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Planning Your Trip

Befitting its name, Marina del Rey is the world’s largest man-made small-craft harbor, which makes this small inlet the unofficial watersport and boating capital of Los Angeles County. Plus, add in the numerous neighboring beaches, each with its own distinct character, and you have the makings of a fun-filled retreat. Here’s what to pack for your trip.


Beach Vacation

Southern California’s beaches are the stuff of legend. Whether you prefer celebrity-laden Malibu, the carnival entertainment of Santa Monica Pier, or the surfer haven of Manhattan Beach, make sure to pack the necessities for a worry-free time in the sand.

 

  • Even if you don’t plan on surfing, a wetsuit rental is a good idea if you want to swim since the Pacific Ocean is generally cold.  
  • Bring a canvas tote to carry your beach essentials — towels, sunscreen, hats, lots of reading material, casual cover-ups and toys for the kids.
  • Nights will be chilly — pack a sweatshirt or comfy cardigan.

Summer Escape

Summer is all about spending plenty of time on the water. From Marina del Rey, you can participate in watersports, then charter a yacht for the most quintessential seasonal pastime — a sunset cruise.

 

 

 

  • Pack a swimsuit for parasailing, paddle boarding, snorkeling and windsurfing.
  • Casual shorts and tanks are a classic summer uniform in Southern California.
  • For fancy boat charters, throw in a few silk dresses and khakis and button-downs.
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Weekend Getaway

Alfresco dining and imbibing along the marina, boat rides out in the blue Pacific and shopping on illustrious avenues (like Venice’s Abbot Kinney Boulevard or Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive) are the perfect ingredients for a relaxing weekend escape.

 

 

  • Keep your wardrobe simple with jeans, loose tees, flat sandals, and sneakers.
  • For more upscale restaurants and bars, a blazer and a dressier pair of shoes will seamlessly upgrade your daytime look for evening.
  • In the event of a fruitful shopping excursion, pack an extra carry-on to bring home your new acquisitions.
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Don’t Forget:

Californians are all about embracing an active and healthy lifestyle. Coupled with warm weather year-round, hiking here is practically a way of life. With an abundance of beautiful, scenic trails from Malibu to Los Feliz, you won’t want to miss out. Bring hiking shoes or sneakers and workout clothes.  


Marina del Rey reaps the benefits of proximity to L.A.’s diverse neighborhoods while also retaining its own charm and character. Take advantage of an impressive dining scene, loads of kid-friendly activities and the many diversions Los Angeles has to offer.

Dining Reservations

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Perhaps fueled by the emergence of Silicon Beach next door, Marina del Rey has become its own foodie haven. At The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey’s Cast & Plow, Chef Umit Kaygusuz has created an inventive small-plates menu using locally sourced ingredients and produce. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the restaurant (especially the outdoor fireside tables) boasts unparalleled views of the harbor and those glorious West Coast sunsets. For artisan, farm-fresh sandwiches, head to local favorite Mendocino Farms and be prepared to wait — it will be worth it. Should you feel like venturing to Venice next door, make a reservation at Gjelina, one of the best New American restaurants in town.  

Spa Appointments

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After so much time spent in the sun and on the water, your body will crave a break. Get the advantages of a full spa day in just 90 minutes with The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Marina del Rey’s Bliss Body Ritual, which indulges you with a sugar scrub, body wrap, massage and scalp treatment. Fight the effects of the sun with a Citrus Essence facial, which drenches your skin with vitamin C and other nutrients. Or you can just spend some time zoning out in the eucalyptus steam room.

Children’s Activities

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Before the development of Marina del Rey, the whole area was a salt marsh. Some of it has been preserved in the form of the Ballona Wetlands, an ecological sanctuary where you can spot over 300 species of birds. And don’t forget you’re in a city full of theme parks, from Disneyland to Universal Studios (which, of course, is home to the immensely popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter). For water activities, the concierge at The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey will help you book anything from kayaks to Jet-Skis.   

Day Trips


In just a few years, downtown L.A. — an erstwhile no man’s land — has become one of the hottest neighborhoods in the city, with places that are harder to get into than the swankiest Hollywood clubs. Visit the highly acclaimed contemporary art museum The Broad, which opened in 2015 and hasn’t gone a day without a line to get in (reserve a time in advance). Have dinner at Bestia, run by husband-and-wife duo Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis, whose creative interpretations of Italian fare continually put it at the top of every gourmand’s list. And don’t miss a performance by the dynamic Los Angeles Philharmonic, an experience enhanced by the iconic Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall that the orchestra calls home.  


12 Hours

Even if you only have a day, it’s easy to fall into the healthy, effortlessly cool California lifestyle oozing from Marina del Rey. The sun-and-surf-based local attitude is contagious and easy to embrace. Begin your day on the water with a stand-up paddle board lesson and reward your efforts with a locavore breakfast of trendy avocado toast and fresh-pressed juice. 

 

 

 

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Family Vacation Fun

Marina del Rey offers nonstop activities, both indoors and out. From thrilling adventures, like paragliding above the Pacific or surfing its waves, to fun-filled educational activities, like feeding sea stars and going behind the scenes of a movie studio. Catch a game at Dodger Stadium or pretend you’re in Italy with a gondola ride through the Venice canals. Throughout the week, you can fuel your sightseeing with fresh-from-the-farm-and-sea meals and artisanal sweet treats. 

 

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