A Travel Guide to Manhattan Beach, California - adaatude
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A Travel Guide to Manhattan Beach, California

Adaleta Avdic is looking back at the camera while crossing the street in downtown Manhattan Beach.

A Travel Guide to Manhattan Beach, California

April 27, 2022

 

I grew up in Redondo Beach (3rd grade all the way through 12th) so I'm familiar with the South Bay region in Cali. However, I will say that I still love playing tourist from time to time in the area when I visit my family. Not to mention that so much has changed since the pandemic started that even I feel like such a tourist in these beach cities. After my recent trip, I wanted to recap a few notable places that would be perfect for your trip to Manhattan Beach specifically.

Accommodations 

During this recent trip, I finally got to stay at the Shade Hotel Manhattan Beach. I had heard about the property for years from my family, and a few friends. Luckily I was able to do a press stay with 1 night gifted and then 2 nights at a media rate which made it much more affordable. 

Amenities

• Spa bathtub for ultimate relaxation 🛁

Restaurant & bar inside hotel making it very convenient for food and drinks

Boutique vibe so there’s not an overcrowded feel to the property (one of my personal pet peeves)

• Efficient cleaning staff (they cleaned my room so quickly and it was spotless; trust me I'm a pretty big germaphobe and I notice soot and dirt on everything!)

• I always say location, location, location. But the fact is, it is a lot of the benefit of any specific destination because it allows you to walk and be connected in a better way. 

Getting Around

As you can imagine, LA is pretty accessible in terms of transportation. There's all sorts of options when it comes to ride share programs, with the most popular being Uber and Lyft. Sometimes Lyft didn't have an option for me but Uber did in 2 minutes, so I interchanged the two if I needed a ride. The hotel property does also have bike rentals (free to guests) so you can take a bike to get from beach to beach or get a few miles away if you're wanting to take a leisurely ride. Buses, shuttles and other options are available and there's a multitude of private options. Moral of the story, if you don't want to drive yourself there are options. Not to mention you're in downtown Manhattan Beach at the heart of it so there's lots to do within walking distance.

Food & Drink

Becker's Bakery and Deli We went specifically for the Hi-Fi Espresso, which is now the coffee inside Becker's. However if you want pastries (for the whole family or for yourself) there are a plethora of options in there. They have some cute seating outside so you can enjoy your coffee and enjoy a little ocean breeze. 

For lunch, we went to Rock N Fish. We got the best seat in the house (I mean look at that view, are you kidding??) We got grilled artichoke as a starter, grilled salmon with broccolini & spicy mac n cheese for me, fish tacos for my brother which @fairry_berry enjoyed with a side salad and finally, a burger for my mom which she devoured. She also got it with a side salad (it’s all about balance right?) Everything was delicious, and the service was impeccable. 

I didn't do any drinks in downtown, but there's so many spots to hit up (when I'm not pregnant) so I'll make sure to do a post dedicated to that specifically next time.

Another spot I ended up going to twice was Verve Coffee, which has my favorite iced latte that I've had in a long long time. Iced latte with 1 pump of chocolate syrup, but it's a dark chocolate natural syrup and not sugary nonsense so the coffee had a wonderful rich decadence to it and was not super sweet at all. They also have great toast options, and I got the goat cheese and tomato one the first time I went. 

While Handel's Homemade Ice Cream is not in downtown, it's at Manhattan Village which is hop, skip and a jump. I had to go back twice for the chocolate peanut butter brownie (in a cone) which was so decadent and rich. 

Adaleta Avdic is kneeling in pages, a bookstore in downtown Manhattan Beach while browsing the romance section.

Things to Do

For all the bookworms like me, pages {a bookstore} opened up in downtown Manhattan Beach. Most importantly it's new books and sometimes the store gets a few signed copies. I snagged a signed copy of Brenda Novak's book, which is always a fun treat. A long time ago, there was a bookstore of some kind in the area but it was a thrift bookstore which is fine and dandy in some cases but nothing smells worse than a book from 1995. Can we all just agree on that? Not to mention people take their books with them to poop, drop food and all kinds of things on them so sometimes used isn't better depending on the smell and condition. This spot was quaint, and there's even a cute pup roaming the store which made for the cutest photo opp.

Explore the streets and just see what art is present. Cloe Hakakian painted a gorgeous mural, which is visible from Becker's Bakery and Deli but there's lots of fun photographic spots throughout Downtown Manhattan Beach. 

Given the amazing weather in the South Bay, it's the perfect place to walk for a few miles. That's what my mom, brother and I did and it's how I grew up. I kept joking with my family and friends that if we had YouTube money, I would buy a house in downtown Manhattan Beach in a heartbeat because it's so quaint and I would love a house on the streets that only have a sidewalk (not a road for cars to go down.) They also have a stunning view since they're higher up, and away from the Strand.

While Manhattan Village is not located in downtown Manhattan Beach, it is close enough to walk from The Shade Hotel or get a 5-10 minute Uber or Lyft. Lots of shopping and some great restaurants that came highly recommended by my brother. 

Obviously I don't live in the South Bay anymore, so every time I go I see new businesses (like pages and Hi-Fi Espresso inside Becker's Bakery & Deli, etc) it's always a treat to be a tourist. I don't know everything and all the cool spots, but I will say that I loved my experience staying downtown and exploring these spots with my family.

What recs do you have for downtown Manhattan Beach?

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