I’m so excited to share my first installation in a new series where I showcase different neighborhoods and cities around Southern California. Los Angeles is truly one of my favorite cities in the world, so I thought it would be fun to share a few hand-picked spots and take you on a tour as if you were visiting for the weekend. Just picture me on the loudspeaker of a double-decker red bus and you’ll have the image. ;)
What better place to start than my own home, Marina Del Rey, California?
Marina Del Rey is sandwiched between the vibrant, muscle-tee loving Venice Beach and Playa Del Rey, which is just next to the Los Angeles International Airport. Like many beach towns in Southern California, the vibe is more relaxed than most of Los Angeles. The air smells salty, surfboards are commonplace on front porches, and many people sport a year-round tan.
For our first stop on the tour, we’re heading to the Marina Del Rey Public Library. I can’t say that a large portion of the population frequents our library, but I think it captures the smaller town feel of the Marina.
The boating community is central to the Marina, as you can imagine. By far, the biggest holiday each year is the 4th of July, when seemingly half the population hops on a boat and heads out to watch the fireworks from the water. For that one day a year, the entire town buzzes with excitement. The paths that line the marina are filled with people of all ages who are grilling, chatting, and celebrating.
Visiting the library gave me serious nostalgia. I love my Kindle, but there really is something about sifting through bookshelves, isn’t there?
Next up, we have Burton W. Chase Park, which is ideal for walking your favorite fluffy friend.
The park is lush and well-kept, which makes it perfect for hosting a summer BBQ and inviting all of your friends.
Like most anywhere in the Marina, the perimeter is surrounded by water.
It’s breezy and relaxing, and most everyone smiles at each other in recognition.
Perhaps the most well-known place in the Marina is Fisherman’s Village, which is a kitschy, brightly-colored miniature town where you can board a boat for a morning of parasailing.
The village feels quintessentially coastal. Street museums and kids with ice cream cones are commonplace. It really lights up in the summertime.
Remember these? I used to beg my mom for a ride when we left Fred Meyer.
Time for lunch, don’t you think? Let’s stop by the outdoor mall.
This is by far one of my most-visited spots here in the Marina. It’s nearly always full of people strolling through the restaurants and shopping. I only wish it were twice the size!
Kreation Organic just opened, so I thought I’d take a peek inside.
I picked up a pineapple-pear-ginger-mint concoction. Doesn’t that just sound refreshing?
My favorite stop at the mall is Mendocino Farms, whose sandwiches make up an entire food group for me. But really, you can’t go wrong! Fancy some Chipotle? Need to stock up on life jackets at West Marine? There’s even a Sephora opening in a few months!
Now that we’re fed and happy, it’s time to visit my absolute favorite place in town…
The Marina Del Rey beach! Isn’t is beautiful? I love those classic lifeguard stations.
Sailors voyage out to sea from the Marina at all times of day. So do kayakers!
It doesn’t get better than salty air and a sandy beach. This one is particularly nice because it doesn’t get too busy. I swear the water gets warm in the summertime. Bring a book and some sunnies and you’re ready to go!
I hope you all enjoyed this little tour. I’m planning to make this a regular feature here on the blog, if you all love it as much as I do! Here’s to playing tourist in our own towns. :)