Manhattan Beach is one of Los Angeles County’s three beach cities, alongside Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach. It’s one of the most popular vacation destinations due to its convenient location. If you drive south for less than an hour, you’re in the heart of Los Angeles, making vacation rentals near Manhattan Beach the perfect base to explore Southern California. Drive north for less than an hour, and you’re enjoying Orange County’s scenic beauty. Besides the gorgeous beaches, Manhattan Beach has plenty of attractions of its own, including exceptional fishing, water sports of all kinds and a massive scenic pier with a free aquarium at the end. With so many incredible neighboring towns and cities, choosing a place to stay isn’t always easy. Here are 12 of the best locations for vacation rentals near Manhattan Beach.

1. Redondo Beach

Redondo Beach is just a few miles south of Manhattan Beach. It’s a great vacation rental spot for families with kids. Spend the day at Polliwog Park playing disc golf or just relaxing by the pond — there are playgrounds for the kids too. Seaside Lagoon is another favorite hangout for visitors and locals alike. It’s a lifeguard-supervised lagoon where guests can swim, sunbathe on the sand, play on the play equipment, or even get a game of volleyball going. Redondo Beach is also home to a classic California beach pier, complete with more than 50 places to eat, shop, or enjoy some live entertainment.

2. Hermosa Beach

Nestled right between Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach is beautiful Hermosa Beach. Whether you’re surfing the waves, catching air on a jet ski, saltwater fishing from a pontoon boat, or watching it all from above on the pier, you’re going to fall in love with this sunny SoCal haven. The massive Hermosa Beach Pier has plenty of awesome restaurants, bars, and shops for you to browse. Be sure to visit The Comedy and Magic Club for an unforgettable evening of entertainment by world-class comedians and magicians. If you’re looking for something for the kids, Play Hive is a great indoor play facility with a ball pit, dress-up area, a train table, and plenty of classes and activities.

3. Seal Beach

Seal Beach is located right on the top of Orange County, between Long Beach and Huntington Beach. It’s a smaller community, so you may be able to find a great deal on a vacation rental that’s just minutes away from larger, high-priced cities. It’s also surrounded by the Anaheim Bay and the San Gabriel River, so boating, fishing, swimming, and virtually any other water sport you can imagine are all readily available. Be sure to visit Seal Beach Pier, and don’t forget to pack a camera as you’ll be treated to views of the endless ocean, towering mountains and most likely some seals and dolphins too.

4. Long Beach

If you want an authentic SoCal experience, it’s hard to beat Long Beach. If you’re looking for a family-friendly place to spend the day, look no further than the Aquarium of the Pacific, where you can see more than 11,000 marine species in a beautiful setting on the bay. Take a tour and grab a bite to eat at the breathtaking restored World War II ocean liner, the Queen Mary. If you’re interested in a quick vacation-in-a-vacation, take the luxurious Catalina Express boat to nearby Catalina Island.

5. Gardena, CA

Gardena is an excellent place to look for vacation rentals if you want a small-town vibe just minutes east of Manhattan Beach. Explore the rural Gardena Willows Wetland Preserve, a naturally-occurring marshland with a variety of plant and animal life. Bring the kids to K1 Speed, where the whole family can enjoy zipping around the indoor go-kart track. The Sky Zone Trampoline Park is another fun family-friendly attraction, featuring a facility filled with trampolines to jump on.

6. Santa Monica

Santa Monica is less than a half hour’s drive to Manhattan Beach, and it’s easily one of California’s most popular vacation destinations, and for good reason. If you can find any vacancies, look for vacation rentals near the iconic Santa Monica Pier. Not only will you have easy access to a stunningly beautiful beach with pure white sand and crystalline water, but you’ll also be able to enjoy family-friendly attractions like the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, Playland Arcade, and Pacific Park, an old-school amusement park complete with a roller coaster and of course the historic Ferris wheel.

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7. Anaheim

Anaheim is one of the best places for vacation rentals if you’re traveling with children. The reason for that is simple: Disneyland. There’s nowhere on the West Coast that’s half as exciting to the kids. The city is situated roughly 30 miles east of Manhattan Beach, so traveling between locations is a breeze. Besides Disneyland, you’re also just a quick drive from parks like Legoland, Adventure City and Knott’s Berry Farm. Anaheim is sure to delight both young and the young at heart with its many magical vacation destinations.

8. Playa del Rey

Located on the west side of Los Angeles, Playa del Rey is a fantastic beachside neighborhood with a welcoming community and scenic shoreline. Playa del Rey means “King’s Beach” in Spanish, so beach activities reign supreme. Head to Dockweiler State Beach for a day in the sun and surf. The are ais also home to excellent hang gliding companies that can help you to learn the sport. The Dockweiler State Beach bicycle path is also a great place to explore the coastline by bicycle.

9. Torrance

One of the South Bay’s largest cities, Torrance has something to offer for everyone. Look for vacation rentals in the Hollywood Riviera neighborhood if you’re going for upscale luxury homes, or check out the quaint cottages in Old Torrance. Enjoy a picnic at the scenic South Coast Botanic Garden, and then explore the gorgeous plants and animals in the surrounding nature. If you’re in the mood for a faster outdoor adventure, rent some bicycles and go for a cruise down the picturesque Strand Bike Trail. Pack your binoculars and camera, and head to the Madrona Marsh wetlands for some fantastic bird-watching. Torrance Beach is a great place for a jog by the water, as the vast coasts prevent crowds.

10. Lawndale

If you want to stay near the action without paying a fortune, check out vacation rentals in Lawndale. It’s a charming small city that’s a little bit more affordable while still giving you convenient access to all of the wonderful places in the area. Lawndale also has plenty to offer visitors, including the largest park near a beach, Alondra Community Regional Park. It’s 53 acres of gorgeous lakes, woods and even an island with a stunning secret garden. If you’re feeling bold, take a helicopter tour of the area for unforgettable views of Southern California and the Pacific Ocean.

11. Hawthorne

Hawthorne, CA is a fantastic place to stay because of its close location to Manhattan Beach and many other attractions. Head to Star Helicopters for a breathtaking aerial tour of the beautiful area. Hawthorne Memorial Park is a great place to relax with a picnic lunch. If you feel like getting some exercise, visit Hangar 18 South Bay, a fantastic rock climbing facility.

12. The Palos Verdes Peninsula

Covered in rolling hills, the Palos Verdes Peninsula is known as “The Hill” for a reason. The peninsula is made up of a number of small, upscale cities, including Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills and Rolling Hills Estates. Whether you’re looking for a small luxury home to hang your hat or a massive oceanfront vacation house, you should be able to find something nice in this affluent area. Fun fact about the area: It was originally designed for horse travel, and it’s still one of the most equestrian-friendly places in California. Abalone Cove Shoreline Park is one of the best places to do some exploring, as you’ll find a wide variety of gorgeous caves, trails, beaches and other scenic nature.

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