48 Hours in Manhattan Beach: Where Sun, Sand, and Serenity Collide

Manhattan Beach. The name conjures images of sun-kissed skin, crashing waves, and a laid-back vibe that lingers like the scent of saltwater. But beyond the postcard-perfect facade lies a vibrant tapestry of experiences waiting to be woven into your own personal California dream. Whether you’re a solo adventurer, a love-struck duo, or a family searching for shared laughter, this seaside haven has something for every soul. So grab your swimsuit, your appetite for adventure, and let’s dive into 48 hours of pure Manhattan Beach magic.

Day 1: Solo Serenity and Sunset Serenade

Morning: Start your solo journey with a sunrise kayak tour through the kelp forests. Paddle alongside playful sea lions and witness the ocean awakening, a symphony of sunlight and salty air. For a touch of luxury, indulge in an oceanfront breakfast at The Ritz-Carlton, or grab a coffee and pastry at Love & Salt, a charming bakery with ocean views that will melt your heart (and your croissant).

Afternoon: Channel your inner yogi with a sunset yoga session on the sand. Breathe deeply as the sun paints the sky in fiery hues, the rhythmic waves your soundtrack to inner peace. Afterwards, explore the eclectic boutiques on Main Street, where local artisans showcase their unique creations.

Evening: Treat yourself to a gourmet feast at The Manhattan Project, where farm-to-table ingredients are transformed into culinary masterpieces. For a more casual vibe, grab fresh-off-the-boat fish tacos at Captain Kidd’s, a local institution with a lively atmosphere. Cap off your day with stargazing on the beach, letting the vast expanse of the universe whisper secrets only the Pacific can tell.

Where to Stay: Cozy oceanfront B&Bs like The Inn at Venice Beach offer stunning views and a homey atmosphere. For a touch of modern chic, check out The Venice Beach Suites, a boutique hotel steps from the sand and the vibrant boardwalk.

Day 2: Family Fun and Foodie Forays

Morning: Rise and shine with a family breakfast at The Blue Bottle Coffee House, where pastries and smiles are served in equal measure. Then, hit the beach! Build sandcastles, body surf the waves, or rent paddleboards for a family adventure on the water. The Manhattan Beach Pier offers endless amusement, from fishing and arcade games to mini-golf and breathtaking ocean views.

Afternoon: Pack a picnic lunch and head to Polliwog Park, a hidden oasis with a playground, splash pad, and plenty of space for little ones to run wild. For a dose of culture, visit the South Bay Museum, where interactive exhibits bring history to life.

Evening: Embark on a “Foodie Adventure” through the diverse culinary landscape of Manhattan Beach. Start with authentic Italian at La Vecchia Cucina, followed by melt-in-your-mouth gelato at Amor & Gelato. For a taste of the exotic, try Thai Town and its vibrant array of restaurants. End the night with a family movie at The Strand, a historic theater with an open-air rooftop cinema under the stars.

Where to Stay: The Shade Hotel offers spacious suites and a rooftop pool, perfect for families. For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Beachfront Inn, with its comfortable rooms and easy beach access.

Bonus Tips:

  • Rent bikes and explore the Marvin Braude Coastal Bike Trail, a scenic path that hugs the coastline.
  • Visit the Manhattan Beach Farmers Market for fresh produce and local artisan crafts.
  • Take a surfing lesson and catch your first wave!
  • Hike the scenic trails of Palos Verdes for panoramic ocean views.

Manhattan Beach is more than just a beach town. It’s a playground for the soul, a tapestry woven with sun-drenched moments, delicious discoveries, and the gentle symphony of the Pacific. So pack your bags, your sense of adventure, and get ready to write your own chapter in this enchanting seaside haven.

20 Manhattan Beach Valentine’s Day Ideas

Ditch the clichés and escape to oceanfront bliss! Discover 20 unique and unforgettable Valentine’s Day experiences in Manhattan Beach, from sunset cruises and couples’ massages to beach bonfires and art walks.

Dive into culinary delights, explore vibrant art scenes, and create memories that last a lifetime under the California sun. Plan your perfect romantic getaway with our insider tips and curated list of events – your unforgettable Valentine’s Day awaits in Manhattan Beach!

