Everyone goes to Manhattan Beach to swim, surf or walk on the Strand to look at the ocean. But here's a long, grassy walk you can do without getting sand in your shoes.
1. Begin near Herondo Street and Valley Drive, at the southernmost point of Veterans Parkway. This wide, 3.5-mile-long green belt runs from Hermosa Beach to Manhattan Beach without a break. Start under pine tree shade, and head north.
2. One of the pleasures of this walk is the easy access to refreshments. There's a Jamba Juice and a Starbucks near the intersection with Pier Avenue.
3. Inside Valley Park, at the corner of Gould Avenue, is a shady spot with picnic tables. It's also the closest point on this walk to the beach, if you want a quick trip to the sand.
4. Turn left at Manhattan Beach Boulevard to visit the pier or to visit Peet's, Lemonade or any one of a dozen more spots to eat and drink. Nearby Uncle Bill's Pancake House is a classic breakfast joint.
5. At its terminus, the Veterans Parkway slides under the Sepulveda Boulevard overpass and spills out into a parking lot behind the Manhattan Village shopping mall. You can hit the Macy's, Kiehl's or Fry's here, or grab a snack at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf or California Pizza Kitchen.
6. Make the return journey on foot for a double-walk, or take bus 232 down Sepulveda to Herondo, a block from your starting point.
Fleming is the author of "Secret Stairs: A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Los Angeles" and "Secret Walks: A Walking Guide to the Hidden Trails of Los Angeles."
Veterans Parkway in Manhattan Beach info
Distance: 3.5 miles
Difficulty: 2, on a scale of 1 to 5
Duration: 1 to 3 hours
Details: Ample street parking. Dogs on a leash are OK. Metro bus 130, 232 stop nearby.