Roughly six miles north of Los Angeles International Airport sits Marina del Rey, a charming coastal community with sailboats, beaches, and bike paths. Marina del Rey began as an estuary frequented by fishermen and duck hunters, but in 1965 became the largest man-made, small-craft harbor in the country. Today, visitors flock to the area for its year-round sunshine and laid-back, California vibe.
Marina del Rey will likely inspire you to spend your day on the water doing something active, like sailing, sport fishing, parasailing or kayaking. If you’d rather relax, climb aboard a dinner cruise or gondola ride while you take in the breathtaking scenery. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins and whales as you explore Santa Monica Bay. If you are more of a landlubber, sink into the sand at the family-friendly Marina Beach, dubbed Mother’s Beach by locals, or at the mellow Marina Peninsula Beach just south of the Venice Pier. Transport yourself to Italy with a walk through the Venice Canals, a man-made historic district built in 1905. For a list of all the great beaches in the central California area, << Click Here >>. Our Marina Del Rey Guide will give you everything you need to start planning your Marina Del Rey vacation today.
Marina Del Rey Weather – When to Visit
The best time to visit Marina Del Rey is between April and May. Spring offers warmer temperatures, fewer crowds and food festivals dishing out delectable eats, including Pebble Beach Food & Wine and the Artichoke Festival in Castroville. Summer is the most popular time to visit the Monterey Peninsula, but it can still be chilly, so bring a sweater regardless of the season. Fall is another good time to visit, but the likelihood of rain increases starting in October. Marina Del Rey’s central California location subjects it to mild temperatures during the winter, with the average low reaching 48 degrees. Winter also brings lower hotel prices and the celebrity-heavy AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am event held in February, making Marina Del Rey an attractive destination year-round.
Best Marina Del Rey Area Beaches
Dockweiler State Beach
Located about 3 miles south of Playa del Rey, this inviting beach features 3.7 miles of shoreline, fire pits, an RV park, and over 2,000 regular vehicle parking spaces. The wide sandy beach lies beneath the departure’s flight path of LAX, offering fantastic belly views of airlines headed out over the Pacific.
Marina “Mother’s” Beach
This peaceful 12-acre lagoon is easy walking distance from most of the Marina’s hotels. Staffed by lifeguards seasonally, the beach has playground equipment, sheltered picnic tables, and easy access to restrooms. These amenities and the cove’s lack of surf makes it ideal for families with young kids – an attribute that inspired its local nickname, Mother’s Beach.
Playa del Rey
Playa del Rey is a small, quiet community with a broad, low-key beach and a smattering of cafes, taverns, and boutiques nearby. The stretch of sand is technically part of Dockweiler State Beach, but this section is comparatively sleepy, perfect for those days when you want nothing but the sound of crashing waves to lull you into a midday nap in the sunshine.
Santa Monica Beach
Santa Monica’s iconic amusement pier is the focal point of this tourist hot spot. From Marina del Rey, it’s easy to bike to Santa Monica Beach on the Marvin Braude Coastal Bike Trail. Rent a bike at the Venice Pier and pedal about 3.5 miles north to reach the Santa Monica Pier area.
Venice is famous for its Ocean Front Walk (a.k.a. Beach Boardwalk), bursting with lively street performers, vendors, cafes, a skate park, and the Muscle Beach outdoor gym. All of this is steps from the sand and surf. Several shops in Washington Square near the Venice Pier offer bikes and surf boards to rent by the hour or day.
Marina Del Rey Area Tours & Activities
Los Angeles Dinner Cruise from Marina del Rey
Cruise the scenic waters near Los Angeles in style during this 3-hour, high-end dinner cruise. Climb aboard and enjoy a complimentary glass of champagne before enjoying a sumptuous four-course dinner freshly prepared on-board. Then dance the night away to the accompaniment of live or DJ musical entertainment, or simply soak up the amazing views from the ship’s outdoor decks. If you really want to elevate your evening upgrade with a guaranteed window seat and a full bottle of champagne. Learn more about the Marina Del Rey Dinner Cruise.
Los Angeles Champagne Brunch Cruise from Marina del Rey
Enjoy a relaxing and luxurious brunch buffet cruise with sparkling wine as you sail the waters near Los Angeles during this 2-hour excursion. Set sail from shore as you dig into a mouth-watering selection of breakfast favorites like French toast, huevos rancheros and croissants from a gourmet buffet, accompanied by a complimentary glasses of bubbly. Then kick back, take in the gorgeous views of the nearby coastline and lay out in the sun with some chilled out music during your ride. Your brunch cruise includes meal service, gratuities and free-flowing sparkling wine. Learn more about this Champagne Brunch Cruise.
