A small beach community that brings in many people, Manhattan Beach is well known for its sunny beaches and outdoor activities that people flock to. There is also plenty of shopping and eateries to enjoy if you come here for a little weekend getaway or day trip. Enjoy the ideal Californian weather in this idyllic city and discover the fantastic things to do in Manhattan Beach!
Always remember to double-check dates, opening times, and weather conditions before traveling.
Top Things to Do in Manhattan Beach
Manhattan Beach and Pier
Manhattan Beach’s beach is more than 2 miles long and is known for its beauty. You can swim, read, or just walk along the sand. You’ll see many families and groups of adults here all having fun. The Pier is nearly 100 years old, built in the 1920s, making it one of the oldest concrete piers on the west coast.
The iconic, red-roofed pier has been featured in countless Hollywood movies and photographs. This means you have to capture a photo of it yourself!
Sand Dune Park
Sand Dune Park is an area in Manhattan Beach that has been featured in magazines for a while, and paying a visit can be a rewarding thing to do at Manhattan Beach. Many people come here to get a workout in.
The dunes are steep, and people will run (or walk) them to get a good sweat. You’ll also find children here enjoying themselves and just playing in the sand. It’s worth it getting to the top—you get to see the entire city!
Roundhouse Marine Studies Lab and Aquarium
At the end of the Pier, you can visit the Roundhouse Marine Studies Lab and Aquarium. Here, you’ll learn about the local marine life through interactive exhibits and experiences. Come see sharks, jellyfish, octopuses, and more!
This is a great spot for families with kids or adults who are kids at heart. If you want to learn more about the local ecology before hitting the waves, then paying a visit is one of the best things to do in Manhattan Beach! Check their website for further details.
A park that is well-loved by locals and visitors alike, you’ll love that there are plenty of shaded benches at Bruce’s Beach. Many people will come here for outdoor yoga classes or to walk and socialize with their dogs.
The park has excellent upkeep, so you’ll be able to relax on perfectly manicured grass or the clean, sandy beachfront.
Two Guns Espresso
Do you need a little pick me up after walking around Manhattan Beach all day? Founded by two New Zealanders, Two Guns Espresso wanted to bring their love and passion for New Zealand and their coffee culture to Manhattan Beach.
Two Guns has been open for more than a decade now! If you stop in, you can sip on a two-bean blend with hints of dark chocolate, candied pecans, and dried fruit while treating yourself to one of the pastries (baked in-house). Want to learn more about this particular coffee culture? Check their website.
One Wave Surf School
One of the most well-known surf schools in Manhattan Beach, One Wave Surf School is an excellent place for people of all ages to learn how to surf. You can book group or private lessons. You can opt for a packaged lessons deal if you’ve got the extra time. If not, a day’s worth of instruction will get you up and going!
The instructors are known for being knowledgeable and experienced, so you’ll feel confident and safe as you navigate catching your first wave. The place has top online reviews too, so don’t hesitate to count it among the best things to do in Manhattan Beach CA. Check their website for more information.
Walk Down the Strand
Sometimes the best way to experience a city is just to walk it! The Strand is a beach sidewalk that lets you slowly stroll down and take in all the sights of the Pacific Ocean and the namesake beach of the city.
Many will tell you that this is the best way to see Manhattan Beach and the Pacific Ocean while in town (and they’re 100% right). Dog and stroller friendly, this is a good way to catch up and reflect on your day in Manhattan Beach.
Shop in Downtown Manhattan Beach
A couple of blocks from the beach is shopping that will satisfy anybody. You can find boutique shops, unique storefronts, and award-winning restaurants. There are also art galleries, small bakeries and cafes, and more. You could find really anything that you are looking for while shopping downtown!
Even if you don’t want to purchase anything, grab an iced coffee and spend a lazy afternoon window shopping.
Live Oak Park
Live Oak Park is the oldest park in Manhattan Beach. Here you’ll find basketball and tennis courts, baseball fields, and batting cages, as well as a dog park and a toddler and kid-friendly play area. Of course, you can also use the park’s grills and tables to have a picnic while you enjoy the ocean breeze!
Manhattan Beach Farmers’ Market
Open on Tuesdays from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, the Manhattan Beach Farmers’ Market is downtown and a very popular event. Here you can sample the local produce grown by friendly vendors, and the prices are known for being very fair. You can find fruits and vegetables as well as preserves, jams, cheeses, and yogurts.
Like all good Los Angeles events, you’ll find an on-site food truck to pick up a snack from while you browse.
Manhattan Beach Art Center
If you want to experience and learn about the culture of Manhattan Beach, the Arts Center is a great place to stop. Here, you can see contemporary art exhibits meant to speak to modern-day audiences. It’s free to enter, and the exhibits do change with some frequency, so you can always see something new when you pop in. If you ever need a little break from the sun, the best two birds, one stone option is grabbing some shade and AC at the Manhattan Beach Art Center. More info here.
As you can see, there are many interesting activities in Manhattan Beach to enjoy during your visit, now you just need to pick the ones that you’re sure to enjoy when spending time in the area!