Manhattan Beach, California

Manhattan Beach, California

Coordinates: 33°53′20″N 118°24′19″W / 33.88889°N 118.40528°W / 33.88889; -118.40528

City of Manhattan Beach
—  City  —

Location of Manhattan Beach in Los Angeles County, California
Coordinates: 33°53′20″N 118°24′19″W / 33.88889°N 118.40528°W / 33.88889; -118.40528
Country United States
State California
County Los Angeles
Incorporated (city) December 12, 1912[1]
 - Type Council-Manager
 - City Council Mayor Nicholas Tell [2]
Vice-Mayor Wayne Powell
David Lesser
Amy Howorth
Richard Montgomery
 - City Treasurer Tim Lilligren, CCMT[3]
 - Total 3.941 sq mi (10.208 km2)
 - Land 3.937 sq mi (10.197 km2)
 - Water 0.004 sq mi (0.010 km2)  0.1%
Elevation 66 ft (20 m)
Population (2010)
 - Total 35,135
 - Density 8,915.2/sq mi (3,441.9/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP Code 90266, 90267[5]
Area code(s) 310/424[6]
FIPS code 06-45400
GNIS feature ID 1660985

Manhattan Beach is a beachfront city located in southwestern Los Angeles County, California, USA. Its population was 35,135 at the 2010 census, up from 33,852 at the 2000 census. The city is on the Pacific coast, south of El Segundo, and north of Hermosa Beach. Manhattan Beach is the home of both beach and indoor volleyball, and surfing. During the winter, the waves can get as big as 12 feet (3.7 m). It is one of the three Beach Cities in the South Bay.

Manhattan Beach is an affluent beach town within commuting distance of Los Angeles and therefore it is one of the most expensive coastal towns in which to live in America, according to the most recent Fortune Magazine rankings. The median price of a single family dwelling greatly exceeds the already high Los Angeles County median price by well over 100%. Property in Manhattan Beach is exceptionally expensive when considering the size of land for sale. In comparison, a half acre of land in Bel-Air is valued at $20 million, while a half acre of land on the Strand in Manhattan Beach is valued at $35 million.[7] Homes with an ocean view often exceed $5 million in cost.

Manhattan Beach and the local high school, Mira Costa High School, were the real-life film locations for the popular TV show The O.C.[8][9]



The Manhattan Beach pier in downtown Manhattan Beach on a typical fall afternoon.

In 1863, a Scottish immigrant, Sir Robert Burnett, purchased Rancho Sausal Redondo and Rancho Aguaje de la Centinela from Avila's heirs for $33,000. Ten years later in 1873, Burnett leased the ranch to a Canadian, Daniel Freeman (not the American Daniel Freeman, who was the first to file a claim under the Homestead Act of 1862). Burnett returned to Scotland. Freeman moved his wife and three children onto the ranch and started growing various crops. On May 4, 1885 Freeman bought the ranch from Burnett for $140,000.

George H. Peck owned a lot of the land that became part of the north section of Manhattan Beach. Supposedly, a coin flip decided the town's name. Around 1902, the beach suburb was named "Manhattan Beach" after the developer's home town, Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn, New York.[10]


The city has a total area of 4.9 square miles (13 km2). Manhattan Beach features 2.1 miles (3.4 km) of ocean frontage. Much of Manhattan Beach was once sand dunes. The city is quite hilly, but the only remaining sand dune is at Sand Dune Park.


A view of the ocean in Manhattan Beach.

Residents have informally divided the city into several distinct neighborhoods, including "The Village", "Sand Section", "Hill Section", "Tree Section", "Gas Lamp" section, Manhattan Heights, East Manhattan Beach, Liberty Village, "Poet's Section" (Shelley, Tennyson, Longfellow), and El Porto (North Manhattan).

The Hill Section includes higher priced homes where many of the residences are remodeled and situated on steep hills allowing panoramic ocean and city views.

The nearby Sand Section is notable for its pockets of quiet neighborhoods adjacent to the ocean. Multi-million dollar ocean-front homes line the bike path and walking lane along The Strand.


