Manhattan Beach is a charming seaside resort town. On the beaches you have volleyball, surfing, and diving (apparently, this beach is a good spot to scuba dive from). The Manhattan Beach pier is a great place to walk around. There are no shops on this little pier, but at the end of it is Roundhouse Aquarium. The Strand through Manhattan Beach is a great place to hang out and enjoy the surf and sand.
Manhattan Beach Location - Manhattan Beach is located in the city of Manhattan Beach which is just South of LAX. The beach runs 2.1 miles from 45th Street to 1st Street\Neptune Avenue. The El Porto Beach section is the area between 45th Street and 38th Street. Manhattan Beach runs from 38th Street down to 1st Street. The beach bike path runs along the length of the beach to the end at Hermosa. The Strand - a cement sidewalk path with pricey homes - overlooks the sand and bike path with great ocean views and a clear view of the Manhattan Beach pier in the distance. On any given day, you will find tourists and locals strolling the Strand as well as joggers, walkers, and other fitness buffs enjoying the mild 60 - 70 degree temperatures and beautiful scenery.
Parking Locations - The largest parking lot is the El Porto lot located off of Vista Del Mar by turning onto 45th Street to the ocean and following it until it ends in a large lot with many meters for parking. There is a 5 hour maximum parking time limit on all public parking in Manhattan Beach. Parking is $0.25 for 10 minutes ($1.50 per hour). A little over half of the meters will take a debit or credit card or cash (paper dollars). All others still take ONLY coins, so bring plenty in case you don't get lucky with one that will take either. There is also parking available at the pier which is at the end of Manhattan Beach Blvd. Parking is also available at Ocean Drive and MB Blvd. There are also 2 more lots available at 26th Street between Manhattan Avenue and Ocean Drive.
Beach Facilities - There are plenty of restrooms with changing areas and showers and there are many lifeguard stations along the beach. There are lots of volleyball nets along the sand to get a game together. Occasionally, there are competitive volleyball events held on the beach. The beach has mostly fine sand with very few rocks - with the exception of the beach North of El Porto near the Chevron plant and Hyperion Treatment Plant. There is a workout area along the strand to perform various exercises on slantboards and bars and it includes some instruction boards. Bring your own food unless you are near El Porto or the MB Pier. There are no concession stands set throughout the beach with the exception of Surf Food Stand at El Porto (Near 45th Street) and the Pier Cafe at the end of the Pier.
The Roundhouse aquarium - has a huge Shark Tank (with slithering moray eels and a giant black sea bass), a Touch Tank (with tide pool animals common to Southern California), a Lobster Tank (and other various crustaceans), Surge Tank (to demonstrate tides), Reef Tank and Tropical Aquarium (with brightly colored, non-native fish). It's definitely worth visiting!