If you want to go to the best, overall beach in Los Angeles county, forget about overhyped Santa Monica and come down to Manhattan, "the Pearl of the South Bay". Though packed at peak times in the height of summer weekends, you will find fewer people and more of a local feel. Most locals won't mind new tourists in sharing in the paradise.
The pristine, wide beach area of Manhattan, inclduing the archectural pier structure, attracts many visitors, including movie/TV productions (Against All Odds, Weeds, 90210, The O.C., Starsky and Hutch, Point Break, etc). Part of the beach's beauty is imported from Hawaii. Sands from Waikiki have actually been gathered and send across the Pacific specifically to Manhattan. Everytime I have visited, I found remarkably impeccable sands and boardwalk, which is lined with lush plants, flowers and the surely not to miss extravagant mansions.
Manhattan's waves, surfed famously by the Beach Boys, are suitable for surfing, bodyboarding and swimming. On the sand, catch amateurs and pro players spiking at volleyball courts. MB has the most courts set up for volleyball in all of southern CA and perhaps in all of the American coastline.
After strolling around town, down the Pier and treading the sand at the beach it became apparent why some people have such high praise for Manhattan Beach, especially compared to other parts of L.A.
This is more of a local hang-out than a huge tourist destination and it seemed that the locals take full advantage of the opportunities found at the ocean's edge, such as sunbathing, swimming, surfing and having romantic interludes in the water or on the sand.
Try a surf lesson with Campsurf.com, It's fun for all ages. They provide the equipment - soft surfboards with leashes; and wetsuits if the water or air temp isn't warm enough for you. Your lesson will begin on land, they will tell you what you need to know and what to be aware of when you're in the water. You'll learn how to paddle, stand up and ride before you ever get wet. You can take an individual lessson, they call them privates, or you can learn with your friends or family. The lessons typically don't start until after 10:00am because the instructors and all the locals surf El Porto in the morning and the parking lot can get pretty crowded. By 10:00am the wind usually picks up and the waves get pushed a little flatter and that's better for beginners. The instructors were a friendly, attentive bunch of surfers having fun with the students and enjoying another summer day at the beach. There is a restaurant on the beach close to the camp, pancakes, eggs, bacon, bugers, burritos, fries etc.. tables and chairs on the sand. Note! Bring plenty of quarters for the parking meter, it was $1 an hour when I was there last. The meters don't take paper.
BEST SPOT IN MANHATTAN BEACH IS THE NORTH END CALLED "EL PORTO" THE BEST BREAKS AND ALSO A GREAT SPOT TO LEARN TO SURF
IF YOU NEED TO RENT SURFBOARDS, BODYBOARDS OR SKIM BOARDS GO TO TREND AND SPORT AT 3614 HIGHLAND AVE OR VISIT THEM ONLINE WWW.TRENDANDSPORT.COM FOR MORE INFO.
THEY HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED FOR A GREAT DAY AT THE BEACH
This is my favorite thing to do. I love to get out on the strand and either walk, jog or rollerblade or ride my bike here. Its a great way to get some exercise, relieve some stress, or look at the beautiful beach houses on the strand.
But I do love this picture. It was taken a block or so from the beach on Highland Ave. It seems like the Pacific Ocean goes on forever.
Just looking at it makes me relax a bit-I hope it has the same effect on you.
My visit to Manhattan Beach coincided with a professional beach volleyball tournament. This is huge sport in SoCal, as you might expect. The stadium was set up in the middle of the beach, and the tournament drew a large, enthusiastic crowd. I was able to watch a few minutes of the tournament myself-pretty cool. And yes, if you're not into watching volleyball, there was still plenty of room on the beach.
The only problem was finding a place to park-it took me an hour, and my space was a bit of a walk from the beach. But it was worth it.
The beach of Manhattan Beach is probably the nicest beach I've ever been to (I am not the expert however as I normally go north ;). With the sound of big waves, lots of surfers, baywatch style lifeguards and lots of people just enjoying the sunshine the 3 hours we spent here we a big highlight of our trip to California. Soooo relaxing. The sunburn I had afterwards wasn't very relaxing though ;-)
ok, I love Beach Boys (nothing to do with beach dogs... that I like as well hehehe)
We were at the pier and we saw a couple of surfers trying to get some waves... but with not much luck, the sea was not appropriate for it...
While everyone was enjoying the drinks and the party, the rest of the people was enjoying the beach and some of them trying to surf.... (it was not the best sea for surfing I guess...)
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