Sunset & Ocean Views:

  1. Romantic Sunset Dinner at Terranea Resort: Savor a prix-fixe menu featuring fresh seafood and stunning ocean views at Nelson restaurant, followed by live music by the Terranea Symphony Orchestra at Cielo Viewpoint. 

    Website: https://www.terranea.com/events/featured-events/list

  2. Couples Sunset Cruise: Sail into the sunset with your loved one on a romantic cruise aboard Spirit of L.A. Enjoy live music, delicious food, and breathtaking views of the Manhattan Beach coastline. 

  3. Live Music & Cocktails at The Deck: Enjoy live acoustic music and handcrafted cocktails at The Deck, a beachfront bar with a relaxed atmosphere. Sway to the music, share conversations, and soak in the ocean views.

  4. Private Beach Bonfire: Build your own bonfire on the sand (check local regulations) and enjoy the warmth, crackling flames, and starlit sky with your loved one. Pack marshmallows, snacks, and a cozy blanket for an extra touch of romance.

Couples Activities & Fun:

  1. Couples Paddleboarding Tour: Explore the scenic coastline and playful waves with a guided paddleboarding tour for two. Sunset Beach is a popular spot with several outfitters offering romantic excursions.

  2. Couples Stargazing Workshop: Embark on a celestial adventure with a guided stargazing workshop. Learn to identify constellations, discover fascinating astronomical facts, and share romantic dreams while gazing at the vast universe with your loved one.

  3. Love Letters & Laughter Live!: This unique comedy show at the Santa Monica Playhouse features hilarious couples sharing their funniest (and maybe slightly embarrassing) love letters. 

    Website: https://www.santamonicaplayhouse.com/

  4. Valentine’s Day Pop-Up Market: Discover unique art, jewelry, gifts, and local vendors at the Valentine’s Day Pop-Up Market in downtown Manhattan Beach. Enjoy live music, food trucks, and a festive atmosphere. 

    Website: https://www.eventbrite.com/d/ca–manhattan-beach/valentines-day-pop-up-market/

  5. Couples Massage Retreat at The Sea Spa: Pamper yourselves with a luxurious couples’ massage at The Sea Spa, featuring ocean-inspired treatments and breathtaking views. 

    Website: https://www.terranea.com/spa

  6. Open-Air Movie Night on the Beach: Pack a picnic blanket, cozy up, and snuggle under the stars at an open-air movie night on the beach. Enjoy a classic romantic film or a new release with the soundtrack of the ocean waves. Check local listings for Valentine’s Day movie screenings.

  7. Horseback Riding on the Beach: Experience the thrill of horseback riding on the beach with a guided tour for two. Gallop along the shoreline, enjoy the ocean breeze, and create unforgettable memories. 

    Website: https://seahorseranch.org/horseback-riding

Culinary Delights & Wine:

  1. Valentine’s Day Prix Fixe Menu at The Strand House: Treat yourselves to a gourmet prix-fixe menu featuring fresh seafood and prime cuts at this beachfront restaurant with stunning ocean views. 

    Website: https://www.thestrandhousemb.com/

  2. Chocolate & Wine Pairing at The Wine Room: Indulge your sweet tooth and taste buds with a chocolate and wine pairing experience at this charming wine bar. Choose from a variety of handcrafted chocolates and perfectly matched wines. 

    Website: http://thepawineroom.com/

  3. Culinary Masterclass at The Cooking School: Get creative together and learn new skills in a couples’ cooking class at The Cooking School. Choose from a variety of cuisines and techniques, from pasta making to sushi rolling. 

    Website: https://www.cozymeal.com/manhattan-beach/cooking-classes

  4. Romantic Picnic at Polliwog Park: Pack a basket with gourmet treats, a bottle of wine, and enjoy a peaceful picnic amidst the lush greenery of Polliwog Park. The park also offers beautiful ocean views and a charming bridge.

Active & Playful Experiences:

  1. Couples Surfing Lesson: Catch some waves together and create lasting memories with a private surfing lesson for two. Learn the basics from experienced instructors, conquer the waves with playful encouragement, and celebrate each other’s triumphs.

  2. Romantic Bike Ride along the Strand: Rent tandem bikes and cruise along the scenic Strand, enjoying the ocean breeze and breathtaking views. Stop for a picnic on the beach, explore vibrant neighborhoods, and capture joyful moments along the way.

