Manhattan Beach is the most northern of the beach cities along South Bay. It is home to white-collar, middle class residents whose stucco houses are built near the beach along the city’s main strip, Highland Avenue. Manhattan Beach was first linked to the rest of Los Angeles by the Red Cars transit line built in the early 20th century. This ushered in a wave of pleasure-seekers, fishermen, and leisure boaters from the city. Nowadays, Manhattan Beach’s pier offers nothing much except a nice stroll and a few cultural and leisure attractions.
The beach itself in Manhattan Beach is the main attraction of the city. The waters are cleaner than in Venice or Santa Monica and the surfing is a major local pastime, highlighted by the two-week international surf festival that takes place every August. Beach volleyball is also popular and the sands are tented with nets everywhere. There are many rental shacks along the beach that rent not only a volleyball but other beach items.
Manhattan Beach Historical Center
The Manhattan Beach Historical Center at 1601 Manhattan Beach Boulevard is about a mile away from the city’s beach. It is a museum exhibiting local pottery from the early 20th century and a collection of photos and memorabilia tracing the city’s history.
Manhattan Beach Art Center
The Manhattan Beach Art Center at 1560 Manhattan Beach Boulevard exhibits contemporary work from regional artists who use glass and photography as media.
The Polliwog Park is a pleasant greenspace that hosts the “Shakespeare by the Sea” festival every summer. The event features local performances of the Bard’s work that tend to vary in quality. Nonetheless, it can be an entertaining way to end a day spent lazing around in the beach.
Dickey, Jeff. Los Angeles, 3rd Edition. Rough Guides, 2003. ISBN: 1843530589.
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