20 Best Things to Do in Marina del Rey, CA

Marina del Rey, CA
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Marina del Rey is widely known as Los Angeles' seaside playground.

It is a popular boating and water leisure destination not only in California but also throughout the country.

Marina del Rey is a Spanish term, which means “King's Harbor,” a name befitting the area since it is the largest man-made dock in the country.

Marina del Rey's extensive foundation history reflects its sophistication.

Countless commercial and public groups tried to create Marina del Rey, the first being M.C. Wicks in 1880.

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy finally signed H.R. 157 into law, establishing Marina del Rey.

Following its dedication on July 10, 1965, its surrounding neighborhood became known as Marina del Rey.

This location grew fast, first as a singles getaway destination, then as a well-rounded community attraction.

As the country’s largest small-craft harbor, it is home to over 5,000 vessels.

Both land and water sports are popular in the region.

Marina del Rey's proximity to the ocean appeals to fitness buffs and outdoor enthusiasts.

However, there are other things you can try here that don’t involve water or sports.

Thinking of activities to enjoy here?

Here are the 15 best things to do in Marina del Rey:

Check Out the Different Attractions at Fisherman’s Village

View of Fisherman's Village.
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Fisherman's Village in Marina del Rey is a tourist attraction, a commercial boat anchorage, and a waterfront mall.

It has the world's biggest man-made port for small boats and is designed in the manner of a New England fishing village.

The Village features five brightly painted wooden buildings, commercial boat docks, a water fountain, a lighthouse, and a waterfront promenade in the Fisherman's Village.

A Street in Fisherman’s Village
Lynne Albright / Shutterstock.com

You may explore different attractions in this Village, including souvenir stores, a public harbor ferry, cafés, restaurants, bicycle and boat rentals, live music, fishing excursions, harbor tours, and more.

Here, you will also enjoy the harbor's magnificent views from the waterfront promenade at Fisherman's Village.

People at Fisherman’s Village
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Windsurf at UCLA Marina Aquatic Center

UCLA Marina Aquatic Center is a premier waterfront leisure facility owned and operated by the university.

It is located approximately 10 miles from the university.

The center offers classes in different water sports, such as windsurfing, surfing, sailing, and kayaking.

Residents and guests may grab the chance to learn while they are here.

It also provides a variety of amenities, like facility rentals, programs for groups, and exclusive instruction.

It also offers a fire pit, breathtaking sunset views, barbeque grills, and whatnot to the neighborhood and visitors alike.

The best part is that if you want to try these water activities, you don’t need previous experience.

Here, you may also watch your favorite UCLA teams practicing and competing at the center.

Whale Watching at the Big Whale Vessel

The Marina del Rey Whale Watching Tour is widely regarded as among the greatest whale-watching and ocean animal viewing excursions in the Los Angeles region.

During the winter months, locals and visitors can board the classic water vehicle "Big Whale."

Here, you may enjoy a relaxing ride because the crew follows the season when gray whales migrate to the area.

You may catch a glimpse of marine animals, such as sea lions, giant mola molas, dolphins, minke whales, and sea turtles.

From Wednesdays until Sundays, you may go to Dock 52 to join whale watching excursions.

Paddle With Sea Lions

A swimming Sea Lion
Lisa Bronitt / Shutterstock.com

Begin your adventure in Marina del Rey with a sea lion encounter!

You may jumpstart at Marina Beach, also known as Mother's Beach, where you may rent kayaks or paddleboards and be briefed on how to use them.

You'll also learn some safety advice and techniques.

Sea Lions in Marina del Rey

Your next step will be to board your kayaks or stand-up paddleboards and paddle towards the marina's main channel.

Enjoy the tranquility of the Los Angeles’ waters and see the gorgeous and amazing vessels.

Your guide will offer you information on the surrounding environment and wildlife so that you may begin your search for these marine animals.

Learn About Marina del Rey’s Best Deals at Marina del Rey Visitors Center

If you want to know about promos and discounts around Marina Del Rey, make sure to stop by Marina del Rey Visitors Center.

Conveniently located at the corner of Admiralty and Mindanao Way, you'll find information and help on anything from hotels and restaurants to local sights and events to day tours and transportation.

The Visitor’s Center is open all year round, except during New Year, Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas.

Take the Electric Mountain Bike Tour from Marina Del Rey to Hermosa Beach

Have you ever tried using an electric mountain bike?

If not, this bike tour hosted by LifeRush Adventures will surely be one for the books!

The tour will begin at Marina Del Rey Dock 52, where you’ll have access to full-suspension 2020 electric mountain bikes.

On your journey to Hermosa Beach, you'll embark on a coastal beach bike trip that will take you along the coast.

You'll also be given time to stop and take photographs at various locations, such as the beach or whatever else strikes your fancy.

During this lovely bike ride, you get the opportunity to take in the grandeur of the Pacific Ocean throughout the trip.

