Manali is a tourist destination no doubt, but for me its a birth place and have enjoyed its beauty being local.
We welcome tourist from different parts of world every season and the attraction of nature is real thing that makes millions of tourist to visit this beautiful place.
Whether you come with family, friends I am sure you will love the nature's beauty.
You can come by flight or by road, no means of trains. From Chandigarh if you come by car it will take around 6-7 hours. You can get flights from Delhi easily as it comes to bhuntar airport which is in Kullu and 40 km before to Manali.
There are many good resorts where I have stayed too, like span, Manali inn, ambassador, timbertrail, holiday inn(white meadows), apple valley, apple country to name a few.
YOu can visit rohtang pass, have food in marhi, sports fun in solang nala, can visit, vasisth kund, hadimba mata temple. You can have ride of Yak there at top near temple.
All these places are nearby only but you need a vehicle.
Best weather to go rohtang, as roads are open is june-june as in august rainy season comes.
If you want to see live heavy snow, must visit in month of Nov-jan, but make sure you come for atleast 3, 4 days to spend quality time here.
Feel free to visit Himachal pradesh as you will feel safe in Dev bhoomi!
Best wishes and enjoy your time and vacation.