Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Marina, CA

  • Published 2022/11/21

Marina is located in Monterey County, California.

The city was officially incorporated as a city in 1975.

The history of Marina is intertwined with that of Fort Ord, a military outpost that has now been converted into a state park.

Marina is famous for its picturesque coastlines and iconic sand dunes.

To give you an idea of what Marina has to offer, here is a list of the 15 best things to do in Marina, California:

Take Photos of the Sand Dunes at Marina State Beach

Sunset at Marina State Beach

mljphotography /

Marine State Beach is a protected beach in Marina, California.

You can visit Marina State Beach at Reservation Road.

This location is often frequented by locals and tourists alike for its scenic view of the coastline and the sand dunes.

Visit the beach in the late afternoon to get some photographs of the gorgeous sunset and the large sand dunes.

Bring a towel and go sunbathing on the sandy beach.

Waves crashing on the shores of Marina State Beach

Hank Shiffman /

There is a hiking trail along the beach if you are looking for a place to hike.

Marina State Beach is also a great place to go for animal watching.

Whales and dolphins can be spotted swimming near the coast of the beach.

There are picnic tables by the coast if you want to enjoy a meal while feeling the ocean breeze.

Public bathrooms are also available for visitors to use.

Shoreline of Marina State Beach

Tristan Brynildsen /

Take advantage of the ocean breeze by bringing a kite.

More adventurous guests can go hang gliding or parasailing at the beach.

Fishing is allowed at Marina State Beach.

There is a lot of open space at the beach, making it an ideal spot for playing sports like soccer and beach volleyball.

Take a Trial Class at Monterey Bay Taekwondo

Monterey Bay Taekwondo is a Taekwondo studio in Marina, California.

Check out the Taekwondo studio at Reservation Road.

This location is popular for being the best Taekwondo studio in the Monterey Bay area.

Learn Taekwondo under the tutelage of the Lee family.

Although the studio mainly caters to Marina locals, visitors can choose to take a free trial class.

Monterey Bay Taekwondo is open to individuals interested in learning Taekwondo, regardless of age.

Whether you are a Taekwondo novice looking to try a new hobby or you are a veteran looking for a place to practice, Monterey Bay Taekwondo has the facilities for you to use.

Go Skateboarding at Marina Skatepark

Marina Skatepark is the one-stop destination for skateboard enthusiasts.

Make a trip to the skateboard park at Hillcrest Avenue.

This spot is famous for being the best place to go skateboarding in Marina.

In terms of skating facilities, Marina Skatepark has it all for you.

There is a flat-ground street section where beginners can practice and a large bowl for more advanced aerial tricks.

There are tables and benches scattered within the park if you need to get some rest or want a quick snack.

Guests who cannot go skateboarding can still enjoy the graffiti art sprayed on the park’s walls.

Scooters are also allowed within the skate park.

Visit the community center within the skate park if you need to get snacks or if you need to borrow some protective gear.

Play a Game of Softball at Gloria Jean Tate Park

Gloria Jean Tate Park is an outdoor recreational space in Marina, California.

Visit Gloria Jean Tate Park at Adby Way.

Visitors often frequent the park for its many public amenities.

Families with children can take them to the designated play areas.

The park has a long pump track for guests with bicycles.

There are bike racks and repair stations for public use.

A picnic and BBQ area is available in the park if you are looking for a venue for your next cookout.

Visit with a group or make some new friends to play with at the park’s very own softball field.

Gloria Jean Tate Park is pet-friendly, so feel free to take your dog for a walk along the many paved pathways.

Power through the Rails at Handcar Tours

Handcar Tours is a unique tourist destination in Marina, California.

Visit Handcar Tours at Marina Drive.

Handcar Tours is mainly popular for giving guests an on-rails tour of Marina.

The tour involves guests riding a handcar, a utility vehicle using the 1900s powered by manually pumping the levers of the handcar.

The activity can be physically demanding, so be sure to stay hydrated during the tour.

The rails take you on a loop around the area, where you’ll be treated to great views of the ocean and the surrounding sand dunes.

Your accompanying tour guide will also give you a rundown on the history of the handcar and the significance of the railroad industry in the Marina area, especially in the early 1900s.

