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Strolling the strand in Manhattan Beach

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When I need some space for quiet contemplation or a good brisk walk by the ocean, I head down to Manhattan Beach, California. Only 30 minutes down the 405, it’s a great getaway that’s actually pretty close to home.

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Host to the famous Manhattan Beach Club, Manhattan Beach Open Volleyball tournament each August and an international surf festival; it’s often the beach in Manhattan Beach that people think of when they think of Southern California (and, yes, it was a filming location for Point Break). Blue water, clean beaches and bright sun—it’s all there.

I wandered down to the sand the other day just to enjoy a little beach time without the crowds—weekdays are pretty slow even when the weather is warm in the winter. It was easy to stroll down the pathways, gaze at the homes and enjoy the beauty of the view. Parking can be tricky on weekends even during the winter, but mid-day on a Wednesday, it’s pretty easy. Paid parking options are available with direct access to the beach. Free parking is hit or miss along the side streets.

The area includes some of the most expensive real estate in the California, but it’s completely free to walk along the ocean path and mentally regroup while enjoying a spectacular view.

So, if you are trying to keep warm as the winter snows blow, try flipping through the slideshow. The images are bound to warm you up!

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