Hugging the south border of Venice Beach is Marina del Rey, which is the center of recreational boating in the L.A. area. Over 5,000 boats are anchored here, and it’s a popular, casual, relaxed oasis in the middle of bustling L.A. This is one of the few places in the area where visitors can actually get out onto the water. Activity options include daily public fishing trips, hourly kayak, sailboat and power boat rentals, Wednesday cocktail, Friday blues, Saturday dinner dance and Sunday brunch cruises.
Many visitors choose to make Marina del Rey a base for their LA area visit, as most of the hotels in the community have water views overlooking the harbor, are walking distance from Venice Beach, offer more value for the dollar than other beach towns, and the community is only four miles north of LAX.
“The Marina” is famous for its waterfront restaurants, and weekend brunches. Most are located along the marina’s Waterfront Walk and offer outside, covered and terraced dining. This is a great spot for sunsets too.
Marina del Rey really bustles during the summer, when the weekend Beach Shuttle operates, the Summer weekend Water Bus is zooming through the harbor, and the free summer pop and classical concert series in Burton Chace Park is in full gear.
And if you enjoy biking, the paved South Bay Bicycle Trail extends for 22 miles along the coast from Malibu in the north, through Santa Monica, Venice, Marina del Rey, Playa del Rey, and Dockweiler Beach, ending at Torrance Beach in the south. This is an interesting ride since the beach communities are so varied. Bike and skate rental concessions are easily available along the route, including bikes for pets and children, tandems and low riders (great for seniors).
The Marina del Rey portion passes by the beautiful marinas as well as some interior areas for some portion, and is a good place to stop for lunch or to pick up some provisions for a picnic along the way.
Some of my Favorite Places in Marina are:
Scopa – 2905 West Washington Boulevard, Venice, CA 90292
Great food and drinks and nice scene. Gets busy so get a reservation or go early and sit by the bar. The Branzino and Brussel Sprouts salad are my favorites.
Tender Greens – Villa Marina Marketplace Mall, 13455 Maxella Ave #210
Fast and Healthy food. Great Salads, Steak and Desert. This for when you have no time, but don’t want to go to McDonalds.
Mendocino Farms – 4724 Admiralty Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
Same as above, great Salads and Sandwiches.
AMC Dine In Theaters – Villa Marina Marketplace Mall, 13455 Maxella Ave #280,
Great movie theater with full reclining seats (like a first class seat) , food and drinks (alcohol too). Buy online since is not a large theater and seats tend to go fast on weekends.
The Cows End Cafe – 34 Washington Blvd, Venice, CA 90292
Good breakfast and coffee spot. They also have good juices and Acai bowls. Cash only!
Sapori – 13723 Fiji Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292-6998
Hidden Gem with amazing authentic Italian food. One those places that the owner is there everyday. Great Branzino also (you can see I am a bit obsessed about Branzinos). I usually don’t make reservation, its very laid back. Its a bit hard to find, park on the public parking lot and walk towards the ocean. There are several other food places there as well and this area will be revamped soon.
Marina Massage – 13456 Washington Blvd Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Inexpensive and clean massage place. Most important, easy to park. Make an appointment.