Over the past 6 years, I have gone to Southern California multiple times. Always, the same wonderful place, Manhattan Beach. I stumbled upon this dreamy place through Tone It Up. There headquarters are based there and the workouts are often filmed right on the beach. 6 years ago, for my 21st birthday, my mom, sister, niece and best friend went on a girls trip. It was one of the best beach trips to date. This year, we went back and I brought my new addition.
This trip was so much more than just another family beach vacation. It was celebrating my niece’s birthday and her making the varsity volleyball team, celebrating my mom choosing an end date to retire, my sister going back to school, leaving her retail job of 17 years to take the leap and start her own photography business, and celebrating my birthday, my divorce being final & going back to school for my master’s. Here are all the deets on our California vacation.
Where did we stay?
There is a few hotels along The Strand of Manhattan Beach, but the best way to stay is in a VRBO or AirBnb. I have stayed in places all along the coastline and each time is a new experience and vibe to our vacation. This particular beach house was 3 houses from the sand. It had a full kitchen, huge bedrooms, cozy living room, a peek-a-boo view of the ocean and all the beach toys you could possibly need. We were closer to the El Segundo end this time, which was super nice and a little less crowded. Just a short walk from downtown Manhattan Beach. In my personal opinion, it has the best waves for boogie boarding and surfing.
What is there to do?
~Beaches; obviously! They are all super clean and well kept! Manhattan Beach is definitely my favorite with it being more of a family beach. Tons of beach volleyball. El Segundo is great too and a little less popular/ busy. Hermosa Beach is more of a younger crowd with loud music playing from downtown and lots going on. Super fun and a different vibe. We also found some swings and Beckham was perfectly content being there all day and taking ice cream breaks every now and then.
~Shopping; both Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach have a ton of cute little shops that are fun to explore. Ranging in prices with some unique to the area and other more name brand stores such as Free People, Vuori, and Lorna Jane. There is also a mall, The Point, a short drive away.
~Surfing/Boogie Boarding; the ocean isn’t too rough and perfect for all water activities. My niece and I took a surf lesson through Camp Surf. They were awesome!!
~Rentals; Hermosa Beach has a place to rent bikes and whatever beach toys/accessories you need to have a fabulous day. There is also free bike pumps in Hermosa Beach if you tires need some air.
~Tourist; Universal Studios, Disneyland, Warner Bros, Downtown Hollywood, Hollywood Sign & Griffiths Observatory, Malibu, Santa Monica Pier
~Hiking; Hollywood sign and all along Runyon Canyon Park
Best Local Restaurant Spots
~Uncle Bill’s Pancake House (Get the pineapple pancakes with coconut syrup!)
~Manhattan Beach Creamery (best dessert spot)
~The Strand House