City Guide: 7 Essential Spots You Must Know in Manhattan Beach

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Manhattan Beach Pier
Manhattan Beach Pier

Photo Credit: Thomas J. Sebourn

Where do you go and what do you do if you have 24 hours in Manhattan Beach, the South Bay’s ritziest city? Here is a list of seven spots every visitor must know before you go to truly optimize your time in paradise.

BEST BARS

The Strand House

The Strand House
The Strand House

Photo Credit: The Strand House

  1. THE STRAND HOUSE. This elegant lounge and restaurant is a great place for affluent travelers to sit and soak up the stunning SoCal sunset with a craft cocktail in hand. Go native and order a libation like the “Sunset Over Manhattan” (clementine vodka, fresh tangarine juice and blood orange cordial) while watching the very thing it was named for. Or welcome in the evening with a “Strand House Margarita” (scratch margarita made with Sauza Hornitos tequila, agave, and lemon-lime infused kosher salt rim).
  2. 900 CLUB. Anyone who is anyone in the South Bay is a member here. If you’re a visitor to the area, cross your fingers and hope for the best!

ESSENTIAL EATS

All of David LeFevre’s eateries

Fishing With Dynamite
Fishing With Dynamite

Photo Credit: Rick Poon

3. ALL OF DAVID LEFEVRE’S RESTAURANTS: THE ARTHUR J, MANHATTAN BEACH POST AND FISHING WITH DYNAMITE. OK, we admit to a bit of a copout here. We couldn’t just pick ONE of Chef David LeFevre‘s three (yes, you read that right) Manhattan Beach eateries: they’re all that good. This man is dominating the South Bay’s culinary scene in a big way with three very diverse offerings. Fishing With Dynamite, as the name conveys, is a small, seafood-centric eatery with a very long wait list. If you know you’re going to be in town, book at least two months in advance. M.B. Post is LeFevre’s first restaurant, and it’s still as popular as the day it opened. Expect small, shareable plates and craft cocktails with a list of ingredients so diverse that you might need to sneakily Google a few of them. The Arthur J is the latest and greatest effort, a vintage-era steakhouse with an awesome whiskey selection where you may or may not (hint: it’s the former) see celebrities dining on a daily basis.

HAUTE HOTEL

Shade Hotel

Shade Hotel
Shade Hotel

4. THE SHADE HOTEL. “Throwing shade” brings on whole new meaning at this chic boutique hotel, located just two blocks from the beach. In addition to its beach-side location, guests will also find themselves surrounded by amazing shopping, bars and restaurants—it’s literally in the middle of the Manhattan Beach action. Our recommendation for luxury travelers, of course, is to book the Penthouse Suite. You’ll dig the Mr. Steam steam shower, balcony with ocean views, a California King Tempur-Pedic bed and the shoji screened 2-person Sanijet spa tub with color therapy. There’s also a unique private entertaining bar including beer on tap by request, and large flat screen TVs in the living room for the ultimate party.

SELECTIVE SHOPPING

Trina Turk
Trina Turk

5. TRINA TURK. Trina Turk embodies the best of luxe California cool. Her designs are infused with bold signature prints and dynamic hues, perfect for a day on a yacht, sitting poolside or hanging on the beach. In addition to ready-to-wear and accessories, you’ll find swimwear, recreation/activewear, a Mr Turk menswear line, and residential décor, textiles, footwear, handbags and jewelry collections at her Manhattan Beach boutique.

6. TABULA RASA. This chic boutique carries a curated collection of high-end gifts, home decor, jewelry and body elixirs. Even better, it gives back—60% of all sales go into making Manhattan Beach the stellar, safe and stunning community it is. No wonder this is one of our brand ambassador Maria Sharapova‘s favorite stores!

7. WRIGHT’S.  Back in the day, Wright’s was once a ‘trading post.’ Nowadays, this high-end boutique is a go-to for luxury shopping, selling a select mix of items from some of the most sought-after designers, such as Isabel Marant, Raquel Allegra and Crossley. 

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