In addition to the beach, Manhattan Beach residents have access to a number of recreational facilities and activities including seven parks, a golf course, racquetball and tennis courts, a library, community centers, jazz concerts, art festivals, a small theater and much more. Polliwog Park hosts Sunday afternoon concerts during the summer months as well as entertainment for children.
While Hollywood is just down the road, Manhattan Beach has its own production company in Raleigh Studios, creator of plenty of popular movies and television programs.
Manhattan Beach Neighborhoods
Manhattan Beach is home to a number of great neighborhoods that bring together a sense of community and excitement for residents, making this city one of the most sought-after zip codes in the Southern California. Let's take quick look at Manhattan Beach's exclusive residential neighborhoods:
If it's exclusivity that you're looking for in Manhattan Beach, consider taking a look at the beachfront homes found in The Strand. The Strand features some of the most expensive and luxurious homes in Manhattan Beach, but the oceanfront views that come with the homes are simply priceless. Homes run parallel to the coast and are usually three stories high due in part to the small lot sizes. Most homes also feature rooftop decks; perfect for enjoying the sunset and on a clear day, and for viewing Catalina Island in the distance. Prices for homes along The Strand tend to run from $3-$4 million, with large, contemporary homes on double lots standing side-by-side amongst The Strand's original 1920's Bungalow-style homes.
If you are in the market for a home that offers great views of the beach and ocean but offers a significant amount of privacy and walkability, then consider taking a look at the real estate market in Manhattan Beach's Walk Street neighborhood. The homes in this part of the city generally feature one side of the home facing a pedestrian walk street as opposed to a normal street for vehicle traffic, which pretty much guarantees that this area is one of the city's quieter neighborhoods. Bungalow homes, cottages, as well as luxury homes with nice outdoor areas anchor the local housing market here. Parking isn't an issue as most homes include garages located behind the homes. For a bit of clarity, the following streets contain homes that are included in the Walk Street neighborhood: 2nd to 8th streets; 10th, 11th, 13th and 16th streets; 18th to 20th streets; 24th, 25th and 29th streets; and 30th to 32nd streets.
The El Porto neighborhood is known among locals as having the best surfing in the area so it's common to see surfers making their way through the neighborhood and down to the beach to catch some waves. You can expect many of the homes in El Porto to have fantastic views of all the action thanks to the area's hilly terrain, but expect parking to be a bit of a challenge. El Porto is extremely close to Rosecrans, making it easy to get to the 405 freeway and LAX, and also includes direct access to Marina del Rey and even Santa Monica by way of the Vista del Mar road.
The Tree Section of Manhattan Beach is located west of Sepulveda Blvd. and north of Rosecrans and features a more suburban atmosphere. Like the name suggests, the Tree Section has some of the most dense and prolific collection of vegetation and trees in the entire city. Generously larger homes on streets named after popular trees (such as Elm, Pine and Oak) in a variety of traditional styles are available in the Tree Section starting at less than $1 million for a "tear down" property to upwards of $2.5 million. The beach is still within walking distance from the Tree Section; however, this area is a bit more inland and doesn't have as much foot and vehicle traffic as some of the other neighborhoods.
The Hill Section neighborhood of Manhattan Beach is located south of Manhattan Beach Blvd., east of Valley Drive, and west of Sepulveda Blvd. and is known for having the second highest priced homes with The Strand taking top honors for the most expensive homes in the city. Homes in the Hill Section generally start from $3 million and go up from there. The neighborhood is in a slightly elevated area of Manhattan Beach, promising unobstructed and panoramic views of the glittering blue Pacific Ocean. Home lots are the largest in Manhattan Beach, ranging anywhere between 5,000 and 8,000 square feet. Parking isn't an issue in the Hill Section area and getting to LAX and the 405 freeway is quick and convenient.
Living just steps from the beach is a dream that many people surely wish for and it's possible in the area known as the Sand Section of Manhattan Beach. The Strand is a subsection of this area and like the homes there, the homes in the Sand Section are within walking distance to the beach but because this area is higher in density in terms of real estate, you can expect more foot traffic as a result. Older single-family homes and apartments stand alongside newer properties.
Larger homes with generous sized yards are a common element in Manhattan Beach's Mira Costa neighborhood. Mira Costa is located further from the beach so most of the land lots are flatter, allowing for construction of larger homes. In fact, Mira Costa's Mansion Area features homes with lot sizes starting from half an acre and if a larger home is what you're in the market for, the Mansion Area of Mira Costa is where you want to start looking first. Mira Costa is located north of Artesia Blvd., south of Manhattan Beach Blvd., west of Aviation Blvd., and east of Sepulveda Blvd. This neighborhood is also the home of Mira Costa High School.
Situated in a master-planned and gated community east of Sepulveda Blvd., north of Marine Avenue, south of Rosecrans Blvd. and behind the Manhattan Beach Village Shopping Mall, Manhattan Village features over 500 single-family homes, townhomes, and estates for sale. Being a gated community, residents of Manhattan Village have access to a number of exclusive amenities such as swimming pools and Jacuzzis, a small community park, and access to the adjacent nine-hole golf course. The community also includes 24-hour security.
Located west of Liberty Village and east of Sepulveda Blvd., the homes in Manhattan Heights are on the grander scale in terms of size. Most homes tend to be over 7,000 square feet and the land lots are generally flatter than some of the lots in Manhattan Beach. Since Manhattan Heights is more inland from the beach itself, interested buyers can expect more bang for their buck.
History of Manhattan Beach
The history of the city dates back to the turn of the century. In its earliest days, Manhattan Beach was part of the 10-mile ocean frontage of Rancho Sausal Redondo, which means "Round Clump of Willows." At one time, George Peck, who owned a section of the north end of town, called the area "Shore Acres."
In 1901, Stewart Merrill bought the south portion and called his section Manhattan after his old home, New York City. Peck and Merrill, unable to agree on a city name, flipped a coin and Manhattan won. The first downtown building was built by Merrill around 1901, a small frame building later used for city offices. The official date of incorporation was December 2, 1912.
Center Street and Marine Avenue each housed a wooden pier in 1901. The Center Street powered the beach lighting system with a wave motor. It is believed that part of the wave motor still exists covered in the sands at the shore end of the present pier.
In 1920 another pier was built at the same location and stretched about 922 feet into the ocean. The idea of the circular end was created by Engineer A.L. Harris with the hope of achieving less exposure and damage to the pilings by the waves.
Following World War II, a large influx of people came to the city as a result of the desirability of the area for year-round living. Those stationed in the city during the war returned to live here. With the development of the defense industry, many were keen on the South Bay and wanted to reside and work in the area. New housing developments were built on the east of Sepulveda to accommodate the flood of people.
With its rich history, an exciting present and promising future, Manhattan Beach is a town for all reasons. Its small town charm and breathtaking views will warm your heart, liberate your mind and lift your spirits.