Why Manhattan Beach Is The Best Place In SoCal To Build Your Multi-Million Dollar Home

Why Manhattan Beach Is The Best Place In SoCal To Build Your Multi-Million Dollar Home 1800 1401 White Sands Design/Build

Thinking of building a new house in Manhattan Beach?

The White Sands Design/Build team are among the roughly 35,500 people who live in Manhattan Beach, only 20 miles from Los Angeles. In our opinion, it’s the best place to get a family-oriented, small-town coastal vibe, with fantastic food and boutiques, without sacrificing the big city amenities of Los Angeles County. You get to keep your shopping trips to Rodeo Drive, your season tickets to the Lakers, Dodgers, Clippers, Rams and Kings, easy access to the most amazing healthcare along the west coast, and all the nightlife, quirkiness and diversity that makes LA fabulous, but you’ll lose the daily stressors of horrendous traffic, smog and urban grime.

Manhattan Beach, a charming coastal enclave, continues to reign supreme as the most desirable location in Southern California for discerning homeowners seeking a luxurious and fulfilling lifestyle. With its pristine beaches, vibrant downtown, exceptional schools, and unparalleled amenities, Manhattan Beach offers an unmatched combination of coastal tranquility and urban convenience.

We can help you create your New custom-built beach house overlooking Manhattan Beach with its ongoing volleyball games.The Best Beach Town In Southern California

There are over two miles of shoreline in Manhattan Beach, with amenities such as restrooms, changing rooms and easy parking. The beach is clean and wide (450 feet!), the waves just off the shore are ideal for body surfing, and there are perpetual beach volleyball games up and down the sand.

And there’s a lot of activity along Manhattan Beach; each August,  the city hosts the Manhattan Beach Open Volleyball Tournament, as well as the International Surf Festival.

Manhattan Beach is also well-known in surfer’s lore, as home to the US’s first surf shop. Dale Vezy, the father of the modern, easily-portable surfboard, opened his shop under the pier in 1949. El Porto beach and the breaks on either side of the pier offer some of the best surfing in SoCal.

The city’s extensive park system features 48 acres of green space, including Polliwog and Live Oaks parks. These parks offer botanical gardens, playgrounds, tennis courts, and dog runs, providing ample opportunities for relaxation and recreation.

If you want a beach town that’s friendly and bustling, but not too bustling, build your house in Manhattan Beach.

Person body surfing on the ideal waves at the clean and wide Manhattan Beach.


The Best Weather in the World

“Hot” in Manhattan Beach means about 80 degrees. “Cold” means about 70 degrees. Beachside SoCal only gets 14 inches of rainfall a year, compared to the national average of 38 inches. If you want to bike, stroll downtown, and spend long hours lounging in the sun—sans frizzy hair, humidity and rain gear—you won’t find a more temperate option.

The Most Charming, Walkable Downtown

Does meandering down a strip of quaint boutiques, Zagat-rated restaurants, and an inviting independent bookstore—which encourages you to sit and stay—your definition of a perfect afternoon? What about chatting with small-business owners and perusing local-made goods? Manhattan Beach’s highly walkable, mixed-use downtown is pure small town charm, with a breezy beachy flare. It’s a perfect option for picking up a quick gift or whiling away sunny (because they’re almost all sunny) weekend hours.

Imagine your new custom-built beach house with a view of Manhattan Beach Pier, the oldest concrete pier on the West Coast.

Tino M.

The area around the pier, which encompasses gorgeous beachfront homes along The Strand (your new custom-built beach house will be in fine company!), paved paths that lead bikers, joggers, and wanderers to ocean-view restaurants, and winding trails through picturesque sand dunes is always busy.

The Oldest And Most Picturesque Pier On The West Coast

According to US News & World Report, in 2019 Manhattan Beach’s Mira Costa High School—the local public high—was among the top three percent in the nation. The Manhattan Beach Unified School District has some of the best schools in California, consistently ranking high by media outlets such as Niche, Forbes and Nerdwallet.

As of 2024, Manhattan Beach’s Mira Costa High School are thrilled to announce that Mira Costa High School once again, for a consecutive year, ranks in the top 2% of Best U.S. High Schools by the 2023 U.S. News and World Report. Nationally, Mira Costa climbed 35 spots from last year’s ranking.

This may be reason enough to build your new house in Manhattan Beach if you have school-aged children.

Among The Top Public Schools In the Nation

According to US News & World Report, in 2019 Manhattan Beach’s Mira Costa High School—the local public high—was among the top three percent in the nation. The Manhattan Beach Unified School District has some of the best schools in California, consistently ranking high by media outlets such as Niche, Forbes and Nerdwallet.

If you have school-aged children, this may be reason enough to build your new house in Manhattan Beach.

Amazing Restaurants Without The Hassle

In the past decade, Manhattan Beach has really upped its restaurant game, and people are noticing. Whether you love fresh seafood, Asian food or American comfort food, whether you’re into tapas or individual entrees, whether you want coastal casual or fine dining with an ocean view, Manhattan Beach has just the spot—and often, you can get in without reservations or crazy wait time.

