Erin Alls is the owner of Silicon Beach Homes and is a member of the California.com Recommended Business Program, which highlights only the best businesses in the Golden State. To be featured, each business must be highly regarded, have a unique California story, and make a positive impact in their community.
Nestled between Los Angeles and Venice Beach lies the charming coastal community of Marina del Rey. Often referred to as “The Gem of Los Angeles,” the unincorporated city of Marina Del Rey occupies just one and a half square miles along the shores of L.A. While it’s known for being a quaint seaside town, this California oasis has something for everyone to enjoy. The next time you visit, make sure to add these things to do in Marina del Rey to your list.
The Best Things to Do in Marina del Rey
While relaxing in the Golden State sunshine is a perfectly good way to spend time in Marina del Rey, this tiny town has more to offer than meets the eye. Tucked between highly coveted tourist destinations, this place offers an idyllic respite that feels a bit more like home. Read on for an insider’s guide to Marina del Rey.
As the city’s name implies, the harbor is the heart of the community. There’s no need to spend money to enjoy the day at the marina, making it a great spot to visit every time you’re close by. Walk along the connected promenades to enjoy the sights and sounds of the marina and to breathe in the refreshingly salty air.
Along with being a relaxing destination to wander around, this marina is the largest man-made harbor in North America, holding 4,600-plus boat slips. The harbor hosts some of the largest and most luxurious yachts around, including Invictus, Attessa, and Luna.
Fisherman’s Village is located on the water’s edge on the southeastern side of the marina. Drive or bike over to find ice-cream shops, souvenir boutiques, and a few local eateries. Admire the birds flying over the ocean and keep an eye out for the sea lions, which can be spotted sunning themselves on the docks.
Burton Chace Park
Burton Chace Park is located just north of Fisherman’s Village and is one of Marina del Rey’s top things to do. Named after the “Father of the Marina,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Burton W. Chace, this park is a serene destination for afternoon picnics, boat watching, and relaxing. Open between sunrise and sunset, Burton Chace Park sprawls across 10 acres and offers plenty of amenities including barbecues, picnic tables, outdoor programs, and unparalleled views of the harbor. While it’s an ideal place to take it easy and enjoy time with your family, it’s also home to numerous events throughout the year. Plan a visit during the first Sunday in October for a chance to meet the Chace family on Discover Marina del Rey Day.
Marina “Mother’s” Beach
Marina Beach, known as “Mother’s Beach” by the locals, is a calm, sandy shore perfect for the whole family. Settled across the harbor from Fisherman’s Village and Burton Chace Park, this man-made beach is protected from the ocean’s crashing waves, making it a mother’s dream for small children who are just dipping their toes in. Since there is a rope separating the beach’s waters from the open ocean, beachgoers can take comfort in swimming and wading in the calm waters without fear of drifting into rougher waves.
Rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard from the nearby shop, or sign up for lessons to enjoy the water or to learn a new sport. If watersports aren’t your favorite, opt for a game of volleyball on the sand and spend the afternoon lunching at one of the many picnic areas on the beach.
Marina del Rey’s proximity to the ocean is one of the town’s biggest draws. While many tourists stop at the beaches near Santa Monica Pier and the Venice Beach Boardwalk, travel south to experience the shores near Marina del Rey. There’s so much to see and experience at this end of the sand; along with watching the beautiful crashing waves, you can see boats sail in and out of the Marina Jetty. Take a long walk on the sand and continue toward the Jetty to admire the comings and goings of the marina.
After an eventful day out, experience the flavors of the region at one of the best restaurants in Marina del Rey. For an elegant night out, order the sweet chili blue crab dip and a rib eye at SALT Restaurant or head over to The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey to experience farm-to-table cuisine at Cast & Plow. If you’re looking for a family-friendly restaurant, you can’t go wrong with Killer Shrimp (get the lobster mac and cheese) or Mercedes Bar & Grille (go for the Cuban pork sandwich). With so much to do, see, and eat in Marina del Rey, California, there are endless reasons to visit this charming town.
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