Sometimes it seems like the South Bay and the rest of LA are two different worlds. There is so much hustle and bustle and flashiness on the coast of LA, and so much to do. But head just a little further south and you have quieter beach towns, with quiet wealth, small boutiques, high-end restaurants and expanses of beach.
I don’t make it down to Manhattan Beach very often, simply because there is just not much to do there (seriously, Google “things to do in Manhattan Beach” and you will get 5 results – 3 of which are the beach itself). But it is nice to get away sometimes – Manhattan does feel much different than Santa Monica, and often the beach is a little warmer – score!
Parking is really hard in Manhattan, but if you can find a spot, claim it asap and walk! The “downtown” area by the Strand is full of swimwear boutiques, antique stores and amazing locals-only brunch spots. Also Sharkeez, the infamous trashy college bar we have all had too much to drink at at some point.
If you have a minute, head to Uncle Bill’s Pancake House, right on Highland Avenue with a kinda view of the beach. This isn’t just a locals spot anymore, as people will now drive from far and wide to come here. Don’t arrive too early, as you’ll have at least an hour wait ahead of you. But I promise you it will be worth it!
One of the best things to do in Manhattan is simply to walk down the Strand. This is the expanse of sidewalk between the multi-gazillion-dollar mansions facing the ocean and the sand itself. You can walk for miles. Some people like to gaze at the beach, but I enjoy checking out the cool houses. They are all so unique and different, from east coast cottage to modern glass and steel, to out-of-place dark wood, to Spanish-inspired.
But my absolute favorite thing to do in Manhattan is to go on the pier. Because at the end of the pier is the world’s greatest treasure – a mini aquarium where you actually get to touch some sea creatures!!!! Every time I come to Manhattan I go to this aquarium, because getting your finger squeezed by a sea anemone or holding a starfish just doesn’t get old.
So if you are looking for a quiet, relaxing beach day this weekend, escape the crazy tourist crowds in Santa Monica and head a little down south.
What do you like to do in Manhattan, Redondo or Hermosa? Let me know in the comments – I’m always down to check out new places!