In 2024, Manhattan Beach restaurants are continuing to evolve with new trends and regulatory changes. Many restaurants that were originally single-location have expanded to other beach cities, a trend that has accelerated from the previous year. Additionally, the Manhattan Beach City Council is considering a vision for permanent outdoor dining areas, which would involve modifications such as wider sidewalks and changes to parking arrangements. This proposal is part of ongoing discussions, with a specific task force meeting scheduled to address these developments further.

Convenience is Convenient

You’re a short jaunt down the 110 from the glitz and excitement of Los Angeles, but you can meet all your needs without ever having to leave Manhattan Beach. We have farmers markets and upscale groceries, clothing shops, gift boutiques and Manhattan Village mall.

Casual Coastal Culture

Manhattan Beach style is easy-breezy. Life is slower here, and beach sports, yoga, biking and casual lunches are key components of the culture. If you’re looking for a community where wellness is prioritized, and plans (and people!) are relaxed, you’ve found the place!

Manhattan Beach is also a close-knit community, and you’ll see friends while running errands or taking in a regular town event, such as Hometown Fair, Summer Concerts in the Park, Shakespeare By The Sea or one of the many volleyball tournaments.

Parks and Paths

Into parks and bike/walking paths? Manhattan Beach has 48 acres of planned green space, comprising eleven different parks, and 21 additional acres of beachfront parkway. Polliwog and Live Oaks are two of our favorite parks. Polliwog has botanical gardens, a lake, an amphitheater for community concerts, a dog run, playgrounds and a small historical museum. Live Oak has tennis courts, a rec center that houses a community ceramics studio, seniors club and a dog run. Throughout the local park system, you’ll find 18 ball fields, in addition to racquetball courts, basketball courts, golf, public pools and batting cages.

Manhattan Beach is also along the 22 mile beachside bike path (also known as the Marvin Braude Bike Trail or The Strand Trail) that runs from Santa Monica to Palos Verde. Additionally, there is a three mile wood-chip trail near downtown, known as the “Green Belt.” Individual parks also have trails, including the unique Sand Dune Park.

Spectacular Ocean Views for Custom Built Homes

Many residential neighborhoods in Manhattan Beach are built on sand dunes, which means they’re on slightly elevated topography. This is why you get spectacular ocean views, even blocks from the beach. If you’re going to design and build a multi-million dollar home, don’t you think you should be able to gaze at the Pacific?

Manhattan Beach, known for its stunning ocean views and prime real estate, has limited availability of lots suitable for custom-built homes, especially those with spectacular ocean views. The city is largely developed, and much of the prime coastal land is already occupied by existing homes. However, opportunities do arise, though they are rare and often highly sought after.

Prospective buyers typically encounter the following scenarios:

  • Tear-downs: More commonly, buyers purchase older properties with the intention of demolishing the existing structures to make way for custom-built homes. These properties might not always be advertised as “lots” but rather as homes that are prime for redevelopment.
  • Re-sales: Occasionally, undeveloped lots or previously developed properties in prime locations come onto the market. These are highly prized and can command premium prices.
  • Vertical expansions: Property owners sometimes opt to expand or rebuild upwards (within local zoning regulations) to enhance their ocean views.

Neighborhoods With Personality

Manhattan Beach Custom Homes in Neighborhoods with personalityRyan Vaarsi

No matter your personal needs, Manhattan Beach has a perfect neighborhood for you.

Want to step out your back door and be on the sand? Look for property along The Strand.

Want to be near the water, but also near shops and restaurants? Want a dense, walkable, communal atmosphere? Try the Sand Section.

Want a bigger lot, ocean views, lots of yard and space to spread out? You’ll love The Hill section.

Want more bang for your buck (property-wise) mingled with the scent of eucalyptus trees? Maybe you should build in the Tree Section.

In which neighborhood would you want to build your house in Manhattan Beach?

Manhattan Beach Stats You May Find Interesting:

StatisticManhattan BeachCaliforniaNational
Median age43.836.338.1
Male/Female ratio1.0:11.0:11.0:1
Married (15yrs & older)62%51%54%
Families w/ Kids under 1845%45%42%


Want To Know More About Custom-Building A House In Manhattan Beach?

If you want to learn more before building a house in Manhattan Beach, we’d be happy to speak with you. For over a decade, we’ve been designing and building magnificent homes in this city—homes that make excellent use of vertical space (thanks to anti-sprawl zoning laws), homes that capture and diffuse the magical light nature offers us in this prime spot, homes that make grand use of the temperate climate and sea breezes and encourage a life lived outdoors. We love living in this amazing coastal town, a stone’s throw from the bright lights and big city. We bet you will, too. Contact us today. 

Thanks for reading,

Hawlie Ohe

Hawlie headshot for home air purifiers

Hawlie Ohe heads White Sands Interiors, and she and her husband are raising two boys along the South Bay coast. Hawlie brings the curiosity that fueled her first career, as a journalist, to her interior design approach: Who are you, who do want to be, and how can this space get you there? Great design makes you feel present and engaged, and Hawlie is here for it. Because she wants you to help you be “here” (in this space, in this moment), too.