It was my turn to plan a weekend day date, and I had been really wanting to try this ice cream shop in Manhattan Beach. Sooo, yes, I planned a whole day around ice cream! We like to take Charlie with us whenever possible so I made sure to do my research ahead of time to find out which areas are dog-friendly in Manhattan Beach. Unfortunately, the actual beach is not :(, but there were some great other options!
French toast and pancakes for breakfast, always a delicious way to start the day! We arrived at Uncle Bill’s Pancake House about an hour after they opened, and there was already a bit of a wait. They were very welcoming to dogs though! We sat outside right next to the walkway down to the beach. The atmosphere is super casual, and it is a great central location on one of the main streets in Manhattan Beach, Highland Ave, which makes it a perfect starting point for many fun activities.
After eating, we headed down to the Strand, a sidewalk path up above the sand along the edge of some beautiful homes. It is wide enough for bicyclists, skateboarders, walkers and dogs to share. It is 22 miles long total, but we only walked about 4 of them, starting at the 13th St entrance and turning right to 45th St and back.
This woodchip covered path spans 3.5 miles along side Valley Dr. starting at Herondo St in Hermosa Beach ending near Rosecrans in El Segundo. (Which is also conveniently where the ice cream is!) There is plenty of shade but also a lot of sunny spots. It was pretty much high noon while we walked, so our shoulders and noses got a bit toasted. Charlie was happy about the number of doggie water bowls though!
NOTE: I made the mistake of wearing a dress and Converse in an attempt to look cute for the pictures, while tennis shoes really would have been more practical for so much walking!
After exiting the Veterans walk, The Point is just a hop skip and a jump across the street. It is an outdoor shopping center full of unique shops and restaurants, and I was so excited to check it out with my boys. Until, to my despair (!), we saw the sign that stated No Dogs Allowed! I was frustrated and hot and hungry, but luckily there was a bench with shade right outside the entrance of the plaza. They waited there for me while I ran in to get a scoop of strawberry and one of mint, with a side of sprinkles. All the ice cream at Smitten is hand-made to order with fresh ingredients like real strawberries and mint leaves.
After our little sweet treat to beat the heat, we remembered we had to walk the 2 miles back to the car. ugh! All in all though, I would say it was a successful day trip to Manhattan Beach!