Manhattan Beach is a city in southwestern Los Angeles County, on the Pacific coast south of El Segundo, and north of Hermosa Beach. Manhattan Beach is one of the three Beach Cities that make up the South Bay.
Residents have divided the city into several distinct neighborhoods, including the "Sand Section", "Hill Section", "Tree Section", "Gas Lamp Section", "The Village", "Manhattan Heights", "The Knolls"(East Manhattan Beach), "Liberty Village", "Poet's Section" (Shelley, Tennyson, Longfellow, Keats), and "El Porto" (North Manhattan Beach).
The "Hill Section" is known for its high priced homes where many of the residences are remodeled or newly constructed. The steep hills allow panoramic ocean and city views. The nearby "Sand Section" is notable for its quiet walk-street neighborhoods adjacent to the ocean. Oceanfront homes stretch along the bike path and walking lane of "The Strand". "The Strand" section of Manhattan Beach includes some of the most expensive real estate per square foot in the United States.
The beach is approximately 400 feet wide and 2.1 miles long. Every August, the city hosts the Manhattan Beach Open Volleyball Tournament and the International Surf Festival.
Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach is ranked in the top 1% of high schools nationally.
Why Manhattan Beach?
The land in Manhattan Beach was formerly sand dunes. During the 1920s and 1930s, builders leveled uneven sandy sites and some excess sand was sold and shipped to Waikiki, Hawaii, to convert their reef and rock beach into a sandy beach. The sand was also used to build the Los Angeles Coliseum and portions of the Pacific Coast Highway. Manhattan Beach is known for its clean, wide, sandy beaches and attracts over 3.8 million visitors annually. Along the Strand at the eastern edge of the beach, a concrete bike path is reserved for bicycles. The bikeway extends north to Santa Monica and south to Palos Verdes. A separate 2.1 mile walkway, reserved for pedestrians, runs alongside the bike path. Restrooms and shower facilities are provided adjacent to the Strand paths. Beach volleyball, swimming, body boarding and surfing are popular activities among residents and visitors.
"Downtown" Manhattan Beach is considered the heart of the city. There are many Zagat rated casual-fine dining restaurants, specialty boutiques and retailers that create a pedestrian friendly, mixed-use downtown center.
Manhattan Beach is currently ranked as one of the best suburbs in Los Angeles Country for its high-earning and well educated residents. According to US Census data, Manhattan Beach holds the ranking as the second most educated city in Los Angeles County and the fifth most educated city in the state of California. Manhattan Beach's top performing school district is currently ranked as the third best in the state of California, and Forbes Magazine ranked the city's school district, MBUSD, as the sixth best school district in the United States. Manhattan Beach has also been nicknamed the "Pearl of the South Bay" for its beauty and desirability.