Marina del Rey offers an incredible summer escape, complete with luxe accommodations, culinary delights and activities aplenty
Written by Beth Fhaner
Ah, summer—the perfect time for basking in the sun and slowing down the often-frenetic pace of life. For anyone desiring some much-needed R&R this season, consider a getaway to Marina del Rey—a seaside community recognized for having the world’s largest man-made small-craft harbor. An easy drive from Orange County, L.A.’s premier waterfront playground offers numerous activities to satisfy both ocean lovers and landlubbers alike.
The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey serves as a convenient home base while exploring the local area, which also offers close proximity to Venice Beach and Santa Monica. Overlooking the marina, the elegant property boasts 304 recently updated guest rooms—many with water views and design elements that reflect the area’s natural environment, including sea urchin headboards and geode desk lamps. Other property amenities include lighted tennis courts, a fitness center, and a waterfront pool and Jacuzzi area with cabanas, in addition to Spa del Rey, which features a full menu of wellness treatments, plus a eucalyptus steam room. For an on-site dining experience, Cast & Plow serves local sustainable cuisine, with seasonal dishes hand-selected by Executive Chef Umit Kaygusuz. At this sophisticated resto, guests can indulge in a sunset dinner and cocktails while enjoying picturesque waterfront views and tabletop fire pits.
Additional spots for savory fare and libations around the Marina include Cafe del Rey, which offers coastal-inspired, contemporary California cuisine in a romantic seaside setting. Sinder Lounge (at the Marina del Rey Marriott) presents a stylish, hip vibe and tasty small plates and flatbreads, in addition to an impressive wine list, craft beer and hand-crafted cocktails. And don’t miss Killer Shrimp Restaurant & Bar, a dockside eatery with a mouthwatering signature dish, Killer Shrimp—fresh shrimp cooked to order in a secret spicy sauce, served with French bread. As a “dock and dine” destination, Killer Shrimp also features a public boat dock, so guests can work up an appetite by kayaking, boating or paddleboarding to their meal.
A Hornblower Brunch Cruise is another highly recommended, cuisine-centric activity. Guests are welcomed aboard with a bottomless glass of champagne and then invited to devour a scrumptious buffet—a variety of appetizers, classic American breakfast dishes and divine desserts. During the cruise, guests are treated to live music and invited to partake of the stunning views and ocean breezes from the top deck. Post-cruise, plan to spend some time exploring Fisherman’s Village, which hosts free live concerts weekends on the plaza and also features retail shops, eateries, and the Marina del Rey Historical Exhibit & Gallery.
Outdoor enthusiasts have a plethora of activities to choose from too, including on-the-water activities such as SUP, kayaking, parasailing, boating, sportfishing, gondola tours, and more. The UCLA Marina Aquatic Center offers sailing, rowing, surfing, kayaking, and windsurfing classes to both locals and short-term visitors, too. Yogis might also like to try a trendy workout that includes a yoga class on a stand-up paddleboard at YOGAqua. Landlubbers can rent bikes at Fisherman’s Village and explore the 22-mile Marvin Braude Coastal Bike Trail (also known as “The Strand”), or opt for a stroll through Burton W. Chace Park, a 10-acre, waterfront green space that also makes an ideal picnic spot. The popular Marina del Rey Summer Concert Series, held annually at Burton W. Chace Park, features live performances of pop, alt-rock, folk and classical music. For those desiring an eco-adventure, Ballona Wetlands includes 600 acres of protected habitat, highlighting hundreds of plant species and birds. A public walking trail runs along the perimeter, and docent tours are available as well.
With The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey’s convenient location and luxury accommodations, not to mention delicious cuisine and abundant water-based adventures, L.A.’s sparkling coast shines ever brighter. Marina del Rey’s moniker translates to “Harbor of the King,” and one will certainly feel akin to royalty while enjoying the Westside’s premier waterfront playground this summer.