Vacationing in Manhattan Beach, California

If you’re looking for a mini vacation, but not wanting to leave the country, GO TO CALIFORNIA.

Unless you already live there, and if that’s the case, can I move in with you? Ha-ha 🙂 All jokes aside, Cali is an actual dream, and if it weren’t for the high cost of living, I’d move there in a heartbeat. The sunshine, the palm trees, the ocean, the food… I could go on and on!

I fell in love with California the first time I visited the state in 2013. My stepdad lived in Long Beach for seven years, and then Hermosa Beach for one year until his retirement as Public Works Director for the City of Manhattan Beach.  I was able to visit again the following summer while my mom was there.  Tommy and I were talking recently and realized we really need to start traveling more. We both have the luxury of working remotely, so why not take advantage of that and bring our work with us? So that’s what we did! Tommy’s only trip to California was to Santa Monica and downtown LA, so we decided on Manhattan Beach because he’d never seen it and I knew he’d love it!

Now, this being only my third trip to Manhattan Beach, California I wouldn’t by any means consider myself an expert. However, I did come across some pretty great restaurants/things to do in my time there.  I also got some recommendations my step dad, who I would consider an expert, so if you’re looking for a fun and relaxing California vacation, read on sister!

We chose Manhattan Beach for a multitude of reasons, but the main one is location. This coastal city is RIGHT on the beach, and it’s only a short 15-minute Uber ride from the airport. If you’ve heard anything about Los Angeles, you probably heard something about the traffic. I don’t know about you, but I hate wasting time (especially on vacation) stuck in traffic.

Now that being said, let’s get onto the good stuff! If you’re looking to make a trip to California, here are some favorite places Tommy and I found for eating out, things to do, and where to stay!


The Shade Hotel – Manhattan Beach

This hotel is not only in the heart of Manhattan Beach, but there are tons of perks to staying here!

  1. Breakfast is included each morning! Having breakfast in the hotel is a great way to save some money versus going out for breakfast each day.
  2. You get free access to Equinox, which is a gym about three miles from the hotel. I’m not joking when I say this – it’s the nicest gym I’ve ever experienced. It has an outdoor rooftop “playground” so you can take your workout outside!
  3. Complimentary use of their beach cruiser bicycles, chairs, and other beach gear.
  4. Access to their rooftop pool/lounge.
  5. Located a few blocks from the strand/beach.
  6. Complimentary Chocolate Cheesecake Cake pops from Housekeeping every night before bed turn down 🙂


  1. Manhattan Beach Post:

    This was our favorite restaurant while staying here; the food was absolutely PHENOMENAL. 15/10 recommend checking it out if you visit. It’s more tapas style, so if that’s not your thing, you may not like it.

  1. The Strand House:

    We actually went here for dinner and then went back for brunch; each time was equally as good! If you go for brunch, get the chicken & waffles. It may seem like a strange combination but your taste buds will be bursting.

  1. Rock’N Fish:

    This is the perfect place for a little lunch stop, and super close to the beach! I’d recommend getting their crab cakes as an appetizer and their fish tacos or blackened salmon sandwich!

  1. Café Wild:

    We checked out Cafe’ Wild after a workout one morning for breakfast and found it’s a great place for a light healthy meal. I got the La Playa scramble with egg whites and it is to die for. The goat cheese is SOOOO yummy!!!

  1. Homie:

    This is a cute little coffee shop and restaurant. We never got food here but their almond milk lattes are amazing.

Things To Do:

  1. Rent bikes, or if you stay at the Shade Hotel use theirs and go for a ride on the bike path on the beach! You can ride for milessssss!
  2. Go for a run on the strand.
  3. Sand Dune Park – if you’re up for a challenge this is a big sand hill that is well known in the area. For a small fee, (about $3) you can reserve a time to go and try running up the sand dune. Good Luck!
  4. Go to a LA Lakers game! You can probably get a hold of some pretty cheap tickets and still have fun. This is super iconic to California, and one of those “check off the list” types of things.
  5. Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach. Tommy and I didn’t actually do this but my step dad recommended it. Comedy & Magic Club is a favorite stop for several top comedians in the area.
  6. Ponchos for Live Music on Friday/Saturday. We stopped at Ponchos after dinner one night and it truly was the most fun I’ve had in a while. Everyone was in such a great mood and the music was amazing – 80’s hits! If you go here, get a margarita; they’re famous for them. And if a little old guy named Bruce is your bartender, tell him I say hi!

Taking a vacation to Manhattan Beach, California will not disappoint, trust me. Not only is it absolutely beautiful but it’s also only 12-15 minutes (without traffic) away from the LAX airport. If you end up visiting any of the restaurants or doing any of the activities I suggested, comment on the blog or tag me, I’d love to see!

Until next time.

Peace & Love,

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