Explore the Bunkers at Fort Ord Dunes State Park

Narrow paved path at Fort Ord Dunes State Park

Zack Frank /

Fort Ord Dunes State Park is a state park located in Marina, California.

You can check out the park at Beach Range Road.

Fort Ord Dunes State Park was formed from a section of a now-defunct military outpost along the coast of Monterey Bay.

This spot is famous for the many sand dunes that can be spotted on the sandy beach.

View of Fort Ord Dunes State Park

Zack Frank /

Take the hiking trail to explore the park grounds and enjoy the sand dunes’ beauty.

Bring your gear and go fishing at the park.

If you’re lucky, you can spot dolphins and whales surfacing from the ocean.

Get some binoculars for an easier time spotting these beautiful animals.

Beach at Fort Ord Dunes State Park

Zack Frank /

Discover what remains of Fort Ord by exploring the military bunkers scattered by the hills.

The state park is very spacious and not crowded, so you’ll have a peaceful time here during your stay.

Bring a bicycle to utilize the paved bike path, which takes you along the Monterey coast.

Rail road at Fort Ord Dunes State Park

Zack Frank /

Jump off a Plane at Skydive Monterey Bay

Skydive Monterey Bay is a skydiving center in the city of Marina.

You can drop by Skydive Monterey bay at Neeson Road.

Skydive Monterey Bay opened in 1996.

Skydive Monterey Bay is a popular destination for thrillseekers that come to Marina.

If you’re looking for a unique and unforgettable experience at Marina, Skydive Monterey Bay is your best destination, where you’ll get a great view of the coast and the mountain ranges during your freefall.

If you have a keen eye, you might be able to spot animals like whales and dolphins in the ocean during your descent.

This skydiving center boasts the world’s highest tandem skydiving experience from 18,000 feet in the air.

Once you sign up, you’ll be riding the Super King Air 200 aircraft, considered the fastest jump plane in the world.

Skydiving equipment, merchandise, and snacks are available at their gear shop.

There is a waiting and entertainment area for those that accompany the skydivers.

Skydive Monterey Bay is a certified establishment where you can get your skydiving solo license.

First-time skydivers will take comfort from the state-of-the-art facilities and experienced skydiving instructors.

To commemorate your skydiving experience, the center offers many video and photo options for your skydiving.

Hike through the Marshes at Locke-Paddon Wetland Community Park

Locke-Paddon Wetland Community Park is a park in Marina, California.

You can visit the park at Seaside Circle.

The park was named after William Locke-Paddon, a real estate speculator that purchased the land where Marina now stands.

Mr. William Locke-Paddon is credited for the many developments that led to the reputation of Marina as a coastal tourist destination.

Locke-Paddon Park was opened in 1991.

The park was founded to preserve the unique wetland nature of the area as a habitat for the local fauna of the area.

The community park has a hiking trail that runs along the shore.

There are picnic tables for you to use if you’d like to have a meal while surrounded by nature.

Public bathrooms are available for park visitors to use.

Bring a camera to take photos of the sand dunes and the wetland marshes inside the park.

Try Your Luck at Marina Club Casino

Marina Club Casino is a casino and entertainment facility in Marina, California.

You can find Marina Club Casino along Carmel Avenue.

The casino was opened as a family-owned establishment in 1972.

This location is popular amongst casino enthusiasts looking for a good time in Marina.

Marina Club Casino is known for its friendly staff and homely atmosphere.

The casino boasts numerous poker and blackjack tables where you can win big.

Other games you can play include Texas Hold’em and Pai Gow.

If you are looking for food and refreshments, you can stop by their full-service bar.

Watch your favorite sports on the numerous televisions mounted on the bar’s walls.

Marina Club Casino promotes responsible gambling to its visitors through signs and pamphlets that warn against gambling addiction.

Try the Local Beer at English Ales Brewery

English Ales Brewery is a brewery and bar in Marina, California.

You can visit English Ales Brewery at Reindollar Avenue.

Visitors flock to this spot for their home-brewed craft beer.

Try their large selection of locally brewed beer in a relaxing, homely environment.

