One of my best friends from Chicago is having her bachelorette party in Manhattan Beach this February, and I'm helping plan it. She has been to MB a handful of times, but doesn't know enough for planning purposes.
Although I recently moved to Los Angeles (Venice) myself, I'm also not familiar with the area. We're looking for some suggestions for a group of 6-8 women in their late 20's/early 30's for a relaxing girls weekend with beach time, fun restaurants, and one night for a more active scene outside of Manhattan Beach.
First things first, we are looking to rent a house for the weekend from a Thursday - Sunday (3 nights total). We're hoping to stay between $350-$450 per night, and would like a place a few blocks from the beach with walking access to downtown shops & restaurants. Any trusted rental companies or houses within this price range & location?
Here's a tentative agenda:
Thursday night, 7pm arrival: I'm picking them up from the airport. We will get settled into the house, crack open some wine and catch up!
Friday day: depending on the weather, she mentioned a day outside for boogie boarding, paddle boarding, biking, laying out, etc. Is it generally bathing suit weather in mid February? Are there any rental companies you'd recommend for these activities? For lunch, we'd like to eat down at the pier or back at the house. Any tasty pick up food/delivery places?
Friday night: she wanted to go to MB Post (restaurant downtown MB), so we've made reservations for 7:30pm. If you've been, what's good to order on the menu? Are there any close places after to go for some after drinks? Ideally, we'd like to walk back to our place from here. As she put it, Friday will be an easy, chill night of wearing flats and seeing the town. By that she probably means a trendy, laid back atmosphere (as opposed to a dive bar). :)
Saturday day: Is there a good brunch spot to recommend? From there, we'd like to possibly schedule massages. Do you know any good spas that won't completely break the bank?! If not, we will probably skip this.
Saturday night: We were thinking it would be fun to go out in either Santa Monica or Hollywood. What is the recommended transportation for something like this? Uber? This would be the night to put some heels on and dress up, and are looking for dinner and dancing recommendations.
Sunday late morning/early afternoon departure.
Thanks for any recommendations, and please let me know in the comments section below if you have additional questions. Thanks for helping make her weekend a special one!
What a fun weekend! Ok, here it goes:
Places to Stay: I would definitely rent a home for the 6-8 of you (assuming not everyone gets their own room/bed). A hotel is going to be too expensive ($300+/night) and none of the MB hotels are on the beach.
1. Airbnb.com will give you good choices but be sure to check with a MB local before pulling the trigger.
This one seems interesting.
2. VRBO.com will also give you some interesting options too
*Having never stayed in these places, I can't speak to them but their location looks good.
3. Beach House Hotel Hermosa Beach - This is the only hotel that is on the beach in the Manhattan/Hermosa vicinity. It's dated (15+ years) but it's right on the strand and is walking distance to everything in Hermosa (night life on the pier, restaurants, etc). I wouldn't really recommend this place because I've never stayed there, can't speak to the quality.
4. Shade Hotel - If you're going to consider a hotel, this would be your only option. It's central, there's "night life" (by nightlife I mean it becomes the biggest cougar bar in MB on the weekends), and the food is decent. Con: it's expensive.
Where to Eat:
1. MB Post You've got this one covered. So what to order: Biscuits, Brussel Sprouts, Kale salad, Skirt steak...pretty much everything here is amazing. Drinks: They have some great signature cocktails (old george, mo'pho'hito, and others.) Also they have a great pinot noir by the glass (my personal go-to drink): Gros Ventre (pronounced Grow Vant). Oh, and a good bar scene (although it gets really crowded and there isn't much room to stand).
2. Fishing with Dynamite: Same owners/chef as MB Post. This is a TINY restaurant (seats 30ish) but has killer seafood (oysters, Peruvian scallops, hamachi, etc). The quality of the food is TOP notch and the drinks are great too. If the girls like oysters, this is the place for you. Also, the brownie bread pudding dessert is off the charts.
3. The Strand House: Best view in Manhattan Beach. This place is a restaurant (up top) and a bar/dance club (meaning they have a DJ & dance floor on weekends and it's amazing for people watching).
-Restaurant: Great view of the pier, good wine list, right downtown. What to order: Kale salad, cheese plate, pizza.
