hearing about called Fishing with Dynamite. The plate of Fish & Chips came first, and as you can see they were so delicious that they were gone by the time the rest of our food had arrived. We also ordered Grilled Shrimp Tacos and Nicoise toast. Everything was so delicious, we will definitely come back another time.
4. Strolling the Strand is my #1 Manhattan Beach Favorite Thing to Do
Hands down, my favorite thing to do in Manhattan Beach is walk the strand, which is perfect to walk off a yummy meal. The strand stretches all the way from Redondo Beach to Pacific Palisades, and you can find several people bike riding, rollerblading, and walking their dogs–yet more fun things to do in Manhattan Beach! It’s such a treat to walk by all the amazing beach houses here and interact with the neighbors.
It’s an excellent way to start the day and you’ll find lots of people taking a power walk. Mid-afternoon it’s completely social. You’ll probably make friends along the way. At sunset, you may start thinking about booking an appointment with a realtor so you can just have this as your life!
Related post: Walking for Fitness
5. Bumming on the Beach
You’re in California – you have to go to the beach! It will beckon you to come sit down and soak in some rays. Don’t forget a cute hat and some trusty sunscreen. California sun is strong. Don’t forget to use sunscreen even on a cloudy day. You can still get a sunburn. If you are sun sensitive, you might consider bringing a beach umbrella with you.
6. Manhattan Beach is Known for World Class Beach Volleyball
If you want to go out and play, you can typically find a court and join in the fun. Sometimes you can catch an AVP or CBVA Tournament and watch incredible athletes compete in beach competitions. It’s such a fun sport to watch and you’ll be right next to the action. This Southern California pastime is one of the best free things you can do in L.A. If you’re sitting anywhere close, make sure you’re watching the game so you don’t get hit by a ball you had no idea was coming for you.
7. My Hubby Would Have Put Surfing at His #1 Thing to do in Manhattan Beach
We have quite a few friends that will wake up at the crack of dawn to get out and surf El Porto. It’s a favorite spot with Southern California surfers. You can also spot surfers by the Manhattan Beach Pier. If you’re a newbie and want to try some So Cal surfing, sign up for surf lessons or put your kids up for surf camp. It’s such a fun California thing to do on your vacation.
Manhattan Beach Hotels
Now that you know how much fun it is in Manhattan Beach, you may be thinking you want to stay in the South Bay for your trip. It would be a great choice. Here are some great places to stay:
- Shade Hotel Manhattan Beach – Is walking distance from the beach and downtown Manhattan Beach. It has a really fun vibe. They have a great rooftop deck with a pool.
- Westdrift Manhattan Beach, Autograph Collection by Marriott – A little further from the beach but a convenient place to stay. They have spacious, stylish rooms. It’s only 3 miles to LAX so you can get from your airplane seat to the pool lounge chair in under 30 minutes.
- The Sea View Inn At The Beach – Perfect for surfers and families, this little Inn is walking distance from the waves and Sand Dune Park where the kids can have a blast. They have free bikes you can borrow to ride on the bike path.
The South Bay is so close to Santa Monica, has so many fun activities, great food and and terrific sightseeing. Make sure you get some time in one of the best cities in Southern California. Whether you’re an Angeleno or visiting Los Angeles, take advantage of the fun things to do in Manhattan Beach and the other Prettiest Beaches in Southern California.
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