The coastal community of sunny Marina del Rey, California is located in the center of Los Angeles’ Westside between Venice Beach and Playa del Rey. As one of Southern California’s most prized recreational destinations, located four miles north of Los Angeles International Airport, luxurious Marina del Rey is also the largest small-boat harbor on the west coast. The ocean is a big uniter here, inviting visitors to swim, surf, sail or stroll down the winding bike path that leads practically all of the way down the Pacific Coast
How To Get Around.
The Marina WaterBus operates between Fisherman’s Village, Marina Walk, Marina Beach, Burton Chace Park, and several other stops. This water taxi is just a dollar for each boarding and is a convenient way to leave the car in one place and visit several other areas in the Marina.
Also, the free Marina Beach Shuttle runs from the neighborhood of Playa Vista through Marina del Rey and to Venice Beach Pier; again leave the car in one place and take this shuttle bus all around the Marina/Venice Pier area. Buses operate approximately every half hour. Schedules are available at local hotels.
Getting around Marina Del Rey from the hotels is easiest on a bicycle, which you can rent by the hour or at a daily rate from the front desks.
You’re also on the Pacific, so relax and toss a kayak into the marina (you can rent them by the hour from Marina Paddle, Marina del Rey Boat Rentals Phins Water Sports Club). UCLA Marina Aquatic Center also offers full moon kayaks throughout the year. Also, try a paddleboard yoga class with Phins Water Sports Club or YOGAqua, or hit the open waters with a jet ski or power boat.
Where To Stay.
The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey. Los Angeles’ only AAA Five Diamond waterfront luxury hotel.
Marina Del Rey Hotel. Marina Del Rey’s namesake hotel, and also its oldest, just underwent a $25 million renovation, restoring the aging property to its full mid-century splendor. Expect a cool, 1960s vibe, befitting of a Mad Men cameo, but with a decidedly modern feel.
Where To Eat And Drink.
Cafe del Rey, where the cuisine is always fresh, the view gorgeous and the crowd eclectic. A casual but upscale dining experience, with a terrific waitstaff.
While Tony P’s offers a relaxed atmosphere, good food, great service and is reasonably priced sports tavern.
Ritz-Carlton’s newest restaurant, Cast Plow, offers a small plates menu featuring sustainable seafood, all-natural beef and locally sourced produce.
Feast on locavore cuisine at the Marina Del Rey Hotel, Salt, which serves Southern California favorites like fish tacos and Cobb salad.
Catch your dinner with an open-water fishing excursion with Marina del Rey Sportfishing. Seasonal whale watching are also available.
For alternative dining options, visit the Marina Del Ray Farmer’s market or the local In-N-Out Burger.
Where To Shop Or Spoil Yourself.
Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice Beach is where locals convene to drink, dine and shop. Also shop the Waterside, Marina del Rey with chic boutiques like BCBG, M. Fredric, and Marmi’s.
Treat yourself to an afternoon of pampering with a treatment at Spa del Rey or have a girls’ day with a signature blow-out from the Drybar.
What To Avoid.
We made the mistake of visiting Santa Monica Pier. Too packed, too loud, too touristy and too trashy. Unless you like that sort of thing…