Your party will have the opportunity to pause for a snack or a drink as soon as we get in Hermosa, as well as explore the beachside restaurants and shops.

Catch the Sunset While Cruising With Charters 2000

Watching the sun sets on the horizon is one of the best things to do at the beach.

How about level up the experience and do it aboard a yacht?

The Marina is home to a sailing firm called Charters 2000, which offers private yacht charters for guests and residents.

It can accommodate twelve persons for each private boat charter.

During the trip, guests are free to bring whatever they want to drink or dine on board.

Drink wine or eat your favorite meal with a loved one while witnessing the breathtaking sunset.

All of Charters 2000's captains have U.S. Coast Guard licenses, and all their boats have been registered with the United States Coast Guard.

Its 54-foot Irwin yacht, according to the company, is the most comfortable sailboat under the size of sixty feet.

In addition to three bathrooms, the yacht is outfitted with outdoor and interior seats, a stereo, a kitchen, and a swim ladder.

Picnic at Burton W. Chace Park

Gazebo in Burton Chace Park
Tubbydammer, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Completed in 1972, this park was named after a former county supervisor in Los Angeles, Burton W. Chace, who is also known as the “Father of Marina.”

It is open from 6 am to 10 pm daily.

It’s complete with picnic shelters with grills and tables and a gorgeous view of the marina for a relaxing picnic experience.

It also features a multifunction room for visitors to enjoy.

View of Burton W. Chace Park
Tubbydammer, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Park, which is accessible to the public, hosts a variety of activities all year round.

For a relatively modest cost, visitors may ride the water taxi around the Marina and see everything it has to offer.

You may also catch-free summer concerts here.

The grounds of Burton W. Chace Park
Lisa Bronitt / Shutterstock.com

Learn Sailing With Bluewater Sailing

Since its establishment in 1978, Bluewater Sailing has been offering extraordinary sailing experiences throughout the world.

Skippered and bareboat charters are available as well as sunset sails and special events, such as skippered and bareboat sailing.

Other services include seminars, private sessions, and company team-building activities.

From complete novices to experienced world cruisers, individuals of all ability levels may learn to sail at Bluewater Sailing.

The school provides one of the greatest training both in the classroom and aboard the cruise.

In addition to having national-level teachers, they are one of the country's few accredited institutions to educate students throughout the entire student spectrum.

There are also different small-group and exclusive courses offered, including keelboat sailing, among others.

Enjoy Seafood at Salt Restaurant

Positioned directly on L.A.'s most popular marina, Salt Restaurant & Bar at the Marina Del Rey Hotel offers superb seafood with a view of the boats that go out and catch it.

As a result, Chef Mark Murray Gold's seasonal menu is full of market-driven treats.

It features exquisite seafood dishes, such as Maine Lobster Pasta with handmade Japanese udon noodles and the delightful Spanish Seabass served over lemon rice.

It also serves a variety of shell delights, such as salty oysters, clams, and mussels.

Its smores are also a must-try, especially if you’re dining by the fireplace.

Try Deep Sea Fishing With Marina del Rey Sportfishing

Take your bait and venture out to enjoy some of the excellent sportfishing that the Marina has to offer.

Fish for halibut, yellowtail, sand bass, and more on one of these open-party fishing trips begins at Dock 52.

Inexperienced fishers may take advantage of knowledgeable guides, while those with advanced expertise can purchase fishing equipment and fishing licenses onboard.

The company also offers rod rentals, equipment, and bait in case you need them.

Tours to see whales and other animals are also available year-round on the island.

If you’re traveling with a group, it also offers exclusive use of the vessel for your private party.

Bike Along Ballona Creek

Ballona Creek in Marina Del Rey
Andy Konieczny / Shutterstock.com

The Ballona Creek route is possibly the most beautiful bicycle pathway in the city.

From National Boulevard to the coast, Ballona Creek provides a pleasant, breezy, and picturesque ride that is little more than seven miles long.

It begins at the National Boulevard and ends at the sea.

Bike path of Ballona Creek
Andy Konieczny / Shutterstock.com

Along the way, there are several fascinating places to see as well as some tiny parks.

The Creek also offers free parking near most of the Ballona Creek path's entrances.

When there’s a significant threat of rain, the caretakers of the bike path's entrances lock them for safety purposes.

Try Parasailing at Marina del Rey Parasailing

Because of the ocean, certain water sports may appear to be scary, but this is not the case for all of them.

You may try parasailing, one of the most straightforward activities because the rise and fall are both moderate and steady.

Joining a parasailing trip offered by Marina del Rey Parasailing will provide you with the opportunity to explore and observe the city from a fresh perspective.

From the skies, guests may enjoy the breathtaking perspective of the Venice Beach Boardwalk and its nearby locations.

You will be softly carried into the air from the airbase of the boat to the elevation of your choice.

You may select between an altitude of 500 feet and an altitude of 800 feet.