Full-Day Iconic Sights of LA, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, the beaches and more!
From the Hollywood sign to the celebrity mansions of Beverly Hills, Los Angles is so full of iconic sights it can be tricky to see them all. This guided tour seamlessly transports you by coach to all of the city’s top attractions—from Santa Monica Pier to the Sunset Strip—so that you don’t need to worry about missing a thing. Learn more about the Full-Day Iconic Sights Tour.
Los Angeles Hop-On Hop-Off Double-Decker Bus Tour
Discover Los Angeles on your own terms thanks to this convenient hop-on, hop-off bus excursion covering the city’s top highlights. Enjoy the sun from the open top of your bus, offering 360-degree vistas of the surrounding landmarks. Best of all, your hop-on, hop-off excursion covers more than 50 locations throughout the city, including Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Hollywood and downtown L.A. You can also choose between a 24-, 48-, and 72-hour ticket options and plenty of convenient departures, thanks to its 365-days-a-year operation schedule. Learn more about the LA Hop On Hop Off Double Decker Bus Tour.
6-Hour Los Angeles City Tour
See the best of Los Angeles on a half-day tour of the city’s most glamorous neighborhoods and iconic landmarks. Learn where to eat, shop, and party as you explore L.A. with a professional guide, from Hollywood Boulevard’s star-studded sidewalks to gleaming downtown skyscrapers. Snap a selfie with the Hollywood sign, spot celebrity homes in Beverly Hills, and watch an elegant crowd browse Rodeo Drive’s exclusive boutiques. Cruise the renowned Sunset Strip before hitting the Pacific Coast Highway to sink your toes into L.A.’s most beloved beaches. Learn more about the 6 Hour Los Angeles City Tour.
Best Marina Del Rey Restaurants
Beachside Restaurant & Bar $11 – 30
This trendy beach chic restaurant offers uniquely inspired cuisine, creative drinks, and a vibrant atmosphere. Situated steps from the water at Jamaica Bay Inn, Beachside opens to outdoor dining beneath a trellis-canopied terrace with fireside seating and an enviable harbor view. The patio is dog friendly. Telephone: 310-823-5333 Web: Beachside Restaurant & Bar.
Chart House $31 – 60
Find mouthwatering seafood and steaks served in an attractive waterfront setting on one of the marina’s quiet basins. Dinner and happy hour daily; lunch is served only on weekends. Telephone: 310-822-4144 Web: Chart House.
Casa Ado $11 – 30
This upscale restaurant serves authentic Italian cuisine and features a full-service bar. Dinner and drinks can be enjoyed while watching the sunset on the quaint patio, while a romantic setting indoors is perfect for couples or accommodating a larger party. Telephone: 310-577-2589 Web: Casa Ado.
Salt Restaurant & Bar $11 – 30
Seasonal ingredients are sourced from local farmer’s markets to create an incredible waterfront dining experience at the Marina Del Rey Hotel. SALT’s take on Californian cuisine explores simple favorites with a contemporary twist, such as the signature creamy hummus complemented with a touch of California avocado and the luscious Maine lobster pasta severed on a bed of Udon noodles in a succulent brown butter sauce. Aim for a west-facing patio table to get dramatic sunset views. Telephone: 424-289-8223 Web: Salt Restaurant & Bar.
Warehouse Restaurant $31 – 60
This Marina del Rey mainstay features steak, seafood, and American food in a Polynesian-themed waterfront atmosphere. A brunch buffet is offered Sundays. Come on a Wednesday and get treated to live acoustic music in the bar, 3–7 p.m. Salsa dancing is on deck for Fridays, starting at 9 p.m. Join in on the free class before the floor opens to all at 10. Telephone: 310-823-5451 Web: Warehouse Restaurant.
Best Marina Del Rey Bars
This popular hangout at the Jamaica Bay Inn unveiled a major renovation in late 2017, debuting a new indoor-outdoor bar and a coastal chic interior. Beachside hosts one of the go-to happy hours on the Westside, offered daily 4-6:30 p.m. Plus, cocktail specials and live music or DJ entertainment highlight Thirsty Thursdays, 5–9 p.m. Telephone: 310-439-3033 Web: Beachside Restaurant & Bar.
Cabo Cantina draws regulars with giant margaritas, classic Cali-Mexican food, and casual atmosphere. The famous 2-for-1 priced Happy Hour runs 4-8 p.m. daily. Telephone: 310-306-2500 Web: Cabo Cantina.
