About a 20-minute drive from Los Angeles, Marina del Rey resides between Venice Beach on L.A.’s westside and Playa del Rey to the south. Comprising over 807 acres, with half underwater, the area is owned and managed by the County of Los Angeles. The Marina is just four miles north of the Los Angeles International Airport and about an hour drive from New Port Beach.
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Marina del Rey’s harbor is considered North America’s largest man-made harbor and home to around 5,000 boats. The town is a major boating and water recreation destination for travelers with activities such as paddle boarding, surfing, kayaking, bicycling, and birdwatching. Visitors can charter yachts or book one of the many dining cruises. Besides birdwatching, the Marina is an excellent spot to catch California’s sea lions and harbor seals, and the occasional dolphin or whale pods.
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If you’re looking to stick your toes in the sand and catch some rays, the Marina has plenty of beaches to explore. The Marina Beach, or what locals call ‘Mother’s Beach,’ is ideal for swimming and picnicking. The beach features playgrounds, a bike path, and volleyball courts.
Marina del Rey also has an abundance of superb restaurants. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the mood for Italian or Mexican-the Marina has it all. The Beachside Restaurant & Bar displays incredible coastal vistas alongside delicious American cuisine. The Marina’s nightlife offers multiple trendy bars and art galleries.
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Tourists can also book excursions with the Hornblower Cruises and Events. These cruises present:
- dinner cruises with D.J. entertainment
- fine dining
- champagne brunch cruise on Saturday or Sunday
The Marina offers great shopping with unique boutiques, souvenir shops, and spacious malls like the Villa Marian Marketplace with over 70 stores and cafes. Marina del Rey also features many popular parks with fantastic ocean views and free concerts in the summer.
Just one visit and you can see why a 1997 L.A. Times article cited the harbor as “perhaps the country’s most valuable resource.”