Pair your drinks with their delicious pub food.

Make sure to order their best-selling fish and chips, sampler platter, or calamari salad.

You have the option of either dining indoors or getting a table outdoors.

English Ales Brewery has a dart board if you want to play a competitive game of darts after a round of drinks with your friends.

Camp by the Sea at Marina Dunes Preserve

Sunset over Marina Dunes Preserve

cedric gelissen /

Marina Dunes Preserve is a beach and nature reserve in Marina, California.

You can find the nature reserve along Dunes Road.

People often visit Marina Dunes Preserve for its beach access and serene campgrounds.

Marina Dunes Preserve is a great place to go for animal watching.

Bring binoculars or a camera to spot marine mammals, such as whales and dolphins, that pass by the coastline.

The campgrounds are located near the beach, so you’ll enjoy the cool ocean breeze during your overnight stay if you choose camping.

Explore the park by following the many hiking trails that circle the nature reserve.

Take in the beauty of the many indigenous flora and fauna within the nature reserve while you hike.

Go on a journey by climbing one of the many sand dunes in the nature reserve and be rewarded with a great view of the surrounding area.

Feed the Horses at Marina Equestrian Center Park

Marina Equestrian Center Park is a horse stable and park in Marina, California.

Check out Marina Equestrian Center Park along 5th Avenue.

The center is famous for the many horses within the park grounds.

Marina Equestrian Center Park welcomes veteran equestrians and visitors interested in seeing the horses.

The center has a picnic area where you can dine under the shade.

This location is great for walking while you admire the horses galloping within the park.

Marina Equestrian Center Park offers lessons if you are a beginner that wants to get into horseback riding.

Veteran equestrians with their own horses can rent out the facilities in the park for a small fee.

Park visitors can enter the stables and feed the horses snacks such as apples and carrots.

Marina Equestrian Center is a dog-friendly park; however, dogs must be on a leash at all times.

Take a Class at Montage Wellness Center

Montage Wellness Center is a gym and health center in Marina, California.

Drop by the Montage Wellness Center at 2nd Avenue.

People frequent this establishment for its well-maintained amenities and its wide variety of class offerings.

Get your workout done with their broad range of exercise equipment.

Go swimming in their lap pool, or take a calming dip in their warm water therapy pool.

The wellness center has a spa where you can avail of facials, body scrubs, and waxing.

Head inside their sauna to release any pent-up stress.

In terms of exercise classes, Montage Wellness Center has instructors for swimming, kickboxing, pilates, yoga, and many more.

Catch a Local Show at World Theater

The World Theater is an entertainment venue for amateur and professional theater shows in Marina, California.

Visit the World Theater at 6th Avenue.

This location is popular for hosting a wide variety of theater shows for the Monterey Bay community.

The facility can seat a maximum of 457 people.

The World Theater is located at California State University, and as such, many school productions are hosted at the theater.

The university’s performing arts program provides training to theater actors.

Aside from theater shows, the World Theater also hosts concerts, films, and dance shows.

Rent out a Bicycle at Rooster Wheels Bike Shop

Rooster Wheels Bike Shop is a bicycle shop that offers bike rentals in Marina, California.

Visit Rooster Wheels Bike Shop at Del Monte Boulevard.

Rooster Wheels is a popular spot for Marina locals to purchase and repair bicycles.

On the other hand, tourists come to Rooster Wheels Bike Shop to rent out bicycles for the duration of their stay in the city.

Rooster Wheels has a wide variety of bikes that you can rent out.

The whole family can rent out bicycles as they have bikes in stock for both adults and children.

Right across the shop is a bike trail that will take you along the Marina coastline.

If you are satisfied with the bikes you rented out, you can purchase the bike so you can take it with you on future bike rides.

Final Thoughts

Marina, California, is an ideal seaside destination for an unforgettable trip filled with exciting activities.

Rent a bike, hike on foot, or explore the many trails along Monterey Bay.

Step out of your comfort zone and learn something new by taking a class on pilates, taekwondo, or even skydiving.

Get some exercise by playing softball, skateboarding, or powering a handcar along the rails.

Marina is more than just the beach and sand dunes.

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