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.
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.
If you want a beach town that’s friendly and bustling, but not too bustling, build your house in 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.
The Oldest And Most Picturesque Pier On The West Coast
Built in the 1920s, Manhattan Beach boasts the oldest concrete pier on the west coast. Fishing is allowed along its 928 feet, and the pier is home to many community events such as concerts, fireworks, the annual holiday pier lighting, the International Bodysurfing Championship, paddle-boarding competitions and more. The free Roundhouse Aquarium, beloved by the young and the young at heart, is housed in the historic Mediterrean building at the end of the pier. The pier also offers first-rate views of Manhattan Beach’s sensational sunsets.
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.
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.
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?
Neighborhoods With Personality
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:
|Married (15yrs & older)||63%||52%||55%|
|Families w/ Kids under 18||46%||46%||43%|
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.
Thanks for reading,
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.