Oh, the views from this spot in Fisherman’s Village! Head to the cantina for daily Happy Hour, 3–7 p.m., for drink specials from $4 and discounts on select food items. An all-you-can-eat Taco Tuesday deal is offered in the main dining room 3-10 p.m. Telephone: 310-823-8941 Web: El Torito.
With twice-daily Happy Hour, Killer Shrimp may be the happiest restaurant around. Shuffle into the bar on weekdays 3–7 p.m. and 10 p.m.–midnight, and on weekends 3-5 p.m. and 10 p.m.–midnight for specials on well drinks, beer, and wine plus a specialty cocktail of the day. Better still, get a discount on the restaurant’s famous Killer Shrimp dish – original (shell-on) for $19 or shelled for $21. A long list of other seafood bites is also on Happy Hour pricing. Telephone: 310-578-2293 Web: Killer Shrimp.
Take in sweeping Marina views and a primo vantage point on the sunset from the spacious outdoor patio. Fire rings and heat lamps will keep you toasty if the evening is chilly. Food and drink specials are offered for bar and patio seating, Monday–Friday, 4–7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. till close. The generous drink menu lists deals on beers, special wines, and select craft cocktails. Make a light dinner out of discounted small plates, including oysters on the half shell, fish tacos, and short rib sliders – $6 or less. Telephone: 310-823-4522 Web: Whiskey Red’s.
Best Marina Del Rey Hotels
Marina Del Rey Marriott
A brand new hotel experience featuring a stylishly updated lobby; a posh outdoor lounge, Sinder, which has fire pits and cabanas; and 370 spacious guest rooms, all of which have been recently renovated and offer panoramic views that overlook the most beautiful water, city, coastline, and mountain views in the Los Angeles area.
Marina Del Rey Hotel
The Marina del Rey Hotel has re-opened after a $25M renovation. The iconic waterfront property features 164 updated rooms & suites, a full-service restaurant , 24-hour room service, concierge assistance, outdoor-marina-facing pool & sundeck, waterfront wedding venue, multiple meeting slips and more.
The Kinney – Venice Beach
With their playful style and central location, live like a local at The Kinney hotel in Venice Beach. Grab your entourage and truly experience So Cal – from courtyard lounging to beach cruising – our house is your house. Keep the Snaps going with complimentary Wi-Fi, cool off in our dipping pool, and when you’re ready to call it a night, refresh in brand-new beds. Now is the time to truly experience Venice (and give your friends a little FOMO).
Jamaica Bay Inn
With 111 guest rooms and suites, this hotel’s chic design resembles the colorful and relaxed style of a West Indies resort with lush flora, beautiful beach side pool and marina views. Guest rooms feature complimentary WiFi, luxurious bedding and granite counter tops, many with private balcony and city or marina views. Its signature restaurant, Beach side, features outdoor dining with fire pits and beach views.
Hilton Garden Inn
This well-appointed hotel offers 134 rooms with marina or courtyard rooms, complimentary Wi-Fi, outdoor sitting areas with fire pits, and spacious in-room work stations along with a 24-hour fitness and business center. Bike rentals are also available to guests. Across the street from Marina Beach, the hotel is in the heart of the Marina with easy access to Venice Beach and other area attractions.
I have come to your website many times and I am never disappointed. I can get all of the information I need when planning a vacation , or when building or “places to see” in our retiring days.
Marina del Rey sounds like a great place and is very beautiful. I have always wanted to experience being on the open water and watch whales and dolphins pass by.
Dinner and dancing on a dinner cruise sounds like a great date for my husband and i.
I would definitely want to see the Venice Canals. This would be one that we would have to plan ahead for. There is so much to see and do, I would want to cover as much as we could for the time we will have there.
Thank you for providing all the information one needs to plan a beautiful day at the beach or a week long vacation. You are always the one to come to.
You are very welcome Lee Ann, and I am glad you enjoyed your visit to my Marina Del Rey Guide. It is one of those places most definitely for your “retiring days”. I think you will fall in love with the area. Thanks for stopping by!
Wow….you make me want to charter a flight to Marina Del Ray right now! Your article is very complete and informative and covers all the info that a tourist would need to make travel plans. Would also love to see the whales too! Thanks for the tour.
I am glad you enjoyed the digital tour of Marina Del Rey Terry. Yes, wonderful coastal town that is definitely worth a visit. Thanks for stopping by.
Wow after reading all the info I would like to be there I went a long time ago I didn’t realize how everything changed and look great I need to go there thank you
You are so welcome Felix. Yes, I am sure it has changed since you were last there. I don’t think the beauty and all it has to offer is different. Either way, still a wonderful area in Central California not to be missed. Thank you for stopping by beach travel destinations.
