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marina del rey

Marina del Rey is a seaside community with a marina that is a major boating and water recreation destination of the greater Los Angeles area. The marina is North America's largest man-made small-craft harbor and is home to approximately 5,000 boats. The area is a popular tourism destination for water activities such as paddle board and kayak rentals, dining cruises, and yacht charters.

History

Blessed with a temperate climate and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean Marina del Rey has a rich and colorful history but it’s just not all that old. Marina del Rey began as an quiet estuary frequented by fishermen. But that changed in 1965 when it became the largest man-made, small-craft harbor in the U.S. and the harbor remains as the very heart of the community.

The Shoshone and Gabrielino/Tongva Indians were the region’s first residents. Modern Marina del Rey began in 1887 when a developer named M.L. Wicks sought to create a commercial harbor for the city of Los Angeles from the estuary and inlets of the village of Playa del Rey. Three years, one wharf-destroying storm, and $300,000 later, Wicks’ Port Ballona Development Company —the name probably derived from la ballena, Spanish for “whale”— was bankrupt and the ducks and hunters resumed their seasonal pas de deux.

Much to current local’s relief, it seemed as though Marina Del Rey was always destined to stay a beautiful, recreational harbor. On January 25th, 1962, President Kennedy granted the name “Marina Del Rey” via telegram. With the final piece of the puzzle in place, the Marina was dedicated on April 10, 1965, and the surrounding community became identified as Marina del Rey. The area quickly flourished, initially gaining recognition as a singles destination, then maturing into a well-rounded community. Although Marina Del Rey’s history is short, it is rich, and not without its trials and tribulations.

Marina Beach

Marina Beach, also known as Mother’s Beach by locals, is a man-made, family-friendly, kid-friendly beach in the town of Marina del Rey. The beach was developed as part of the town in 1957, and then officially dedicated later in 1965. Marina Beach offers a safer beach environment for children as there is no surf in the area for swimming. The sandy beach is about half of a mile in length and includes restrooms, showers, barbecue grilles, picnic areas, and volleyball courts. There is also a playground for kids, and several restaurants are a short walk away. Kayaking and windsurfing are also popular here. 

Arts District

Glencoe Ave between Washington and Maxella, with it’s collection of commercial buildings and condos with an industrial vibe is the unofficial hipster oasis of MDR. It’s an area favored by many creative and work-at-home types, and is only a short walk the beach and the buzz of Washington and Lincoln Boulevards.  

Fisherman’s Village

Fisherman’s Village is a tourist attraction, anchorage for commercial boats, and a waterfront mall in Marina del Rey. It includes the largest man-made harbor for small boats in the world, and is built in a style similar to a fishing village in New England. Fisherman’s Village consists of five vividly painted wooden buildings, commercial boat docks, a water fountain, a lighthouse, and a waterfront promenade. Attractions in the area include souvenir shops, public harbor ferry, cafes, restaurants, bicycle and boat rentals, live music, fishing cruises, harbor cruises, and much more. The waterfront promenade at Fisherman’s Village provides panoramic harbor views.

Whale watching 

Marina del Rey Whale Watching is considered to be one of the best ocean wildlife viewing and whale watching tours in the Los Angeles area. Both local residents and visitors can climb aboard the “Big Whale” classic passenger vessel and enjoy the ride as the crew follow the seasonal gray whale migration during the winter, as well as have the chance to maybe see sea turtles, porpoises, sea lions, dolphins, giant mola mola, and minke whales throughout the year.

Bluewater Sailing

Bluewater Sailing has been dedicated to international sailing adventures, skippered charters, bareboats, and sail education since the year 1978. The company provides live-aboard classes, sunset sailing, special events, skippered yacht charters, bareboats, island cruises, racing, seminars, private lessons, and corporate team building. Bluewater Sailing teaches people of all skill levels, from beginners up to world cruisers, offering some of the best instruction both in classroom and out on the water. They one of the country’s few facilities certified to teach the entire student range, along with national-level instructors. A variety of small group and private lessons are available, such as keelboat sailing.