Beginners are more than welcome to join the tour; you do not need to be an experienced parasailer to participate.

Simply sit back, relax, and take pleasure in the trip!

Depending on the flight, two to three passengers can travel at the same time on a parasail.

Explore the Marina on Motorbike

Another way to enjoy what the Marina has to offer is through a motorcycle.

Hit the road by renting motorbikes from the world's biggest motorcycle tourism company, EagleRider Motorcycle Rentals, and Tours.

Located at 4110 Lincoln Boulevard, it offers a vast selection of well-maintained Harley-Davidson motorbikes and all types of ATVs, Dirt Bikes, Scooters, and more.

On top of that, the firm provides multi-brand rentals, self-guided excursions, and apparel.

Spend a Day at Marina Beach

Lifeguard station at Marina Beach
Lisa Bronitt / Shutterstock.com

One of the best ways to enjoy the city is to go beach bumming at Marina Beach.

Popularly known as Mother’s Beach, you’ll surely enjoy this kid and family-friendly man-made seashore area.

The lagoon spans 12 acres stretching along Admiralty Way and is just a few walking distances away from hotels and restaurants on the Marina.

Enjoy the sands and cool beach waters, go for a swim, build sandcastles or just lounge and wade your feet by the seashore; likewise, you can also go kayaking or windsurfing.

Pack lunch or grill some barbecue, then have a family picnic at the tables while your little tots enjoy the playground.

Lifeguards are standing by occasionally and you can also access amenities at Marina Beach, like restrooms and showers.

Have a Family Day at Villa Marina Marketplace

For some great shopping, dining, and entertainment in the city, visit Villa Marina Marketplace on Maxella Avenue.

It’s your one-stop shopping venue with over 85 retail shops, cafes, restaurants, and services to choose from.

From men, women, and children's clothing, to shoes, sports equipment, books, and jewelry, and a variety of services like banks, pharmacies, and more, you have all you need in this marketplace.

Plan for a family movie night and catch the latest cinema features at AMC Classic Marina Marketplace Family Theatre.

You can also enjoy the movies on a comfortable luxury seat while eating your meals at AMC Dine-In.

Bring the family to Villa Marina Marketplace.

Taste Innovative Fare at 26 Beach Restaurant

Ever heard of the Sushi Burger? You’ll find it here at 26 Beach Restaurant located right on Washington Boulevard.

Owned by the Mori family, this restaurant offers creative takes on different dishes that are sure to satisfy your palate.

Enjoy delicious food at the nice and welcoming heated garden venue; if you’re celebrating special occasions, the dining room is available for rentals.

On the menu, you can try unique starters like Nu’ Awlins Gumbo made of Louisiana spices, cajun sausage, and rice, or the Tomato Basil Bisque, a classic tomato soup with basil and cream served with croutons.

Savor servings of Epicurean Salads like Caramelized Pear Salad, Lamb Chop & Peach Salad, or order entrées like Orange Rosemary Salmon and Greek Lamb Chops.

You’ll love their assorted Breakfast French Toast served until 3 p.m. and the Best of the Rest selections like Big Daddy’s Blue Plate and Breakfast Chilaquiles.

Likewise, try delicious Royals, Pasta Scrambles, and their Burgers and Sandwich varieties.

26 Beach Restaurant also offers an array of cocktails, red and white wines, beers, coffee, and tea.

Stroll along Aubrey E. Austin Jr. Park and North Jetty

The city’s hidden gem along Via Marina and Pacific Avenue, the Aubrey E. Austin Jr. Park and North Jetty offers you a stunning metropolis view.

Gaze at the sight of the main harbor channel and see the airplanes flying from LAX.

Walk your furry friend and take pictures with the urban landscape in the background.

Go toward the end of the pathway to catch a view of Venice Beach and the vast ocean.

You can also fish at North Jetty as long as you secure a California fishing license.

Aubrey E. Austin Jr. Park and the North Jetty are both stroller and wheelchair-accessible, so everyone can enjoy a walk in the park.

Satisfy Your Palate with Different Beach Eats Food Trucks

One of the highlights you can experience in Marina del Rey is the various food specialties you can try.

You’ll get to catch Beach Eats happening from May through October every Thursday from late afternoon to evening.

See the food trucks line at the Panay Way offering a wide range of delicacies and grub favorites.

From Asian-inspired dishes to smoky barbecues and classic American dishes, you’ll enjoy a selection of flavors to feast on.

Spread a blanket or bring a chair for a beachside picnic with the family.

Your leashed fur buddy is also welcome to drop by.

Enjoy delicious food varieties by Beach Eats Food Trucks.

Final Thoughts

With its outdoor adventures, open-air seaside restaurants, and splendid landscape, Marina del Rey has always something awesome for you.

Experience the heart of the Los Angeles coastline by making Marina del Rey your next weekend getaway destination!

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