Corners of California: Manhattan Beach

I recently took a long weekend trip to L.A. with my mom and all my sisters. No boys allowed. Thanks to the remarkably efficient planning and execution of said trip, we hit every single mark and I came back with over 350 photos of various travel flotsam and jetsam. Yikes.

So I am going to break it down and post on some of the corners of California that we came across on our journey. Today, the place where we founded our HQ: Manhattan Beach.

Manhattan Beach

The beach itself is tidy and expansive, peaceful and deserted in the mornings. The typical beach bungalows and grandly priced condos crowd the edges, and parking is scarce and pricey in the afternoons – my guess is because the locals have finally awakened? A hopeful group of surfers and body boarders hover around the pier and wait for the perfect wave.

Ayres Hotel, Manhattan Beach CA

We stayed at the Ayres Hotel, a lovely little gem that boasts the decor of an Italian villa. Antique furnishings, replica paintings with decorative frames, winding staircases, a veranda with trees and fountains, a giant hearth fireplace and stone floors.

Top it off with a masterful on-site restaurant called Matisse that also hosts the best “included” breakfast I have ever had. Check out more photos here.

Tangerine, boutique in Manhattan Beach.

Along the streets near the beaches you can take a stroll and get a glimpses of little local galleries, a homemade ice cream shop and a number of cute boutiques. We popped into a few that were way beyond our price point, but there were a couple that granted us some delightful sale items. Oddly, there was a whole section of boutiques all named after citrus. Tangerine, Mandarin, Clementine and Nectarine. As refreshing as it sounds.

Manhattan Beach is a nice, central place if you’re looking for an ideal jumping-off point to visit the surrounding areas. We were able to get to and fro with ease, and come back to a lovely hotel in a quiet area that was still full of resources.

Manhattan Beach Notes:

  • Pizza on the beach is awesome.
  • Do not jump off piers.
  • If you do find a good parking spot, DON’T move – ever.
  • Name your boutique after an orange.

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