I’m considering going travelling next year, this has definitely given me some food for thought! I presume you have a lot of travel experience? I don’t as I’m only just out of university.
Yes, I do have a lot of travel experience and I love to travel. Central California is beautiful. And if you love beaches, the sunshine, the outdoors, and the beauty, than you definitely want to visit this area. Thanks for visiting my Marina Del Rey Guide.
Great article – we are heading over to the US in November and have a few day in LA to kill. Having been there a few ties we were sort of wondering what to do – MArina Del Ray is somewhere I have driven past but never taken any notice of. Will check it out for sure. Thank again
You are welcome. And yes Paul, if you are in LA for a few days, then definitely stop in Marina Del Rey. Wonderful area with so much to offer. Please let me know if you have any other questions.
Marina Del Rey is a place I have been wanting to vacation too. I love the way you inform everyone with all the attractions, things to do, hotels, restaurants. You have it all there for me!
Thanks for sharing, cheers
Marina Del Rey is a wonderful coastal town in central California with so much beauty, and so many things to see and do. You will not get bored, that is for sure. Thanks for stopping by.
O how I would like to got there someday. This certainly goes to my bucketlist. Thanks for sharing!
You are welcome Jonathan! It is a wonderful vacation destination for sure! Thanks for visiting my Marina Del Rey Guide.
I went to LA years ago, but I don’t think I had the pleasure of being on the bay. I would love to take a stroll on the bay and whale watch. We didn’t do that. I would love to do that with my children and hubby in the coming months.
Oh boy, it is something to see Lane. I do believe you and your family would enjoy for sure. Glad you enjoyed my Marina Del Rey Guide.
You have done it again! Great tips and suggestions. I love ‘trolling’ your site…so much to learn and when I am here, it feels like I am on the actual trip that you are reviewing. Yes, you certainly ‘make me wanna be there’. I am going to share this article with my husband, he will probably ‘roll his eyes’ while holding onto his credit card, just knowing what I might say next!!
Thanks for this Marina Del Ray Guide, Leahrae. Keep up the great job!
Thank you Michelle, but Marina Del Rey is a wonderful coastal community and so worth a vacation to. I think your husband is going to love it! You never know 😀 Thanks for stopping by!
Your webpage makes Marina Del Rey come to life. Great looking beach. Lots of water sports in the canal leading out to the ocean. Plenty of good restaurants and hotels too. Great vacation stop with plenty to see and do!
Yes, I love Marina Del Rey. It is really an upscale coastal community with lots to offer. Personally I am a water person, so I enjoy activities close to or on the water. To me, that is what Marina Del Rey is all about, along with all the great places to walk and meander 🙂
I’ve been a few times in Los Angeles, but never went to Marina Del Rey. We want to charter a yacht and then sail to the Bahamas. Marina Del Rey seems to be a fantastic place to visit, and there are so many nice things to do. I really like Venice beach and the whales’ tour. Just a question, please. Do you think it’s possible to rent a boat for a week from the marina here in Marina Del Rey?
This would be perfect for us:)
Thank you for this great post!
You can most certainly rent a boat here for a week. There are plenty of options and this would be the perfect place to head out of. The whole Monterey Bay area is beautiful and to see it by boat and land would be wonderful! Thanks for stopping by!
I’ve heard of Marina Del Rey but never knew it was that close to Los Angeles before! There are a lot of awesome places to see and things to do here. I have to admit, the drone video is excellent and a wonderful idea to see what this place has to offer.
The Venice Canals and Fisherman’s village are the first two places I would see when I go. Being outdoors and experiencing places like this is definitely on the bucket list! Thanks for another awesome place to see!
You are welcome Rob. Marina Del Rey is really just a wonderful place with so much to see. And it is close to a lot that the Monterey Bay has to offer. Can’t beat it! Thanks for visiting Beach Travel Destinations.
Marina Del Rey looks so beautiful and your guide has quenched all my questions and concerns. Currently sitting here with my partner, we have’t holidayed in years, and now we are able to take one. Xmas round the corner, so its going to have all the festivities. But, I see you recommend around April/May? Sounds good to me – Where can I book our holidays for this time Leahrae?
Thank you for your research on this exotic location and hope to hear back from you soon.
You are very welcome Philip! I can most definitely help you with your travel plans. I will email you with some questions so we can get started. It really is a wonderful place to vacation. Thank you for checking out my Marina Del Rey Guide.