One of the great gifts that comes with living in Portland is that whenever you need a break from the rain ( which most of us probably feel like especially this winter) you can easily hop on plane and spend some days in sunny California.
This is exactly what we did last week and besides all the good things you know about getaways like taking a break from life and relaxing for a couple of days, it amazes me how much the combination of sunshine, oceans and beaches adds to it. At least for me.
As always we never have a plan when heading anywhere because we hardly ever have time to come up with one before and secondly because we like to explore.
Have fun day dreaming while reading our experience and #placestobe we got to explore and that made life just perfect right that moment.
To be super flexible and being able to do our own thing we stayed at a great air b’n’b right in Manhattan Beach on 10th and Morningside Drive; just ten short blocks down to the beach walk.
Manhattan Beach Blvd is one of the main streets in Manhattan Beach and it offers a wide range of restaurants, little boutique style shops and everything you might need just staying in Manhattan Beach not having a rental car for example like a grocery store, etc.
Of course I could not resist walking in to the Gum_Tree, a great mixture of interior design store, gift shop, hidden jewelery treasure, stationary, kids and book shop. Ladies you will love it, guys just stand by or check out their books or whiskey accessories in the kitchen area.
So here we are on our first morning, getting up and just wanting to be outside in the sunshine.
No need to have breakfast at your apartment if you can just grab a coffee to go or a fresh juice or smoothie at sunlife_organics café making your way down to the beach.
No matter if you like to run, bike or walk the beach walk is yours. While being active you also get to watch a great people scene of locals, tourists, old, young, fit, super fit and happy people – you have the feeling that everybody around you is uplifted by where they are right this moment.
Hermosa Beach is just 2 miles away from Manhattan beach and awaits you with cafes, bars and little restaurants right on the promenade. We got a beverage before finding a little bench and hanging out there with our current reads for a couple of hours.
Getting hungry again we walked our way up to Hermosa Beach and ended up a gum_tree café which of course caught my attention right away #ifthecafeisasgoodasthereshop. They have great snacks, drinks and super nice outside patio, just perfect for a little lunch.
Relaxed and refueled we walked back to Manhattan Beach, sneaking in a little work out by the beach to either reward yourself with a little ice cream at Manhattan Beach Creamery or a fresh IPA at Simmzy’s.
Before we were meeting some friends for dinner we chilled out at out apartment, signed up for a yoga session at yoga loft for the next morning and just kept on reading (side note: we realized again that we don’t make enough time to read).
We had dinner at several places in Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach and we loved all of them.
Love and Salt seems to be like an easy neighborhood hub, serving a little bit of everything, but everything in fresh and great quality. We love sitting at the bar and they have a great one.
Petros, an authentic greek place ( what else would think of, when thinking California) really blew us away as well.
Abigaile: A cool brewery pub restaurant, great bar, great in and outdoor seating and super fun things on their menu – no matter if it is some Hamachi or just a real good burger, this might be your place.
The Hook& Plow: We loved loved loved this little spot. It’s a great farm to table restaurant, especially the sea food chowder and the wild mushrooms with parmesan, truffle essence and Meyer lemon are to die for.
I also was really inspired again by all the work out opportunities you are provided with. Every gym, every yoga studio, every run club is happy to welcome you as a walk-in guests, out of Towner and just makes it easy to you to become part of the community which I loved.
Beach House Yoga is awesome. They also offer prenatal classes ( can be interesting and important from time to time – just saying ;-)) You can easily sign up and pay online and take it from there.
Besides that check out the Lorna Jayne store on Manhattan Beach Ave. Besides their amazing collection ( and always big sale section!!) they offer free work out classes in collaboration with core power yoga. I went on a Saturday morning and I loved it. Besides the great atmosphere we had an amazing teacher, doing a full on yoga hour followed by a nice chat, free treats and 20% off everything in store right after class.
You can also sign up for beach volley ball classes, beach yoga classes or beach boot camps with Beach Cities Yoga in Hermosa Beach. Super easy and very appealing, too.
And that’s basically what we did for a couple of days in a row. Get up, get out there, take it easy, have great food and be active.
Yes, we had a rental car as well but this is nothing you really need if you just wanna hang out for a couple of days except you have a sneaker addiction and need to check out sneaker stores like Sportie.LA or Undefeated while being down there. On top of it made us go and visit some #greatpeople in the L.A. valley. And last and but not least you are still in California, so who walks anywhere? 😉
Anyways, we loved it, we would always go back and do the same thing over and over.
Being back in Portland is great too, we call it home…although it’s still raining…. so let’s maybe say:
Portland First. L.A. second.
Have a great day and just do it: Put Manhattan Beach or Hermosa Beach on your calendar. You won’t regret it.