Squeezed between El Segundo and Hermosa Beach, the city of Manhattan Beach is a coastal district in Los Angeles County’s South Bay area. It’s beautiful Pacific Ocean beachfront merges into a lively downtown area, with plenty of good dining options, boutique shopping and luxury hotels.
Manhattan Beach has a reputation for outstanding high school education and, coupled with its desirable coastal locale, has made it one of the area’s most sought after residential areas. Grandiose mansions and some quirky abodes line the waterfront, while the Manhattan Beach Pier is one of the most picturesque in the area and an ideal place for a spot of fishing. At the end of the pier is the Roundhouse Aquarium where local marine life is on display, while Sand Dune Park, located just behind the beach, offers a glimpse into how the landscape once looked like as the only remaining exposed sand dune in the area. The beach is renowned for its surf and volleyball, with the AVP Beach Volleyball Championship held here each summer, and also hosts the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix Pro-Am cycling race which sees riders speeding along Valley and Manhattan Beach Boulevard. The Strand is the main beachfront strip which runs through "The Sands" District and forms part of a coastal bike path that stretches north to Will Rogers State Beach in Pacific Palisades and south to Torrance. Other distinct neighbourhoods include the affluent area of the "Hill Section", the "Tree Section", "Liberty Village" and the "Poet’s Section".
The settlement was named in 1902 after developer Stewart Merrill’s hometown of Manhattan, with the word "Beach" added in 1927 at the request of the postal system. Prior to development, the area was largely sand dunes, and much of this was sold and shipped over to Waikiki in Hawaii to create its world-famous beach.
Manhattan Beach is connected to downtown Los Angeles along the Metro Green Line and the Beach Cities Transit bus service. The Pacific Coast Highway runs through the middle of the city, but keep in mind that parking can be notoriously challenging, so public transport is the best option.