Recently Manhattan Beach has been my favorite Southern California destination. It is close to LAX which means you don’t need to rent a car if you’re flying in for a weekend and it’s very walkable. There are tons of places with great food and drinks and the beach itself is gorgeous. A few of my favorite places are in the map and hopefully I’ll get some trips back soon to add even more. You can find descriptions of each location below, and to view categories click on the icon on the top left.
Note: You’ll find affiliate links in this post which allow me to continue to improve Traveling Nine to Fiver. I hope this article is useful for you.
Where to Rest Your Head
3400 Highland Avenue
Just two blocks up from the beach this cute little hotel is spread across the four corners of an intersection. Rooms start at $130 and include free rentals of all the beach equipment you need, even bikes, wi-fi, a pool, and parking. It is one mile off of Manhattan Beach Blvd. which is just a twenty-minute walk down the boardwalk or a $7 Uber ride.
My Favorite Eats
3421 Highland Avenue
This place has such amazing breakfast sandwiches we went two days in a row! The staff and locals are friendly, the food and coffee is great. We will definitely go back to try lunch next time.
451 Manhattan Beach Blvd
This is one of my favorite places to eat in LA when you want something quick but still healthy. There is even one in LAX now! A great variety of fresh salads from Brussels sprouts to Caprese, plus amazing soups and chili’s. Oh and then there is the lemonade. Try the Arnold Palmer or blueberry mint.
1125 Manhattan Ave
The best way to explain Mama D’s is your token New York family Italian restaurant. Get there early if you want to avoid a wait but even if you don’t they will hand out samples while you wait. I love the pink sauce (marinara cream) on any type of pasta. Or try the baked pasta. We go back every time we are in the area.
117 Manhattan Beach Blvd
For whatever reason, there are very few restaurants with great views of the water in MB but The Strand House makes up for the rest. Whether you want drinks, dinner, dessert or all three this is the perfect stop for an ocean view and great dining. The dessert is some of my favorites from the homemade glazed donuts to macaroons to a great chocolate bar.
1133 Highland Avenue
This is probably the best sushi I’ve ever had and I eat a lot of it. The fish was fresh and seasoned just enough. This is not your heavy sauce sushi! I highly recommend the “Rakumori” an appetizer tray that was to die for. The food was amazing, reasonably priced and so was the wine.
3416 Highland Avenue
Need a quick bite, sandwich or burger. This is a unique spot with good food. The place is not entirely enclosed so on a nice day you can eat inside and skip the wind that often comes off the water. It is also filled with a variety of plants.
1129 Manhattan Avenue
Being from Southern California this is one of the classic places to stop. Wahoo’s has never failed to provide a good simple fish taco and now they have greatly expanded their menu. Wahoo’s is always a good spot to stop in a grab a bite.
Activities and Adventures to Try
1000 Manhattan Avenue, B
A cute little boutique wine shop that had a mix of affordable to fancy wines to choose from. They also do a daily wine tasting for just $10. A nice stop if you want to grab a bottle to bring back to your hotel or try something new.
904 Manhattan Avenue
We went to this bookstore twice in one trip! Pages have all the great traits of an independent bookstore. They had a great selection of both books we’d been looking for and also a ton I had yet to discover. While I only let myself buy one I was thrilled to find out that they have staff recommendations regularly updated online. So even if you don’t make it check out their website and find a few new books.
N Highland & 27th St
Need a little break from the sand but still looking for a great view? Bruce’s Beach became our spot to rest in the sun or shade but off the sand. We spent almost five hours between a couple days just reading, chatting and relaxing.
Manhattan Beach Pier – Over & Under
2 Manhattan Beach Blvd
You can’t spend time in Manhattan Beach and not visit the pier. It is a great spot to visit for a good view and people watching as well. What you shouldn’t forget is the two sides to the pier: on top and below. It was a warm day last time we were in MB and we enjoyed hanging out under the pier as well as walking the top.