"Downtown" Manhattan Beach runs along Manhattan Beach Boulevard and the streets perpendicular to it in the area near the Manhattan Beach Pier up to Valley Drive. There are restaurants and stores and a mixed-use center, where once the pottery factory, famous for its colorful plates, stood for decades. The Metlox site closed in the early 1990s, and it took several years for the contaminated soil to be removed. The new "Metlox" site includes a boutique hotel and a few restaurants and shops.

The Manhattan Beach Library is near downtown on Highland Avenue two blocks north of Manhattan Beach Boulevard. The library is part of the County of Los Angeles Public Library system, and includes internet accessible computers, WiFi, and access to the six million items in the county library collection.

Rosecrans Strip

The Rosecrans strip is located on the south side of Rosecrans Avenue, east of Sepulveda, and west of Aviation.

The area includes the small Manhattan Village Mall, which is located on the southeast corner of Sepulveda Boulevard and Rosecrans Avenue. The mall, built in the early 1980s, was once anchored by the department stores Bullock's and Buffums, which both went bankrupt in the early 1990s. Most of the original stores in the mall also went bankrupt in the 1980s and 1990s (Miller's Outpost, Contempo Casuals, Music Plus, Orange Julius, Tequila Willies, Kinney Shoes, B. Dalton bookstore). The mall was remodeled in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and is now anchored by Macy's on both ends. It also has higher-end stores such as Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, and Williams and Sonoma.

The Manhattan Beach Country Club, the Marriott Hotel and Golf Course, restaurants, retail stores, supermarkets, and shopping centers are along the strip between the Manhattan Mall and Aviation Boulevard.

Sepulveda Strip

The "Sepulveda Strip" occupies the commercial zone, which runs north-south through the city. There is often very heavy traffic on this main thoroughfare.

Aviation Strip

The Aviation Strip is located along Aviation Boulevard (the city's eastern boundary), south of Rosecrans Avenue, and north of Marine Avenue. Aviation High School once stood there until it was closed in the early 1980s.[11] The zone includes several major complexes, including the Manhattan Beach Film Studios and the Northrop Grumman Space Technology Plant (where TRW once stood).[12]

Parks and recreation

The Strand path and bikeway along the beach is popular for biking, jogging, roller blading, and skateboarding. Volleyball nets are set up along the beach, and swimming, body boarding and surfing are popular among residents and visitors. At Manhattan Beach you are allowed to surf at the Manhattan Beach Pier, and North Manhattan Beach (El Porto).



The 2010 United States Census[13] reported that Manhattan Beach had a population of 35,135. The population density was 8,914.7 people per square mile (3,442.0/km²). The racial makeup of Manhattan Beach was 29,686 (84.5%) White, 290 (0.8%) African American, 59 (0.2%) Native American, 3,023 (8.6%) Asian, 49 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 409 (1.2%) from other races, and 1,619 (4.6%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2,440 persons (6.9%).

The Census reported that 35,107 people (99.9% of the population) lived in households, 28 (0.1%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.

There were 14,038 households, out of which 4,735 (33.7%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 7,583 (54.0%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 892 (6.4%) had a female householder with no husband present, 438 (3.1%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 695 (5.0%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 85 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 3,627 households (25.8%) were made up of individuals and 1,078 (7.7%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50. There were 8,913 families (63.5% of all households); the average family size was 3.10.

The population was spread out with 8,725 people (24.8%) under the age of 18, 1,740 people (5.0%) aged 18 to 24, 9,532 people (27.1%) aged 25 to 44, 10,681 people (30.4%) aged 45 to 64, and 4,457 people (12.7%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.9 years. For every 100 females there were 100.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.2 males.

There were 14,929 housing units at an average density of 3,787.9 per square mile (1,462.5/km²), of which 9,420 (67.1%) were owner-occupied, and 4,618 (32.9%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 0.8%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.3%. 25,587 people (72.8% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 9,520 people (27.1%) lived in rental housing units.


As of the census[14] of 2000, there were 33,854 people, 14,474 households, and 8,394 families residing in the city. The population density was 8,606.7 inhabitants per square mile (3,325.8/km²). There were 15,034 housing units at an average density of 3,822.3 per square mile (1,477.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 88.99% White, 6.04% Asian, 0.61% African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 1.23% from other races, including 2.81% from two or more races. 5.19% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.[citation needed]

There were 14,474 households, of which 28.1% had children under the age of 18, 49.8% were married couples living together, 5.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 42.0% were non-families, 29.3% were individuals living alone, and 6.5% were individuals living alone who were 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34, and the average family size was 2.98.