- Bar: As I mentioned above, bar/dance club. Good vibe (although it can get a little douchey -- but hey, you're in LA) and probably the only place in MB to "go out". Definitely worth a stop in.
4. Simmzy's: Great gastro pub that is perfect for the 11am "shampoo effect" brunch. If you like beers, they have the best selection in MB. I always see people drinking the Sangria too. What to order: Cheeseburger, fish tacos, chicken wings, chicken tortilla soup, and all the salads. Oh, and the breakfast items are insane! Veggie scramble, breakfast burrito... the list goes on. If there is 8 of you having brunch, get there when they open (10:30am?) and get a table with a view of the pier.
5. Petros: great greek restaurant! What to order: lamb chops, horitiki salad, arugala salad with seasonal fruit..everything is so good! It's also right next to Trilogy Spa - the only spa in town that has a good roof top deck. The spa facilities are not amazing but it gets the job done. Ask for Debra if you're getting a facial or getting your brows done. She's the best.
6. Uncle Bill's Pancake House: classic breakfast spot where you can get pancakes, waffles, omelets, etc. Be prepared to wait 30 minutes for a table.
7. Shellback Tavern is Manhattan Beach's dive bar. It smells like beer and sweat. Fanta shots are the go-tos here and you can be sure you'll be ID'd.
8. American Junkie is a hermosa bar that all the kids are going to these days. It's a gastro pub that turns into a hot spot on the weekends. I've never been...so I can't vouch for it but I've heard its decent.
As for stocking up wine for your rental house, VONS in Manhattan Beach has great deals on wine/champagne. But if you're looking for something really nice, go to Manhattan Fine Wines. They've got a good selection of some really nice bottles. Also, Costco is good for stocking up on the spirits. There is one in Hawthorne - 15 minute drive.
As for Hollywood, I'm no help. :)
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hi jillian, sounds like a really fun weekend!! massages Trilogy Spa for sure. its right downtown.
have lunch delivered to your house from Pitfire Artisan Pizza. super fresh pizza, pasta and salad. lots of gluten free.
going out in mb... Circa, Shade Hotel, The Strand House and there is a tiny cool bar right at the corner of 9th and manhattan ave. on the north side of the street, under the 900 Club. i'm forgetting the name because it has a new name but great!
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Wow. Great detail in this question. Well done! You might have a career as a bachelorette party planner after this. Your plan looks pretty great. I'll fill in some holes if i can.
On the house rental. Since Feb is off season (personally my favorite time of year to be in Manhattan Beach because even though its not true "beach weather" the air is clean and crowds are much light) finding an Airbnb or VRBO that will sleep everyone in that price range might be doable. Also, I recommend calling Barbara Bachi at 310.545.2600. She has some nicely furnished short term rentals that you won't find on the other listing sites. Tell her that I referred you.
For daytime activities: If you want to rent SUPs (stand up paddleboards) you can do it at Nikau Kai Waterman Shop and they will rent you wetsuits too. The water will be really cold and I doubt you guys will be up for it so check the water temp before you pull the trigger on a renting boards/wetsuits. A better option would be renting bikes from Fun Bunns and riding down the strand to Hermosa Beach Pier or down further to the Redondo Beach Pier. Plenty of restaurants/bars to stop for a refreshment along the way. If you want a dive bar on the beach Poop Deck is hard to beat but not sure that's your speed.
Dinner at MB Post is the right call. Well done. Biscuits and brussel sprouts are the most popular items but it's all good. "The Elvis" for dessert doesn't disappoint either.
For brunch, you can hit the local greasy spoon Uncle Bill's Pancake House or if you want to take a walk up to North Manhattan Beach you can hit a local, and my personal favorite North End Caffe. Post does a great brunch too if you end up missing it for dinner. Trilogy Spa is central, easy and has a small upstair patio where you can hang out before/after massages and bring you own bottle of wine, i believe... check that though.
Good luck in Hollywood... you're on your own there.
Have a great trip Jillian!
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Hey Jillian, wondering what you ended up doing? Looking to do the same thing in Hermosa/Manhattan/ area for a bach party. Do you recommend this area for that?