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Day trip: 10 fun things to do in Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach Pier Photo by David Ricks

Long notable for its photogenic pier, thriving beach volleyball and surfing scenes, and direct access to a 22-mile oceanfront bicycle path, Manhattan Beach has in recent years seen a steady arrival of new boutiques and critically acclaimed restaurants.

If the foot traffic along downtown Highland and Manhattan avenues is any indication, the nearly 4-square-mile South Bay neighborhood is more than a posh suburban enclave—it’s a bona fide SoCal destination. Here are 10 fun places to explore and things to do in Manhattan Beach.

GoodBoyBob Americano

Photo by David Ricks

1. Grab an Americano at the coffee shop GoodBoyBob, which expanded from Santa Monica and Culver City to its newest, Highland Avenue location. Try the house avocado toast (pictured), with beet cream, pickled carrots, and pistachios.

Uncle Bill's Pancake House

Photo by David Ricks

2. Across the street from GoodBoyBob is longtime café Uncle Bill’s Pancake House, where sweet flapjacks come with a side of ocean view.

Manhattan Beach E-Bike Rentals

Photo by Evelyn Ricks

3. Cruise along the beach path on your own bicycle or with a rental from Manhattan Beach E-Bike Rentals ($50 for 1 hour; $100 for a half day; $150 for a full day).

One Wave Surf

Photo by Tropical studio/stock.adobe.com

4. Take a surf lesson with One Wave Surf, which runs 90-minute private and group classes at El Porto beach. Individual lesson, $138.

Tacolicious

Photo by David Ricks

5. For lunch, dig into made-to-order guacamole, mushroom tacos, and albondigas at indoor-outdoor Tacolicious, which debuted during the pandemic. Foodies will appreciate that the restaurant uses La Finca masa for its tortillas and Rancho Gordo beans.

Sweet Lady Jane's

Photo by David Ricks

6. Craving dessert? Visit Sweet Lady Jane’s Manhattan Beach outpost for a slice of its legendary triple berry cake.

Pages

Photo by David Ricks

7. Support neighborhood indie shops such as Pages, a beloved bookstore that hosts engaging author events.

Go Gently Nation

Photo by David Ricks

8. At Go Gently Nation, browse the gorgeous selection of made-in-L.A. children’s and women’s wear, as well as home goods by Fog Linen. Founder Kristin Coia opened up shop after she gave birth to her son and saw a need for more eco-minded kids’ wear.

Culture Brewing Company

Photo by David Ricks

9. Kick back on the sunny patio at Culture Brewing Company, originally from San Diego. Sample the Manhattan Beach Hazy IPA, Belgian Saison, or Seven Berry Sour, among other brews. (Be sure to designate a driver if you plan to drink alcohol.)

Slay Italian Kitchen

Photo by David Ricks

10. Wrap up the day with rustic Italian fare from Slay Italian Kitchen, which is helmed by chef David Slay. Try the lemon tagliolini (pictured) or the fungi and roasted fennel pizza. The restaurant features wines from Slay’s vineyard in the Santa Rita Hills.

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AAA Travel Alert: Many travel destinations have implemented COVID-19–related restrictions. Before making travel plans, check to see if hotels, attractions, cruise lines, tour operators, restaurants, and local authorities have issued health and safety-related restrictions or entry requirements. The local tourism board is a good resource for updated information.

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