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Cities Less Traveled: Exploring Marina Del Rey

Disclosure: I am a writer for Hipmunk, and wrote the following article for the #‎HipmunkCityLove Project.

Los Angeles is one of those places that everyone wants to visit someday, to see the stars on Rodeo Drive, visit the Hollywood Walk of Fame, or see the original Disneyland.

the iconic Hollywood sign

photo by Adrian Llamas via Trover.com

The city is very spread out, though, and the Los Angeles area includes some great beach communities, including Marina Del Rey, called “LA’s coastal playground.”

It seems to me that Marina Del Rey would be a great place to explore as part of a Los Angeles trip. After a day of sightseeing, I’d love to come back to my hotel in Marina Del Rey, or perhaps an Airbnb studio apartment on the beach, and enjoy a cold drink while watching the sunset over the water. What could be better?

Marina del Rey sunset. Photo by Yesenia Hinnaoui via Trover

Marina del Rey sunset. Photo by Yesenia Hinnaoui via Trover.com

I know what could be better! Forget exploring Los Angeles and just plan your vacation around discovering this part of the California coastline.

Marina Del Rey is a small community built around the world’s largest man-made harbor for small boats, where thousands of boats are moored. If you’re looking for a vacation on the coast with plenty to do besides lying on the beach, this would be an excellent choice.

Water sports

I’ve written before about the water sports I’d like to try in Marina Del Rey: jet skiing, kiteboarding, stand-up paddleboarding, sportfishing, and parasailing. There are more, of course. You could rent a sailboat, a canoe, or even a yacht. You could just take a swim in the ocean or in your hotel pool.

Biking

Rent a bike and check out the Marvin Braude Bike Trail, which extends for 22 miles along the coast. In Marina Del Rey you’re near the middle of the trail. Head north one day, all the way to the end at Will Rogers State Park in Pacific Palisades, and south on a different day, to the southern end in Torrance. Stop for a swim anywhere along the way!

biking along the coast a bit north of Marina Del Rey in Venice Beach. Photo by Robert M. via Trover.com

biking along the coast a bit north of Marina Del Rey in Venice Beach. Photo by Robert M. via Trover.com

Venice Beach

If you don’t want to do all the work of bicycling, you can take a leisurely stroll up the beach from Marina Del Rey to Venice Beach and its famous boardwalk for some truly over-the-top people-watching.

Venice Beach Skate Park. Photo by Al Tumangday, via Trover.com

Venice Beach Skate Park. Photo by Al Tumangday, via Trover.com

Dockweiler State Beach

Just south of Marina Del Rey is Dockweiler State Beach, over three miles long. Part of it is right under the flight path for the LAX airport next door, which might be particularly fun for kids to see. If you’re far more of a daredevil than I am, Dockweiler has a hang glider flight training park!

waves splashing ashore at Dockweiler State Beach. Photo by Melyssa via Trover.com

at Dockweiler State Beach. Photo by Melyssa via Trover.com

Burton W. Chace Park

Burton W. Chace Park, on the edge of Marina Del Rey harbor, overlooks marinas and ocean. If you’re visiting in the summer, bring a picnic and enjoy the outdoor concerts every Thursday and Saturday night, or a free outdoor movie.

Whether you’re after a home base on the beach for a trip to LA, or prefer to focus on beachside activities, Marina Del Rey seems like the right place to set up camp. Enjoy!

2 Comments

  • Angelica @BkChickTravels

    October 5, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    Going to check it out soon! I am visiting a friend in LA who just moved over there, and we’ve been looking for some new spots that we have not heard of. Is it really close to Venice it sounds like? 15 minutes away or so? Then we can see both is what I’m thinking.

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