Manhattan Beach Day Out
When our friends in NY started posting Hamptons pics and tweeting sweat-laden messages back in June, we were still employing our expert skills in the art of layering and huddling under heat lamps. Now that the heat wave has finally drifted our way, however, we suddenly find ourselves suffering from a severe case of Summer Anxiety. What’s Summer Anxiety, you ask? (Other than a proper noun?) Summer Anxiety is a severe mental anguish that occurs when you realize your seasonal bucket list has only gotten longer while the dog days have furtively dwindled away.
Don't panic; rather, realize that from now through the end of September, every weekend is sacred. Every relaxed, lazy movement must be calculated; the execution, flawless and efficient. This brings us to Manhattan Beach -- a pristine beach town, brimming with summer splendor. One day spent frolicking within its city limits can easily eliminate a solid chunk of your sunny season must-do’s without eliminating a solid chunk of cash in the process.
Gather your girls together and start your weekend off at one of MB’s famous brunch spots. Uncle Bill’s Pancake House is a time-tested classic, but if the wait is excruciating, The Local Yolk and Four Daughters Kitchen are serving up equally delicious traditional favorites just down the street. Portions are large at each of these locations, so you may want to share a few things to avoid slipping into a food coma. If it’s a cocktail brunch you’re after, Simmzy’s on Manhattan Beach Blvd. is well-known for its generous glasses of fruit-filled Sangria and twenty-something packed tables, Sharkeez is infamous for its build-your-own Bloody Mary bar, and American Farmhouse Tavern generously offers free champagne with their organic brunch menu.
For the perfect post-brunch mini-workout, rent a beach cruiser from Funbunns for just 7 bucks and cycle down the bike path. We recommend heading south of the pier, where the athletically inclined (read: seriously attractive men) are throwing themselves across the volleyball courts and heading out of the waves, surfboards in hand. Swoon.
Later, toss your bikes aside and settle in the sand for a relaxing tanning sesh (sunscreen required!). Forget your beach gear? Lulu’s offers a well-curated selection of sexy suits while Diane’s is a few stores away with some sportier options. Left your beach read at home? Jaunt over to Pages: A Bookstore. This rare, charming gem is one of the few remaining locally-owned, independent bookstores.
By late afternoon, you’ll probably have worked up a sun-induced appetite, and options abound for satiating it. Our favorite fresh, healthy chainlet, Lemonade, finally opened up shop in Manhattan Beach and is perfect for a quick bite. If you have a bit more time, settle into Manhattan Beach Post for a nooner. Ahem. Their Nooner Menu, offered from 1:30 p.m. - 5 p.m. on Saturdays, includes a smattering of delectable small plates. (Their buttermilk bacon biscuits are to-die-for, and you can’t beat the pomegranate couscous!)
Whatever you decide, make sure you’re out by 5 p.m. so that you can scurry over to claim a free seat at the annual Concerts in the Park series. In honor of the Centennial Anniversary of Manhattan Beach, this year’s series celebrates the last 100 years of pop music, so get ready to get down to anything from a rollicking good swing beat to a Fleetwood Mac cover band. If live music isn't your thing (but continuing to eat and drink yourself silly is), Sashi boasts a Sunday-Funday-friendly happy hour from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. that includes $5 robata and sushi rolls, $3 tapas, $3 draft beers, and $6 wine and well drinks. You can also go the cheap-booze-and-burgers route at local favorite Ercoles. Their cocktails have been known to turn even the meekest of patrons into a jukebox-monopolizing pool shark, so consider yourself warned.
For a late-night change in location, keep the good vibrations going and squeeze into Side Door for good music and an even better martini. Or, opt for a drink (and/or a $2.75 taco) at Shellback, which is widely-known to be one of the best dive bars in all of SoCal. Relax, enjoy yourself, and stay out until the wee hours of the morning -- you can always depend on The Kettle, a local diner that's open 24 hours a day, to jumpstart your (early) Monday morning with a hot cup of coffee.
written by Stacie Corliss
Aug 07, 2012 - 11:08 AM