by: Parimal M. Rohit
original article: https://www.thelog.com/local/marina-del-rey-a-luxurious-aquatic-playground/
High-priced development has certainly changed the harbor’s dynamic, but there are still plenty of activities for everyone to enjoy.
MARINA DEL REY—If there were one place where the images of champagne wishes and caviar dreams play out on a yacht, it would be called Marina del Rey. The coastal enclave tucked away near the southwestern edge of Los Angeles’s Westside is certainly home to high-priced properties and expensive yachts. Marina del Rey also happens to be the largest man-made small craft harbor in the United States. The harbor is home to 4,602 slips, 22 anchorages and marinas, and an offshore sportfishing fleet. Those who set foot off of their boats and onto land will find a myriad of activities to do in and around Marina del Rey, whether it is a jazz concert at one of the local restaurants, catching some waves at Venice Beach or grabbing a flight out of nearby LAX.
The Log’s first special issue of 2019 delves into the personality of Marina del Rey, where thousands of boaters call home. We’ll take a look at a little but of the harbor’s history, delve into the many dining options in the area, discuss future of waterfront development, introduce a few environmental initiatives to keep the local water clean and highlight a few upcoming events.
Marina del Rey might be undergoing a major facelift on land, what with several new developments popping up almost daily (or so it seems). Yet boating is still a major attraction here – not surprisingly, since Marina del Rey is one of the largest recreational boating harbors on the West Coast.
There are nearly two-dozen anchorages and marinas in Marina del Rey, for boat owners seeking to dock at the large man-made harbor. Those who don’t have their own boat can certainly sign up for a charter or rental at one of the many companies in Marina del Rey offering such services. Some of those companies include Charter L.A. Yachts, FantaSea Yachts, Hornblower Cruises and Events, Marina del Rey Boat Rentals, Naos Yachts and Uniq Yacht Charters, among others.
Hopping on an offshore fishing excursion out of Marina del Rey might not seem like a thing, but there is indeed a sportfishing fleet out of the county-managed coastal enclave. Offshore catches often include halibut, yellowfin, perch, barracuda, rockfish, cod, mackerel and sea bass.
L.A. Sportfishing offers half-, three-quarter- and full-day fishing trips out of Marina del Rey. It’s not uncommon for anglers to catch barracuda, bonito, calico bass, halibut, lingcod, rockfish, sand bass or spiny lobster.
Anglers can also board a fishing charter out of Marina del Rey Sportfishing. A recently published fish report had New Del Mar returning to shore with 399 rockfish, 55 whitefish and three sculpin for 45 anglers.
There are plenty of on-the-water activities to be enjoyed at or near Marina del Rey, such as kayaking, standup paddleboarding, gondola rides and parasailing. Some people might enjoy taking a dinner cruise aboard a Hornblower yacht. Others might want to head out to sea and taking in some whale watching. Then there are those who enjoy a quick navigation around Marina del Rey aboard the WaterBus, which is an aquatic taxi service available for $1 per ride.
A new on-the-water activity is yogaqua, which is yoga on a standup paddleboard. Yogaqua activities take place at Mother’s Beach.
Anyone who wants to do more than boat, fish, kayak, standup paddleboard or whale watch can certainly take in other activities in Marina del Rey. A Farmer’s Market is regularly held on the west side of the harbor, at Lot 11 (next to The Cheesecake Factory). You can buy fresh produce, creative gifts and other items at the outdoor marketplace.
Here is a list of other activities you can enjoy by or near the water:
- Take a self-guided tour of the Ballona Wetlands, a freshwater and saltwater marsh
- Bike along a 22-mile bicycle trail cutting through Marina del Rey
- Join the Burton Chace Park Walking Club
- Visit Fisherman’s Village, a replica of a New England seaport and fishing village
- Play tennis at the Ritz-Carlton
- Visit Venice Beach, the Venice Canals and Venice Pier.
Marina del Rey has changed dramatically in recent years, what with the dramatic increase of high-end condominiums and apartments popping up all around the coastal enclave. Thousands of new residents could soon be calling Marina del Rey home once all the development is complete. The Log will continue to provide full coverage of Marina del Rey’s waterfront development.