We spent a busy few days in Anaheim before driving to Manhattan Beach to relax for a few days before driving home. Our Anaheim TR: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g29092-i65-k13640892-o10-TR_August_2021_Disneyland-Anaheim_California.html
Family of 4 with 2 kids 3.5 y and 2 months and grandma. Stayed at a penthouse suite at Sea View Inn. We lived in the area (Torrance adjacent) before kids during and after grad/professional school. My husband still berates me about buying our townhouse in a "transition" neighborhood rather than rent at the beach to this day. So we pretended to be MB locals for a few days.
Hotel location was perfect. Room service was all the many coffee houses, breakfast places, and restaurants right outside our doors. The beach was 3 blocks down a steep hill. We had a patio with beach view. The main bedroom even had a platform for the bed so you could still see the ocean laying flat on your back!
With the baby, I was up early each day. I called for take out breakfast and coffee at Sloopys, Cafe Wild, and North End Cafe. One morning I drove to Metlox to get my husband's favorite gazpacho from Le Pain Quotidien. For dinner, we got take outs from El Tarasco the first night and pizza from Beach Pizza the last night. Walke to Nawa Thai one night and drove to our old favorite Eboshi Ramen Bar in Lomita. Also bought some items from Moon's Convenience Store across the street.
The hotel had beach towels, chairs, umbrellas, sand toys, and boogie boards. I brought my little office cart that I use for the beach here in Santa Cruz to cart everything down and up the hill. Other guests were jealous. :P I took my daughter down that each day after lunch for some much needed mommy and me time. I also packed her life jacket. She mostly loved playing in the sand but we also walked around the water. Sometimes the water was calm but there was one day it was a strong pull. I held her hand tight always and spoke with the lifeguard each day. I also remembered her scooter and helmet for The Strand. I forgot it at Yosemite and she was so sad to see other kids ride theirs. I didn't let her ride the scooter down the hill from the hotel as it was steep. We didnt' use the bike lane either as she is only 3yo and fast moving bikes. We used the pedestrian walkway above the bike lanes.
We were going to drop my mom off with a friend in Alhambra on a weekday but they were not available after all until the weekend. We all went with her to eat dim sum at Lunasia in Alhambra. Clean, good, and cheap. They had a Yelp waitlist and the best QR menu and ordering I have come across in a restaurant. The printed a ticket with a table specific QR code. You order but don't have to pay until the end with a card. Other systems not table specific and made you pay when ordering. We also went to a cemetery in Whittier after this (Rose Hill). I don't miss the LA traffic. It sucks and the baby always cried when the car went from freeway speed to stop. Going through downtown or the East LA area tangle particularly sucked.
The sunsets were perfect each night. We had wine and enjoyed the views and relaxed here a few days before leaving at 3am to drive home while the kids were still sleeping. It worked out well. We will be back LA. But dang that traffic sucks.