  3. Beach Scavenger Hunt for Treasures: Spice up your Valentine’s Day with a romantic treasure hunt across the sandy shores of Manhattan Beach. Create a personalized list of clues leading to hidden gems, beach souvenirs, or handwritten love notes, and surprise your sweetheart with playful adventures.

  4. Beach Yoga for Two: Start your Valentine’s Day with a mindful and invigorating couples’ yoga session on the beach. Stretch, breathe, and connect with your partner as you move with the ocean waves against the backdrop of the rising sun.

Arts & Culture:

  1. Art Walk & Gallery Hopping: Explore Manhattan Beach’s vibrant art scene on a self-guided walk through the Pier District and Main Street. Discover hidden gems, admire diverse styles, and spark artistic conversations with your

Remember, these are just a few ideas to spark your creativity. Don’t be afraid to tailor your Valentine’s Day to your unique interests and preferences. Make it personal, make it fun, and most importantly, make it a celebration of your love.

Wishing you a magical and unforgettable Valentine’s Day in Manhattan Beach!

Sun, Sand, and Sophistication: Your Guide to Manhattan Beach Hotels

Dive into Manhattan Beach Bliss: Top 5 Hotels for a Chic Coastal Escape

Trade cityscapes for seascapes with our curated selection of the best Manhattan Beach hotels. From beachfront havens to boutique hideaways, discover your perfect California dream, soak up the sun on golden shores, and explore vibrant shops and charming harbor towns. Book your Manhattan Beach adventure today!

Manhattan Beach Magic Awaits

Manhattan Beach beckons with its sun-kissed shores, vibrant energy, and laid-back California charm. Whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway, a family beach bonanza, or a solo surf safari, this quintessential Southern California town has something for everyone. But with so many fantastic Manhattan Beach hotels to choose from, where do you start? Fear not, intrepid traveler! We’ve curated a list of five fabulous stays, each offering unique vibes and prime locations to make your Manhattan Beach adventure unforgettable.

1. The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey: Experience unparalleled luxury at The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey. This oceanfront sanctuary boasts breathtaking Pacific views, a Forbes Five-Star spa offering rejuvenating treatments, and delectable California cuisine served in its Michelin-starred restaurant. Step out onto your private balcony, breathe in the fresh ocean air, and watch sailboats dance on the sparkling waves. Stroll along the scenic Marina del Rey harbor, test your swing at the nearby Trump National Golf Course, or indulge in some retail therapy at the upscale shops of Abbot Kinney Boulevard.

Website: https://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/laxmd-the-ritz-carlton-marina-del-rey/overview/


  • Spa: The hotel’s spa features a menu of rejuvenating treatments, including massages, facials, and body wraps. There’s also a sauna, steam room, and whirlpool to further unwind.
  • Pool: Take a dip in the infinity pool and soak up the Californian sunshine while gazing at the endless Pacific Ocean.
  • Fitness center: Stay active with a workout in the hotel’s well-equipped fitness center, which offers cardio equipment and free weights.
  • Business center: Need to stay connected during your stay? The hotel’s business center provides computers, printers, and high-speed Wi-Fi.


  • The Strand House: Savor exquisite California cuisine at The Strand House, the hotel’s signature restaurant. The menu features fresh seafood, seasonal ingredients, and stunning ocean views. Try the pan-roasted Chilean sea bass with roasted Brussels sprouts and fingerling potatoes for a truly memorable meal.
  • Oceanfront bar: Sip cocktails and enjoy live music at the hotel’s oceanfront bar. It’s the perfect spot to unwind after a day of exploring Manhattan Beach.

Location and Things to Do:

  • The Ritz-Carlton is located in Marina del Rey, just a short walk from the vibrant harbor.
  • From the hotel, you can easily rent a boat for a whale-watching excursion, take a kayak tour through the kelp forests, or simply stroll along the scenic Marina del Rey boardwalk.
  • If you’re feeling adventurous, head to Venice Beach, just a few miles away, for its eclectic shops, street performers, and iconic canals.

Price: The Ritz-Carlton is a luxury hotel, and the price reflects that. Expect to pay upwards of $800 per night during peak season.

