Twenty miles southwest of downtown Los Angeles you will find the cozy little seaside town of Manhattan Beach. As you drive west from the city the air will begin to change from overly dense to salty, clean and crisp. An idle calmness can be felt and even the street signs slowly change to show images of seagulls and shells. This quick So Cal getaway has everything you need for a relaxing, fun and delicious night.

Begin your evening in the laid-back atmosphere of one the locals favorite hangouts:the Corkscrew Cafe. Located on the corner of Marine and Highland, this combination of wine bar, deli and restaurant offers superb views of the coastline in a comfortable, upscale setting. Lounge on any floor of the tri-story cafe and admire the water, tanned beach goers and amazing sunset while sipping on a glass of Pinot Grigio or a specialty imported beer. The patio area features an outdoor fireplace, cafe tables and chairs, umbrellas.

For dinner head to Zagat rated Petros Greek Cuisine and Lounge where beach modern meets a classic Greek menu with Mediterranean flair. Local favorites include feta crusted lamb, moussaka, and the petros horiatiki salad. The ingredients are fresh and combine into a medley of flavors, textures, and colors for a truly astonishing, innovative dining experience. The sophisticated environment emulates a warm, welcoming atmosphere with its muted neutral colors and offers friendly service. If you’re feeling adventurous, try a Greek wine, or a classic Greek coffee to compliment your meal. Make sure to save room for the decadent deserts, the baklava and baby Greek doughnuts literally melt in your mouth.

After an evening of culinary treats, stroll outside into the Metlox Plaza located in downtown Manhattan Beach. Boutiques and shops line the boulevard leading all the way down to the strand, featuring a wide variety of shopping, dining, and crafts.

Next, take a leisurely stroll down Highland Avenue to the next destination: Pancho’s. This is a beach hacienda with a twist. Known as one of the oldest and most well known landmarks in the South Bay, Pancho’s features live music Friday and Saturday nights, including everything from rock to disco and everything in between. If you are a karaoke fan, come by on Sunday or Tuesday to take a turn on the mic, dance or just enjoy the atmosphere.

Venture back to the Metlox Plaza and Shade Hotel and admire the clean lines and sophisticated charm of the first ever luxury hotel in this beach town. This upscale minimalist designed hotel was featured on Conde Nast Traveler’s Hot List and attracts a hip, contemporary crowd that like to come out to play in the South Bay.

Finish the evening with one last cocktail in hotel bar, the Zinc Lounge, or take in the fresh air on the roof top sky deck with a specialized cocktail such as a sexy martini, or a "Ruby Slipper". For a midnight snack, the bar offers a small plates menu that allows you to indulge in home-style favorites such as mini grilled cheese with a creamy tomato soup, Caprese salad, or mini burgers.

Manhattan Beach offers the perfect alternative to the glitz and glam of the Hollywood nightlife. Spend an evening relaxing with the Pacific Ocean lapping at your senses and indulge in true California Dreaming.

What & Where
Corkscrew Café
(2201 Highland Ave; 310-546-7160)
Petros Greek Cuisine and Lounge (451 Manhattan Beach Blvd; 310-545-4100)
Pancho’s (3615 Highland Ave; 310-545-6670)
Shade Hotel (1221 N. Valley Dr; 866-SHADE77)
Zinc Lounge (located in the Shade Hotel)