A Weekend in the Life of a Manhattan Beach Local

Manhattan Beach – Have you ever visited? Join me in this post where I share the life of a Manhattan Beach local. 

Manhattan Beach is located about 15 minutes from LAX airport and 35 minutes from Downtown LA. One of the many reasons it’s an interesting place is its small-town feel within the large area of Los Angeles.
Many high profile individuals in the sports and entertainment industry live here due to its 2 miles of oceanfront, top performing school district, and the short commute to Los Angeles. Our downtown area is filled with some of the best restaurants in Los Angeles. Add to this, the nearly perfect weather throughout most of the year, and we have pretty much – paradise!

Manhattan Beach

Per Wikipedia, GQ Magazine named Manhattan Beach one of the nation’s six best beaches in their July 2014 issue. CNN Money named Manhattan Beach #1 as the “2011 Best Places For the Rich and Single”, while The Travel Channel named Manhattan Beach the 9th sexiest beach on earth for its 2008 “21 Sexiest Beaches” show.


View of oceanfront and sand section homes in Manhattan Beach.

Manhattan Beach Local Life

I’ve lived here for 16 years, since moving from New York City in 2002. My husband lived here during his residency in the 90s and was intent on coming back (when I met him in New York).

Over time and through building a family, I feel like I know so many people in town. In many ways, I can relive my childhood through my kids’ eyes. We are growing up again as adults, together, through our kids. And many of us will be growing old together too. It’s a special town that most who live here do not take for granted.


Manhattan Beach Pier. Photo by Benjamin Benoit Photography

Manhattan Beach Annual Traditions

Hometown Fair

One of the town’s annual traditions is the weekend of the Hometown Fair which occurs the first Saturday and Sunday of October.

It could be a great weekend to visit and get the flavor of our town and join in on the festivities.  And the weather is usually still summer-like at the beginning of October.

The Hometown Fair was started by a group of residents in 1972 who wanted to promote community spirit within Manhattan Beach. It’s become the biggest community event of the year.


Row of Woodies on display across from the Fire Station


Entry into the Fairgrounds. No Weapons, please.?!

The fair has kid country, arts/crafts, paid games and food/drinks run by the community’s nonprofits. The streets are filled with local vendors selling everything from jewelry and art to handmade furniture. The Beer Garden is the largest fundraiser, frequented by young and old alike.  A few years ago, they added a wine garden, but it hasn’t picked up the momentum of the infamous Beer Garden.

Manhattan Beach 10K

To kick off the weekend, the City holds the Manhattan Beach 10k, run by a separate group of volunteers than the Hometown Fair. About 5,000 people run this race each year. It’s a great way to feel the Manhattan Beach spirit as you run through the neighborhoods and downtown. This is a race many locals will run year after year as a tradition, even if they usually don’t run at all!

Review of My Weekend at the Manhattan Beach 10K and the Hometown Fair

Race start!

Back to Manhattan Beach Hometown Fair

Manhattan Beach Hometown Fair Firemen

Love the firemen hanging out with hats and stickers for the kids to wear and take tours of the fire truck!

Manhattan Beach 10k

Red Cross was there to accept blood donations.

Manhattan Beach Hometown Fair

There was a pet adoption area at the Fire Station with dogs; all dolled up with hanker-chiefs and t-shirts.

Manhattan Beach Hometown Fair Dietz Brothers

Local music store owners, the Dietz Brothers were playing on one of the many stages. One of the sons of a Dietz Brother came on to sing a song, and his voice was lovely.


Hanging with girlfriends at the Beer Garden.

Doesn’t my town look like a fun place to live? I’m grateful to be able to raise my kids here.  The challenge is to teach them that most of the world does not function like their small beach town. But they’ll learn soon enough.

I hope you enjoyed this post about my life as a Manhattan Beach local. Next time you are at LAX for a layover or to visit Los Angeles, consider a quick drive over to my town!  And if you live in LA, come down and hang! I promise you won’t regret it.

Flavor Your Life with an Ounce of Salt. A Lifestyle blog by Jen Oliak.