2. Shade Hotel Manhattan Beach: Step into a contemporary oasis at the Shade Hotel Manhattan Beach. This chic boutique hotel boasts a sleek design, a rooftop pool with stunning city views, and a vibrant bar serving up craft cocktails. Mingle with fellow travelers at the hotel’s lively poolside scene, soak up the California sunshine on the rooftop deck, or retreat to your stylish room with its plush bedding and luxurious amenities. Explore the trendy North Manhattan Beach area with its upscale boutiques and art galleries, or rent a bike and cruise along the scenic coastline. In the evening, catch a live music performance at the hotel’s rooftop bar before retiring to your chic haven.

Website: https://mb.shadehotel.com/


  • Rooftop pool: Take a dip in the rooftop pool and cool off while enjoying panoramic views of the city and the ocean.
  • Fitness center: Stay active with a workout in the hotel’s fitness center, which offers cardio equipment and free weights.
  • Bikes: Rent a bike from the hotel and explore the scenic Strand, a paved path that hugs the coastline.
  • Business center: Stay connected with work or family with the hotel’s business center, which offers computers, printers, and high-speed Wi-Fi.


  • The Shade Hotel Bar: Enjoy craft cocktails and delicious small plates at the hotel’s stylish bar. It’s the perfect spot to catch up with friends or enjoy a quiet nightcap.
  • Nearby restaurants: The Shade Hotel is located in the heart of downtown Manhattan Beach, with a variety of restaurants within walking distance. For a casual meal, try Shade Cafe, which serves up California cuisine with a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients. 

3. Manhattan Beach Marriott Beachfront Hotel:

Family-Friendly Beach Bliss: Embrace the California sun and sand at the Manhattan Beach Marriott Beachfront Hotel. This welcoming haven caters to families, offering spacious rooms with ocean views, a lively kids’ club, and a heated pool perfect for splashing the day away.

Website: https://www.marriott.com/en-us/hotels/laxaw-westdrift-manhattan-beach-autograph-collection/overview/: https://www.marriott.com/en-us/hotels/laxaw-westdrift-manhattan-beach-autograph-collection/overview/


  • Kids’ club: Let the little ones loose in the hotel’s supervised kids’ club, featuring games, activities, and even arts and crafts.
  • Heated pool: Take a dip in the oceanfront pool or relax on a comfy poolside lounger while the kids enjoy the playful water features.
  • Beach access: Step directly onto the sandy shores of Manhattan Beach from the hotel. Build sandcastles, learn to surf, or simply soak up the Californian sunshine.
  • Fire pit: Gather around the fire pit on the sand in the evening and roast marshmallows for a cozy family memory.


  • Marriott Cafe: Fuel up for your beach adventures with a delicious breakfast buffet at the Marriott Cafe. Choose from omelets, pancakes, fresh fruit, and more.
  • Waves Bar & Grill: Grab a casual lunch or dinner at the oceanfront Waves Bar & Grill. Indulge in juicy burgers, fresh seafood tacos, and refreshing cocktails with mesmerizing ocean views.
  • Nearby restaurants: Explore the variety of family-friendly restaurants within walking distance, from pizzerias and ice cream parlors to casual Mexican fare and gourmet burgers.

Price: The Manhattan Beach Marriott Beachfront Hotel offers great value for families, with room rates starting around $300 per night during peak season.

4. Best Western Plus Manhattan Beach Hotel: Location is key at the Best Western Plus Manhattan Beach Hotel. Situated just steps from the iconic Manhattan Beach Pier, this comfortable hotel offers easy access to all the action. Stroll down the bustling pier, enjoy fresh seafood at one of the many oceanfront restaurants, or try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding. After a day of exploration, unwind in the heated pool or soak in the hot tub.

Website: https://www.bestwestern.com/en_US/book/hotels-in-manhattan-beach/best-western-plus-manhattan-beach-hotel/propertyCode.05732.html

Prime Location, Beachfront Convenience:

Location is key at the Best Western Plus Manhattan Beach Hotel. Situated just steps from the iconic Manhattan Beach Pier, this convenient hotel offers easy access to all the action. Stroll down the bustling pier, savor fresh seafood at one of the many oceanfront restaurants, or try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding – all within minutes from your doorstep.


