“I love Los Angeles, and I love Hollywood. They’re beautiful. Everybody’s plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic.” – Andy Warhol
Manhattan Beach California

When I meet people for the first time, they always ask me how I like San Diego. I tell them, I think it’s awesome. The weather is great. The people are very down-to-earth. It is a collaborative business community. There are so many fun things to do all the time. It is a wonderful place to work and live. I have traveled quite a bit and lived a number of other places, so people frequently follow-up with another question: Is there anywhere else you would like to live if you didn’t live in San Diego? I usually say that I love San Francisco, New York City, and Las Vegas, but I like San Diego better than those places, even though they are fun to visit. But, I say, I do like Manhattan Beach very much, I love to visit, and could easily see myself living there.

Manhattan Beach California

Manhattan Beach is in the South Bay of Los Angeles, but it doesn’t feel like LA at all. It has great access to LAX, a major international airport, and good access to all that LA has to offer. I’ve lived in LA twice: once in the South Bay and the other time on the West Side. I’ve lived in Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Santa Monica, and Pacific Palisades. Manhattan Beach is such a clean and quaint town, with really wonderful people, and such a terrific vibe.

We were recently in Manhattan Beach for a business function, and we got a chance to spend a couple days and a night there. It is just as amazing as I had remembered. Here are some of my favorite things about Manhattan Beach:

Manhattan Beach California

(1) Downtown Manhattan Beach

First, don’t call downtown Manhattan Beach “the village”. The Village is actually a different part of town! The real downtown has lots of boutiques and shops, and many great restaurants. Some of my favorites are Petros, Hennesey’s Tavern, The Strand House, Fonz’s, Fusion Sushi, Uncle Bill’s Pancake House, The Kettle, La Pain Quotidien, Manhattan Beach Creamery, Mama D’s Italian Kitchen, and Manhattan Beach Post. There are also an abundance of coffee shops and fun bars. It is very walkable, even though it is a little steep down by the beach. They also have a weekly Farmer’s Market which is really nice.

Manhattan Beach California

(2) Walk Streets

One of the cutest and most quaint aspects of Manhattan Beach are the walk streets. As the name implies, these are streets that don’t allow cars, and the whole street is a walkway. Even if you don’t live in Manhattan Beach, the walk streets are still one of the most fun features about the town.

(3) Great Public Schools

If you did decide to move to Manhattan Beach, you would find excellent public schools. It is very similar to where we live now, in Rancho Santa Fe, in that regard.

Manhattan Beach California

(4) Quaint Neighborhoods

There are a variety of sections of town and neighborhood feels. The predominant neighborhood sections are: Sand, Tree, Hill, and East Manhattan. I think the best local Realtor in Manhattan Beach is Shorewood Real Estate, but there is also good representation from the likes of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, and other larger firms. On the east side of the coast highway, called Sepulveda Blvd, in Manhattan Beach, is the Village, and Rosecrans Ave. All the major shops and stores that you would not find in a quaint village can be found in this part of town, so it is super convenient.

Manhattan Beach California

(5) The Pier and the Beautiful Beach

There are some special features to the beach including the pier, lots of beach volleyball nets, and the strand, where you can walk or ride your bike. There is reasonable public parking in downtown Manhattan Beach.

(6) The Shade Hotel

Shade is a boutique hotel right in downtown Manhattan Beach. It is a really special place and we love staying there.

Manhattan Beach California

(7) Access to LA

Although many people in LA consider the South Bay to be the the suburbs, and not really LA, you still have access to all that LA has to offer. I also like that the residents who work in the entertainment community and live in South Bay are a bit more low key, and the town does not have that Hollywood feel. Some of my favorite things in LA are:

Hollywood Bowl

Staples Center where the LA Lakers, LA Clippers, and LA Kings all play.

Dodger Stadium

Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive

Sunset Strip

The University of Southern California is where I went to grad school, and I love going to college football games at the LA Coliseum

Downtown LA

Universal Studios Hollywood

Manhattan Beach California

Overall, we still love San Diego the best, but Manhattan Beach would be an awesome place to live. And even if you don’t live there, it is a great place to visit, and stay. It is very special.

Where are your favorite places to live and visit? Do you like LA? Have you even been to Manhattan Beach? What do you like and dislike about it? We’d love to hear from you!