Local Highlights

Living Like A Local: 5 Things To Do In Marina Del Rey


With so many things to do in Marina del Rey, you’ll never be bored

There’s no place in the United States that’s quite like Marina del Rey. When you step into this coastal playground of Los Angeles, you’ll find no shortage of outdoor and waterfront activities. However, this Southern California oasis offers more than just beautiful beaches and peaceful parks. 

You can also find enticing restaurants for foodies, unique boutiques and shopping for the fashionistas, and exciting Marina del Rey nightlife for the after-midnight crowd along the blvd. With the area’s close proximity to countless tourist attractions, you’ll never run out of things to do in the Marina del Rey area. Here are five of the best ways to spend your time in the city. 

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1. Hit the waves or relax on the beach in Marina del Rey

Southern California is famous for having beautiful weather, and Marina del Rey CA is no different. For fans of the water, the area offers easy access to the Pacific ocean and a wealth of aquatic activities to keep you busy. Some of the most popular examples are stand-up paddleboarding, surfing, kayaking, and swimming.

It doesn’t matter whether you like to spend time in the water or set up a spot in the sand, the beaches of Marina del Rey are sure to appeal to you. We recommend visiting as many of these top spots as possible when you’re looking for things to do in Marina del Rey.

If you’re looking for a family-friendly beach, you should visit Marina Beach, or what the residents call Mother’s Beach. The town developed this man-made beach in 1957. With no surf, the area is perfect for swimming, kayaking, and windsurfing. The half-mile sandy beach features everything from barbeque grills and picnic areas to volleyball courts and playgrounds. You can also find several Marina del Rey restaurants just a short walk away.

It’s easy to bike from Marina del Rey to Santa Monica Beach. This beach is famous for its iconic amusement pier, which draws visitors from around the globe. With three miles of beach and 245 acres of sand, you can do everything from play beach volleyball to break a sweat at the famous spot known as Muscle Beach. This is the perfect place to get in a weekend workout and meet other locals and residents

Another famous nearby beach is Venice Beach. Located to the north of Marina del Rey, you can find this world-famous beach with its Ocean Front Walk, or Beach Boardwalk. Any day you visit, you can find street performers and vendors. Not only that, you can enjoy a skate park, an outdoor gym, charming cafes, and all the aquatic activities you’ve come to associate with Southern California beaches. You may even catch a glimpse of boats on the dock nearby.

2. Take in the natural beauty at a park in Marina del Rey

If the waves aren’t your style, or you just need a break, you can enjoy some fun on dry land. The city offers a wealth of things to do in the great outdoors. In fact, Marina del Rey is home to many popular parks that feature amazing views of the city and the Pacific ocean.

Your first stop should be Burton W. Chace Park, which is named after the former Los Angeles County Supervisor. The city established the park in 1972 to honor him as the Father of the Marina. You can enjoy breathtaking marina views, have a picnic or a barbecue, or take a ride around the Marina on the water bus. The park is also a great destination during the summer months because you can regularly find free concerts there. Live music is the perfect way to end a weekend night. 

No visit to the Marina del Rey area would be complete without stopping by Aubrey E. Austin Jr. Park and North Jetty. At this hidden gem of a park, you can walk along a paved path and enjoy views of the harbor’s main channel and planes leaving LAX. If you walk all the way to the end of the path, you’ll see Venice Beach and the ocean. And if you’d like to fish from the jetty, you can do so with a valid California fishing license.

Yvonne B. Burke Park is conveniently located in the heart of the Marina, right next to Admiralty Way. Honoring the woman who represented the city on the L.A. County Board of Supervisors for 16 years, the park features a bike trail and free parcourse fitness circuit. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a little green space in the middle of the city.  It is also walking distance to many Marina del Rey nightlife spots. You can easily hop on the dance floor after a light evening workout. 

3. Get a bite to eat at some of the most popular restaurants in Marina del Rey

Soaking in the marina view and your outdoor adventures will surely make you hungry. When your stomach starts growling, you can count on the local cuisine to save the day. It doesn’t matter whether you like Italian or Mexican food, you can find just about any type of cuisine you can imagine.

If you’re looking for a throwback Italian restaurant, C & O Cucina is the place for you. You’ll find singing servers that provide generous portions and addictive garlic rolls. The walls of the eatery are lined with old photographs of Italian American immigrants and the loved ones of the restaurant’s owners. You can also stop by the Rat Pack Martini Lounge for a quick bite and drink in the afternoons and evenings.

Mexican food is an iconic part of Southern California cuisine. One of the best stops for it is Baja Cantina, which opened in 1975. Housed in an old apartment for oil well workers, the restaurant now serves up incredible Mexican food that combines Latin and SoCal flare. The establishment also offers refreshing beverages. You can find weekly specials and enjoy happy hour deals Monday through Friday.

Beachside Restaurant & Bar overlooks the beautiful Marina Beach and features California coastal cuisine. You can enjoy the breakfast, lunch, happy hour, and dinner menus at this beloved restaurant. On the weekends, the restaurant delights its visitors with a delicious brunch, which you can enjoy on an expansive patio under a trellis canopy. 

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4. Get a little retail therapy in Marina del Rey

Even with so much natural beauty around, you sometimes just want to do a little shopping. Marina del Rey offers so many areas that feature boutiques, malls, and opportunities to shop for souvenirs. Even if you’re not a shopping fan, you might find yourself tempted by a little retail therapy.

The designation of the area’s largest shopping center goes to the Villa Marina Marketplace. With 70 stores and restaurants, you won’t run out of things to do in Marina del Rey. When you’re done shopping and eating, you can take in a flick at one of the multiple movie theaters in the shopping center.

Abbot Kinney is about two miles north of Marina del Rey in the center of Venice’s community of creatives. Described as eclectic and stylish, the neighborhood features one-of-a-kind boutiques and art galleries. When you start to get tired and need a little refreshment, you can pop into one of the walkable area’s chic cafes or bars for food and drink.

If you travel about three miles from the Marina, you can check out Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. Visitors praise the shopping district for featuring “up-to-the-minute” fashions and styles. The surrounding area is very walkable, as it runs along several pedestrian-only blocks. You can find stores, restaurants, movie theaters, and fun during the day and the night.


5. Take in the nightlife in Marina del Rey

When night falls on the city, the fun is just getting started. If you’re looking for things to do in Marina del Rey after dark, you can sip cocktails on a patio, dance the night away, or even take a dinner cruise under the starry sky.

Sinder Lounge in the Marina del Rey Marriot is the definition of a coastal chic hotspot. You can snag a craft cocktail and savor some delicious California cuisine at this award-winning restaurant and bar. Visitors praise the incredible service and posh, low-key atmosphere, which makes it perfect for a relaxing or romantic night out.

In nearby Santa Monica, you can visit The Bungalow Santa Monica. The renowned cocktail bar features a unique interior, a great space for people watching, and a fantastic DJ. Patrons praise the bar for being just as cozy and relaxing as it is fun and interesting to visit. Many appreciate that The Bungalow maintains different vibes in the same spot, making it attractive to many different types of people.

same spot, making it attractive to many different types of people.

If a nighttime cruise sounds perfect for you, you won’t want to miss booking an excursion with Hornblower Cruises and Events. This vendor serves up a weekly dinner cruise with DJ entertainment, allowing you to drink and dance the night away under the stars. You can also enjoy a daytime cruise or tour by booking one of the popular champagne brunch cruises on a Saturday or a Sunday.

Make the move

With so many things to do in Marina del Rey, you’ll never be bored. Make your move today and live like a local!

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