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Manhattan Beach Drive

Coastal Route

California, USA

This short but sweet drive takes you on the backstreet promenades of Manhattan Beach. Enjoy the pleasant architecture before arriving into Hermosa Beach to watch the sunset and enjoy the vibrant nightlife.

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Beach, Promenades, Architecture

2 mi / 4 km

Not Required

Los Angeles (LAX)

Sealed Road

Spring, Summer

Manhattan Beach: A Tale of Two Piers

Feel the SoCal vibes as you cruise between two of the most iconic piers in the South Bay area. First, you'll hit chic Manhattan to shop for artisan homeware and designer beach threads in the uber-cool stores. Then you'll get the good times a-rolling by cruising into Hermosa Beach, one of the most happening quarters of the LA metroplex.

It begins, as do so many of the famous drives in the balmy south of the Golden State, between rows of lanky palm trees. They herald the cool drive of Manhattan Beach Boulevard. The four blocks between the intersection of N Ardmore and the sands are 400 meters of prime retail therapy. From the zingy boho dresses of Katwalk to the handmade jewelry of Pasha, there's oodles to get through.

The culmination of that stretch of roadway is the Manhattan Beach Pier. It's hallowed ground for surfers, fishers, and sunset watchers. They say that the first ever surfboard shop on the globe was founded here by local shaper Dale Velzy back in the late 40s. You also stop and watch the anglers competing for walleye, barracuda and bass.

Right at the end of the pier is the famous Roundhouse. Or, to give it its full name: The Roundhouse Marine Studies Lab and Aquarium. Delve in there on a rare rainy day and you'll get to see baby sharks, tropical fish species, and glowing orange lobsters. Entry is totally free, which is a bonus.

In the early 20th century, Manhattan Beach witnessed a breathtaking aerial spectacle that left spectators in awe. It was the summer of 1911 when the legendary aviator Lincoln Beachey took to the skies in his biplane with a daring plan. As he gained altitude, something unexpected caught the crowd's attention—a woman in a white dress, perched on the wing of the aircraft!

Together, Beachey and Scott executed an astonishing maneuver, known as the "Daredevil Dip," wherein Scott crawled out onto the wing and stood upright as the biplane plunged toward the ocean. Gasps of awe mixed with a flurry of excitement as Scott fearlessly clung to the wing, defying gravity and captivating the crowd below. This audacious mid-air spectacle not only made aviation history but also transformed Manhattan Beach into a hub of daring aerial feats, forever etching the names of Beachey and Scott into aviation history.

The route to Hermosa Beach is right along the Pacific Ocean. You'll follow the courses of The Strand, the long promenade that wiggles along the sands. It's awash with entertainers, rollerbladers, skaters, and sun-kissed dog walkers from morning until night. Be sure to check out the mansions on Ocean Drive – they're some of the most sought-after real estate in LA county.

The Hermosa Beach Pier marks the finale with its trademark bout of gastronomy. The area around its base buzzes with life – there are Mexicana taco houses, microbreweries, and salty surf cafes where you can drink IPAs with folks fresh off the waves. Talk about a true California experience!

In Manhattan Beach, you can find upscale hotels such as The Belamar Hotel, which offers stylish rooms, a pool, and a trendy on-site restaurant. Another fantastic option is Shade Hotel, known for its contemporary design, rooftop bar, and proximity to the beach.

In Hermosa Beach, you can consider The Beach House Hotel, a boutique oceanfront hotel offering stunning views, spacious suites, and a charming beachside atmosphere. Additionally, the Sea Sprite Oceanfront Hotel provides a more budget-friendly option with cozy rooms, a convenient location, and easy beach access.

Parking fees may apply to some areas - see signage on site. Got a tip for this route? Send us yours! The roads in Los Angeles are sealed. View current alerts and warnings from the City of Manhattan Beach.

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