Sand Section Manhattan Beach
Let’s talk about the crown jewel of the South Bay for a second, shall we? Manhattan Beach is one of three beach cities in the South Bay and is arguably the prettiest, shiniest and most charismatic of the bunch. In fact, Manhattan Beach has been nicknamed the “Pearl of the South Bay” for its beauty and desirability. The city is broken up into several neighborhoods, has a population of over 35,000 people and spreads over an area of 3.88 square miles. Parking in these parts might be scarce, but the incredible views and beach access more than make up for it.
Sand Section Boundaries
The Sand Section is probably the most well-known neighborhood, because it includes sections of El Porto, Downtown, The Strand, Gas Lamp Area, West of Highland, and South End Walk Streets. So basically, if you’re heading into Manhattan for some beach time, surfing, shopping, or hitting The Strand, you’ll find yourself in the Sand Section. This area extends the full 2-mile length (north/south) of Manhattan Beach, with multi-million dollar beach-adjacent homes and nearby homes partway inland.
Sand Section residents send their young kiddos to one of two schools. Elementary school students living north of Manhattan Beach Boulevard attend Grand View Elementary. Those living south of Manhattan Beach Boulevard attend Robinson Elementary. There is one middle school (Manhattan Beach Middle) and one high school (Mira Costa High) for Manhattan Beach kids.
Sand Section Real Estate
Most of the homes in the Sand Section are nothing short of magnificent. Beach-front property certainly doesn’t come cheap, and the most expensive real estate in this area can be found on The Strand, with prices from $6 million to $12 million or more. There’s certainly a less expensive, wider price range for single-family homes and townhomes for sale as well. And if you’re looking to rent, there’s a mix of housing types with plenty of townhomes and other options.
Manhattan Beach was once mostly sand dunes. During the 1920s and 1930s, some of that sand was shipped to Waikiki, Hawaii to convert their reef and rock beach into a sandy beach. Some of the sand was also used to build the Los Angeles Coliseum and portions of Pacific Coast Highway.
And just because we aren’t in the heart of Hollywood, doesn’t mean the South Bay can’t be found on screens both big and small. Manhattan Beach has been the filming location for several projects and most of them were in the Sand Section.
Here’s a few you might recall:
- Jerry Maguire: In the movie, Dorothy’s (Renée Zellweger) house is in the Sand Section on 23rd Street.
- Point Break: Keanu Reeves buys his surfboard from a shop located on the Manhattan Beach pier.
- Starsky and Hutch: Starsky (Ben Stiller), can be seen stretching under the pier.
- 2012: Cracks appear down the middle of 45th Street.
Things to Do
If you’re heading down to the Sand Section for the day, there are plenty of things you can do. Looking to burn some calories? Hit The Strand for a run, or even just take a walk and marvel at the ocean on one side of you, and the gorgeous houses on the other. You could also hit the beach for some volleyball, or head into the water to surf. The waves at El Porto are bigger than they typically are in the other beach cities, so this is the spot to try. If you go inland a few blocks, you can always count on great food, great shopping and great people-watching.
The annual Manhattan Beach Sand Section events are also worth marking in your calendar. The New Year kicks off with the annual Rose Parade through downtown Manhattan. Then at the end of July (this year on 7/31 & 8/1), you get the glory of the Charlie Saikley 6-Man Beach Volleyball Tournament. Professional volleyball players compete alongside amateurs in this laid back, enormous beach party. The teams even dress up in group costumes! Halloween in July? Pretty much. This tournament draws over 50,000 spectators each year and it’s certainly worth checking out. And finally in August, the volleyball pros take center stage in the annual AVP Manhattan Beach Open (this year from 8/23 – 8/25).
What more can I say, guys? The Sand Section is to Manhattan Beach as Manhattan Beach is to the South Bay. It’s wonderful, so check it out.
Next up: Exploring The Tree Section of Manhattan Beach…