  • Heated pool & hot tub: Relax and unwind in the hotel’s heated pool or soak in the soothing hot tub after a day of exploring.
  • Fitness center: Stay active with a workout in the well-equipped fitness center, featuring cardio machines and free weights.
  • Business center: Need to stay connected during your stay? The hotel’s business center offers computers, printers, and high-speed Wi-Fi.
  • Guest laundry: Keep your clothes clean and fresh with the hotel’s convenient guest laundry facilities.


  • Best Western Plus Breakfast: Start your day right with a complimentary breakfast buffet featuring hot and cold items, from scrambled eggs and bacon to oatmeal and fresh fruit.
  • Nearby restaurants: Surrounded by culinary delights, you’ll find everything from casual cafes and seafood shacks to trendy gastropubs and upscale steakhouses just steps away. For a local favorite, try The Kettle for their famous Manhattan Beach Chili or the juicy cheeseburgers at The Barrel & Ashes.

Price: The Best Western Plus Manhattan Beach Hotel offers affordable comfort for the budget-conscious traveler, with room rates starting around $200 per night during peak season.

5. Hi View Inn & Suites: Discover affordable luxury at Hi View Inn & Suites. This family-friendly hotel offers spacious suites with kitchenettes, a rooftop pool with ocean views, and a complimentary breakfast buffet. Relax by the pool, enjoy a picnic on the beach, or explore the nearby Manhattan Village with its eclectic shops and cafes. Hi View Inn & Suites is also just a short drive from Disneyland, making it a great option for families looking for a convenient and affordable base for their Southern California adventures.

Website: https://www.hiviewinn.com/

Dive into Your Manhattan Beach Dream: From Chic Piers to Secluded Sanctuaries

Whether you yearn for five-star opulence with oceanfront infinity pools (The Ritz-Carlton) or family-friendly beachfront bliss with fire pit smores (Manhattan Beach Marriott), Manhattan Beach has a hotel that reflects your perfect Californian escape. For a sleek, contemporary vibe and trendy downtown access, Shade Hotel beckons. Budget-conscious adventurers can soak up the pier life and ocean panoramas at the Best Western Plus. And for those seeking unparalleled luxury and seclusion, Terranea Resort awaits with its sprawling coastal haven and endless activities.

Manhattan Beach is more than just stunning sunsets and sandy shores. It’s a vibrant tapestry of pierside adventures, culinary delights, and coastal serenity. So, pack your swimsuit, grab your surfboard, and choose your perfect hotel from this curated list. The sun-kissed shores of Manhattan Beach beckon, and your California dream vacation awaits!

Beyond the hotels, remember to explore:

  • The bustling Manhattan Beach Pier with its arcade games, restaurants, and breathtaking ocean views.
  • Rent a kayak or paddleboard to explore the scenic coastline and spot playful dolphins.
  • Hike along the dramatic cliffs of Palos Verdes for breathtaking panoramas of the Pacific Ocean.
  • Unwind with a rejuvenating spa treatment at one of the luxurious hotel spas.
  • Savor fresh seafood at one of the many oceanfront restaurants and enjoy the vibrant beachfront atmosphere.

No matter your style or budget, Manhattan Beach has something for everyone. So, book your stay, soak up the California sunshine, and discover your perfect seaside adventure!

With its diverse hotels, endless activities, and captivating charm, Manhattan Beach promises an unforgettable escape. Book your dream vacation today and dive into the magic of this sun-drenched haven!

Manhattan Beach New Year’s Guide: Your Glimmering Ticket to a Unforgettable Celebration

Forget generic toasts and crowded countdowns – Manhattan Beach has something far more sparkling in store for your 2024 New Year’s Eve. This coastal haven promises an evening that’s equal parts sun-kissed glamour and laid-back charm, with options to suit every reveler’s rhythm. So ditch the decision fatigue and dive into this ultimate guide, your compass to a Manhattan Beach New Year’s Eve that will leave you shimmering long after the confetti settles.

Sparkling Spectacles with Ocean Views:

  • Manhattan Beach Pier’s Fireworks Festival: Witness a pyrotechnic masterpiece illuminating the Pacific horizon. As twilight surrenders to darkness, gather on the iconic pier with your loved ones and raise a toast as vibrant explosions paint the sky. This family-friendly spectacle is free and guaranteed to ignite your New Year’s spirit. Pro tip: Arrive early to snag prime pier real estate!