Other census data showed that the age distribution in the city was 22.3% who were under the age of 18, 4.1% from 18 to 24, 37.5% from 25 to 44, 25.7% from 45 to 64, and 10.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.5 males, and for every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $100,750, and the median income for a family was $122,686 (these figures had risen to $124,048 and $149,396 respectively as of a 2007 estimate[15]). Males had a median income of $84,256 versus $54,142 for females. The per capita income for the city was $61,136. About 2.0% of families and 3.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.3% of those under age 18 and 4.9% of those age 65 or over.

In February 2006, the median price of Manhattan Beach home sales was $1,925,000.[16] In its "Best Places to Live" 2005 feature, Money Magazine ranked Manhattan Beach as the fourth most expensive beach town in America.[17] Additionally, in 2005 it ranked 2nd in California for the number of million-dollar homes sold.[18] Forbes has also ranked the local ZIP code 90266 as the 29th most expensive ZIP code in North America.


Top Employers

According to the City's 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[19] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Target 405
2 Skechers 362
3 Macy's 271
4 Fry's Electronics 251
5 Marriott 208
6 Ralphs 146
7 Olive Garden 143
8 24 Hour Fitness 133
9 Bristol Farms 130
10 Shade Hotel 113
11 Manhattan Beach Toyota 99
12 Houston's Restaurants 97
13 California Pizza Kitchen 85
14 Chili's 81
15 Belamar Hotel 79
16 Islands 75
17 REI 62


Local government

The city of Manhattan Beach is governed by a five-member City Council. City Council members are elected every four years. The office of the Mayor of Manhattan Beach rotates every nine months among the members of the City Council, so that each City Council member serves one term as Mayor.[20]

State government

The residents of the city of Manhattan Beach are represented in state legislature by both a California State Senator and a California State Assemblyman.

In the California State Senate, Manhattan Beach is located in the 28th District. The current State Senator is Ted Lieu.

In the California State Assembly, Manhattan Beach is located in 53rd District. The current State Assemblyman from the District is Democrat Betsy Butler.


Primary and secondary schools

School 2010 API Score
Grandview Elementary 957
Meadows Elementary 946
Pacific Elementary 960
Pennekamp Elementary 948
Robinson Elementary 962
Manhattan Beach Middle 945
Mira Costa High School 911

Public education in Manhattan Beach is provided by the Manhattan Beach Unified School District, which oversees five elementary schools (Grandview, Meadows, Pacific, Pennekamp, Robinson), one middle school, and one high school (Mira Costa).

The district as a whole received a score of 926 on the 2010 California Academic Performance Index, making it California's 3rd best performing district.[21] Each individual school also ranks at the top of its respective category.[22]

Private schools

Private schools located in Manhattan Beach include American Martyrs Catholic School, Manhattan Academy, Montessori School of Manhattan Beach and Journey of Faith Christian School.


Manhattan Beach is served by Easy Reader Manhattan Beach News, Beach Magazine, the Daily Breeze, the Beach Reporter and the Manhattan Beach Sun.

In popular culture

Filming location

  • Filming location of 1408 (2007). John Cusack's character surfs in El Porto waves.
  • Filming location of 2012 (2009). Cracks appear down the middle of 45th Street.
  • Scenes from the 1983 Taylor Hackford film, Against All Odds, were filmed along The Strand and on the beach.
  • Film and real life location of George Jung of Blow fame.
  • Home to the filming of the CBS series CSI: Miami Manhattan Beach Studios.
  • Establishing shots of the TV show, Hannah Montana are filmed at Mira Costa High School.
  • Film location of Jerry Maguire (1996). In the movie, Dorothy's (Rene Zellwegger) house is in the Sand Section on 23rd Street.
  • Home to the filming of the Fox Network series, The O.C.
  • Filming location of Point Break (1991). In the movie, Keanu Reeves buys his surfboard from a shop located on the Manhattan Beach pier.
  • Filming location of Starsky and Hutch (2004). In the movie, Starsky (Ben Stiller), can be seen stretching under the pier.
  • Filming location of Tequila Sunrise (1988). Mel Gibson's character lives on the beach near the pier.
  • Home to the filming of some of the The CW Television Network/Ex-UPN series, Veronica Mars.
  • Filming location for the TV show, Weeds.
  • Filming location for the TV show, "90210"


  • Mentioned in the song, "Surfin' USA", by the Beach Boys. The Beach Boys, who surfed in Manhattan Beach, grew up in nearby Hawthorne.


