Manhattan Beach, the city that likes to think of itself as the Beverly Hills on the Beach. And why not! The downtown area is populated with high end boutiques and restaurants. It’s a popular destination for locals and vacationers. Many L.A. athletes make Manhattan Beach their home. GQ Magazine listed Manhattan Beach as one of the 6 best beaches in the country in their July 2014 issue.
Manhattan Beach Blvd. runs toward the beach and directly into the Manhattan Beach Pier which is 928 feet long. Visit the aquarium at the very end of the pier, do some fishing, and take in some volleyball while you’re at it.
Manhattan Beach is known for its strong public school system. Grandview, Pacific, and Robinson are the elementary schools that serve residents west of Pacific Coast Highway. Meadows and Pennekamp elementary schools are east of PCH. Students then matriculate into Manhattan Beach Middle School and ultimately, Mira Costa High School. All of these schools score a 10 rating on greatschools.org which is based on test scores and parent/student reviews.
Every October the Hometown Fair is held in at Live Oak Park on Valley Drive between 15th and 21st Streets. The fair offers games, food, arts & crafts, beer garden, wine garden, music, and battle of the bands. Many people in the Southbay make this an annual tradition. It’s a chance to get together with family and friends, and enjoy an old school fair!
One of my most favorite days of the year in the Southbay is the Manhattan Beach fireworks that kick off the holiday season. Usually in the second weekend in December, everyone gathers on Manhattan Beach Blvd with blankets and chairs. Skechers sponsors a ski hill for kids to sled. People picnic, drink hot chocolate and sing Christmas carols. There’s a band and dancing. And the night’s finale is a fireworks show choreographed to Christmas music.
Every summer, Manhattan Beach puts on concerts in Polliwog Park on Sunday evenings. Thousands of people come to picnic and listen to music from some great cover bands and other popular groups.
Every Tuesday from 11 am – 4 pm (5 pm in the summer), local farmers come to sell their good and produce at 13th Street and Morningside Drive. You can find things such as locally grown fruits and vegetables, plants, and flowers.
This event is designed for children from the ages of 2-13. Not only do the kids get to show off their Halloween costumes, it’s a great day of fun for the family with face painting, a haunted house, and food and game booths.
The typical lot size in the Sand Section is 30’x90’. 33’x100’ is also common. And of course there are always some slight variations. The Sand Section is populated mostly with Single Family Homes and Townhomes, and scattered apartment buildings. Due to the small lot sizes, the newer buildings tend to be vertical with three stories. Living spaces are often on the top floor in order to optimize potential ocean views. There are “walk streets” for the first one to two blocks at the beach. These are streets that are dedicated to pedestrians only; no cars can go through. Each property on a walk street has an easement with the city that allows the homeowner to create more private patio space for their home. Areas of Manhattan Beach in the Sand Section have undergrounded their utility poles in order to improve views and habitability. This is an undertaking that must be paid for by the homeowners and approved by the city.
The Hill Section is the second most expensive neighborhood in Manhattan Beach. It’s just east of the sand section and you guessed it, it’s on a hill. The topography allows for breathtaking views of the pacific as well as downtown LA. These homes are on larger lots with broad streets, and well-manicured lawns. Lot sizes range all over. Many lots are 4,700 sq feet. And there are lots of 6,000-7,500 sq feet. There are also half lots and double lots.
The Tree Section is north of Manhattan Beach Blvd. and east of the Sand Section. This area tends to have narrow streets and is very green with foliage. Typically there are no ocean views. One exception is the American Martyrs neighborhood which neighbors the downtown area. Due to its positioning on the hill, it does afford many homes ocean views. This pocket is in a prime location as it’s close to downtown and the beach, and these homes tend to sell for a premium over a typical Tree Section home.
There are a few different neighborhoods in East Manhattan Beach including Mira Costa, Liberty Village, and Manhattan Village. Manhattan Village is the only gated community in Manhattan Beach. It’s located on the Marriott Golf Course. It has a mix of condos, townhomes and single family homes with a clubhouse and pool. Liberty Village and Mira Costa have a mix of old and newer homes. You can find 5,000 and 7,500 sq foot lots here. There are some larger homes on larger lots in the Poets Section which is tucked into the corner of PCH and Artesia Blvd. This neighborhood earned its nickname from the street names: Longfellow, Tennyson, Shelley and Keats. Longfellow and other streets including Duncan, Ronda Drive and Terrazza Place have lot sizes from 20,000 – 30,000+ sq feet.
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