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Manhattan Beach is a very affluent coastal city located in southwestern Los Angeles County, California, USA. The city is on the Pacific coast, south of El Segundo, and north of Hermosa Beach. Manhattan Beach is one of the three Beach Cities in the South Bay and has one public high school, Mira Costa High School. Manhattan Beach is a hotspot for beach volleyball and surfing. Every August, the city hosts the Manhattan Beach Open Volleyball Tournament and the International Surf Festival.
Residential prices in Manhattan Beach are among the highest in the state of California. In 2013, the Dataquick study reported that more homes exceeding $1 million were sold in Manhattan Beach than any other city in California. Pacific Palisades, Newport Beach, Corona Del Mar, Brentwood, Beverly Hills, Calabassas, La Jolla, Atherton, Orinda, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Los Gatos and other high end cities in California ranked behind Manhattan Beach. The Higley 100 Census survey found that The Hill Section of Manhattan Beach is the second highest mean household income neighborhood in Los Angeles County, with Beverly Park ranking first and Beverly Hills (the 90210 section) ranking third, respectively. The current median residential home price is $2.2 million according to a Nov. 23, 2014 L.A. Times article and land values in Manhattan Beach rank among the highest per square foot in the nation. Recent sales include $12.6 million for an oceanfront home situated on a 4,000 square foot lot. In May 2014, a 3,330 sq foot corner lot on the Manhattan Beach Strand sold for a record $16 million. Land values on the Manhattan Beach "Strand" are routinely around $10 million for a 3,000 square foot piece of land.
Manhattan Beach is currently ranked as one of the best suburbs in Los Angeles Country for its high earning and well educated residents. According to US Census data, Manhattan Beach holds the ranking as the second most educated city in Los Angeles County and the fifth most educated city in the state of California. Manhattan Beach's top performing school district is currently ranked as the third best in the state of California, and Forbes Magazine ranked the city's school district, MBUSD, as the sixth best school district in the United States.
Many high profile individuals in the sports and entertainment industry call Manhattan Beach home due to its oceanfront desirability, top performing school district, and commuting distance to Los Angeles. GQ Magazine named Manhattan Beach one of the nation's six best beaches in their July 2014 issue. Manhattan Beach was also named the best beach in the nation for "food" citing the city's excellent dining scene.
The Manhattan Beach Open volleyball tournament in Manhattan Beach is known as "The Championships, 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".
The Travel Channel named Manhattan Beach the 9th sexiest beach on earth for its 2008 "21 Sexiest Beaches" show.
Manhattan Beach has been nicknamed the "Pearl of the South Bay" for its beauty and desirability.
Manhattan Beach is known for its clean, wide, sandy beaches and attracts over 3.8 million visitors annually. Along the Strand at the eastern edge of the beach, a concrete bike path is reserved for bicycles. The bikeway extends north to Santa Monica and south to Palos Verdes. A separate 2.1 mile walkway, reserved for pedestrians, runs alongside the bike path. Restrooms and shower facilities are provided adjacent to the Strand paths. Beach volleyball, swimming, body boarding and surfing are popular activities among residents and visitors. Popular surf spots include the Pier and El Porto. Lifeguard stations are located along the entire length of the beach and the beach is cleaned and groomed daily by crews from LA County Beaches and Harbors Department.
Manhattan Beach benefits from ocean breezes that provide clean air and summer temperatures that are 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than the inland regions of Southern California.
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. A majority of the land in Manhattan Beach was once exposed sand dunes which now lie beneath the city's buildings and streets. The underlying dunes afford residents ocean views throughout western portions of the city. The tallest hill is 244 feet high and located in the city's southwest region. The only remaining exposed sand dune is at Sand Dune Park.
The beach is approximately 400 feet wide and 2.1 miles long. In the early part of the last century, the beach was narrow (approximately 150 feet) and sloping. From 1938 to 1989, it more than doubled in width when large quantities of sand were placed on beaches to the north during construction of the Hyperion Treatment Plant, Marina Del Rey, and Scattergood Power Plant. The sand was carried southward by the ocean's natural littoral flow and widened Manhattan Beach.