    Drink suggestion: Spiced apple cider spiked with cinnamon schnapps, hot chocolate laced with Baileys, or a classic glass of bubbly for the traditionalists.
  • Manhattan Beach Pier: (Image of Manhattan Beach Pier) Embrace the classic beach town charm with a lively gathering at the iconic pier. Watch families frolic on the sand, munch on boardwalk treats, and raise a toast as the clock strikes midnight with the Pacific Ocean as your backdrop.

    Location: Manhattan Beach Pier, Manhattan Beach.
    Website: https://www.manhattanbeach.gov/departments/parks-and-recreation/special-events/pier-lighting-and-downtown-business-association-holiday-open-house.
    Why this location: A free, family-friendly option with a nostalgic, quintessential California feel.
    Drink suggestion: Hot chocolate spiked with peppermint schnapps for a cozy twist on a winter warmer.
  • The Strand House Rooftop Party: Elevate your New Year’s to new heights at the Strand House. Sip on expertly crafted cocktails as you revel in panoramic ocean views and DJ beats that turn the rooftop into a dance floor under the stars. Expect a VIP experience with passed hors d’oeuvres, a midnight champagne toast, and front-row seats to the fireworks extravaganza.

    Drink suggestion: Sparkling mojitos paired with ocean breezes, handcrafted sips from the award-winning bar, or a glass of Veuve Clicquot to ring in the year in luxury.

Sparkling Soirees:

  • Shade Hotel Rooftop: (Image of Shade Hotel Rooftop) Elevate your New Year’s to new heights at Shade’s rooftop oasis. Sip on handcrafted cocktails under twinkling stars, groove to live music with breathtaking city views, and ring in the new year with a touch of rooftop revelry.

    Location: 1221 N Pacific Coast Hwy, Redondo Beach.
    Website: https://rb.shadehotel.com/.
    Why this location: A swanky escape with sophisticated vibes and panoramic vistas.
    Drink suggestion: A sparkling French 75 or a smoky mezcal cocktail to add a touch of sophistication.

  • Petros Ocean View Restaurant: (Image of Petros Ocean View Restaurant) Indulge in a touch of luxury at Petros, where the oceanfront views rival the culinary delights. Savor a gourmet New Year’s Eve prix-fixe menu, raise a glass of champagne overlooking the twinkling Pacific, and dance the night away with live music.

    Location: 5500 N Cabrillo Hwy, Malibu.
    Website: https://www.petrosbrand.com/locations/petros-manhattan-beach.
    Why this location: A romantic and elegant setting for a luxurious New Year’s Eve escape. Drink suggestion: A glass of Veuve Clicquot Champagne paired with fresh seafood.

Hidden Gems:

  • The Good Bar: (Image of The Good Bar) Escape the crowds and seek refuge in this speakeasy-inspired haven. Unmask the mystery behind the unmarked door, savor handcrafted cocktails in a dimly lit ambiance, and ring in the new year with a touch of vintage cool. 

    Location: 1121 Hermosa Ave, Hermosa Beach. 
    Website: https://m.yelp.com/biz/goodbar-san-diego
    Why this location: A secret escape for those seeking a sophisticated, intimate setting. 
    Drink suggestion: A classic Old Fashioned or a French 75, served with a side of jazz.

Beyond the Bars:

  • Manhattan Beach Fireworks Cruise: Sail into the new year with a glamorous cruise on the Pacific. Enjoy a gourmet dinner and live entertainment as you watch the fireworks paint the sky from a unique vantage point. Several harbor cruise operators offer NYE packages.

    Why this location: A romantic and luxurious way to ring in the new year with a touch of ocean magic.
    Drink suggestion: Sparkling wine paired with fresh seafood.

  • New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge: Start your year with a refreshing dip in the Pacific Ocean at the annual Polar Bear Plunge. This invigorating tradition is perfect for those seeking a unique and exhilarating way to welcome 2024.

    Location: Manhattan Beach Pier.
    Website: https://www.longbeachpolarbears.org/.
    Drink suggestion: A warm cup of hot cocoa to chase away the chill.
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