  • The Manhattan Beach Open volleyball tournament in Manhattan Beach is known as "The Wimbledon of Beach Volleyball." The names of the tournament champions are inscribed in plaques along Manhattan Beach Pier. This event usually takes place in August and is aired on national TV.


  • CNN Money named Manhattan Beach #1 as the "2011 Best Places For the Rich and Single". [23]
  • The Travel Channel named Manhattan Beach the 9th sexiest beach on earth for its 2008 "21 Sexiest Beaches" show.[24]
  • Manhattan Beach has been nicknamed the "Pearl of the South Bay" for its beauty and desirability.
  • Much of the sand on Waikīkī Beach was purchased from Manhattan Beach by Hawaiʻian developers in the late 1920s. The developers negotiated a deal with the Kuhn Brothers Construction Company to ship the city's sand across the Pacific Ocean from Manhattan Beach to Waikiki Beach for over 10 years.[1] The remaining sand that resembles Manhattan Beach's original landscape can be found at Sand Dune Park.

Notable residents


Public service

  • George P. Cronk, Manhattan Beach Board of Education. 1939–42, and Los Angeles City Council, 1945–52

Journalists and writers





  • Nomar Garciaparra: Former MLB shortstop for the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Oakland A's
  • Jason Kendall: Catcher for the Kansas City Royals
  • Paul LoDuca: Retired Catcher formerly of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Washington Nationals


  • Bob Bradley: Head coach of the US Men's National Soccer Team
  • Landon Donovan: Soccer player for the Los Angeles Galaxy, U.S. National Team forward
  • Mia Hamm: Former Olympic Soccer player [13]
  • Cobi Jones: Soccer player for the Los Angeles Galaxy


  • Rob Blake: Defenseman for the Los Angeles Kings
  • Marc Crawford: Head coach for the Los Angeles Kings
  • Pavol Demitra: Forward for the Minnesota Wild
  • Alexander Frolov: Hockey player for the Los Angeles Kings
  • Tim Gleason: Defensman for the Carolina Hurricanes
  • Ron Hextall: Former goaltender for the Philadelphia Flyers, current Assistant GM for the Los Angeles Kings
  • Anze Kopitar: Center and Western Conference all-star for the Los Angeles Kings
  • Shane McColgan: Right Winger for the WHL Kelonwa Rockets
  • Glen Murray: Right Winger for the Boston Bruins
  • Lubomir Visnovsky: Defensman for the Los Angeles Kings



  1. ^ "Incorporation Dates of California Cities". Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  2. ^ City of Manhattan Beach : Mayor's Welcome
  3. ^ California League of Cities, Elected City Treasurers
  4. ^ U.S. Census
  5. ^ "USPS - ZIP Code Lookup - Find a ZIP+ 4 Code By City Results". Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  6. ^ "Number Administration System - NPA and City/Town Search Results". Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Bonnie Beckerson. "History of Manhattan Beach". Archived from the original on 2008-06-06. Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  11. ^ "Manhattan Beach Studios". Retrieved 2008-12-28. 
  12. ^ "Northrop Grumman Space Technology". Retrieved 2008-12-28. 
  13. ^ All data are derived from the United States Census Bureau reports from the 2010 United States Census, and are accessible on-line here. The data on unmarried partnerships and same-sex married couples are from the Census report DEC_10_SF1_PCT15. All other housing and population data are from Census report DEC_10_DP_DPDP1. Both reports are viewable online or downloadable in a zip file containing a comma-delimited data file. The area data, from which densities are calculated, are available on-line here. Percentage totals may not add to 100% due to rounding. The Census Bureau defines families as a household containing one or more people related to the householder by birth, opposite-sex marriage, or adoption. People living in group quarters are tabulated by the Census Bureau as neither owners nor renters. For further details, see the text files accompanying the data files containing the Census reports mentioned above.
  14. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ City of Manhattan Beach Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
  20. ^ "City Council of the City of Manhattan Beach". Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ [2]
  25. ^

External links

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