Boaters the all around the world come to Los Angeles to play in the sun and sand, and there are many marinas for them to choose from. Of the numerous options, Marina del Ray Marina, King Harbor Marina, Cabrillo Way Marina, and Rainbow Harbor and Marina, are likely to be excellent choices.
Marinas in the Los Angeles Area
The thrill of boating stems from being out on the open water, surrounded by the elements. But at the end of the day, most boaters will want to know that they can tie up their boat somewhere safe, where hot showers and perhaps some food and entertainment are readily available. In Southern California, boating opportunities and marinas are plentiful. There are a few marinas in the Los Angeles area, however, that stand apart and offer both hospitable amenities and access to a wide variety of dining and entertainment options for the discerning boater.
Marina del Rey Marina, Marina del Rey
Once a salt marsh frequented by duck hunters in the 1890s, it took many years and more than a few attempts to transform the wetlands into Marina del Rey as it is known and loved today. While still a rather new city (it was only dedicated in 1965), this coastal town is not lacking in charm. With the ambiance of a sleepy seaside village but the activities to keep even the most active entertained, Marina del Rey Marina offers a lovely spot to begin to experience the delights of this treasure by the seashore.
Marina del Rey is an ideal place to enjoy the delights of Southern California away from the majority of the hustle and bustle associated with the city. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the beach community by walking or biking, or head to Fisherman’s Village to fish off the dock, check out the shops or dine at a waterfront restaurant. There are free live music concerts and movie showings in the park year-round (weather permitting).
Marina del Rey Harbor is the biggest man-made small boat harbor in the United States and is perfectly situated for you to begin your exploration of the harbor and beyond. Marina del Rey Marina prides itself on catering to its members by hosting all kinds of monthly events where boaters can meet and mingle. Non-members are by no means forgotten, however, as there are plenty of guest slips available. With your slip comes certain benefits such as:
- Restrooms with showers
- Laundry facility
- Water and power hookups
- Dock box
In addition to these features, nearby you can find bait, a fuel dock, public launch ramp, pump-out station, maintenance facilities, and a ship’s store.
King Harbor Marina, Redondo Beach
Renowned all over the world for its incredible beach, Redondo Beach has been a popular vacation destination since the 1880s. It is one of the three beach cities in LA County, and boaters, surfers, and adventurers alike make the trek year round to see what all of the hype is about. If you are looking to sample a bit of that quintessential “SoCal” beach-y lifestyle, then set your course for King Harbor Marina, Redondo Beach.
The location defines the culture here, so activities like beach volleyball and surfing are immensely popular, as are other outdoor activities such as boating or fishing. Once you tie up your boat in King Harbor, you can walk or bike The Strand (a 22-mile long paved bicycle path), or explore the meandering Redondo Beach Pier, where you can shop, dine, fish, take a ride on a tilt-a-whirl, test your skills in the arcade, or check out the shark exhibit. If the kids are still clamoring for more activities, the nearby AdventurePlex has plenty to offer them with an indoor gymnasium, outdoor rock climbing walls, rope courses, tunnels, and mazes.
King Harbor Marina is a large, privately owned facility that has been around since 1966. It can accommodate vessels of various sizes (up to 83-feet long), and is home to two yacht clubs, a marine hardware store, free pump-out station, fuel dock, and repair yard. Boat slips at King Harbor Marina also come with:
- Storage locker
- Power, water, telephone, and cable hookups
- Land lockers
- Dinghy racks
- Laundry rooms
- Secured parking
Cabrillo Way Marina, San Pedro
Since the 1540s, when Spanish ships first arrived, San Pedro has been attracting seafarers. It is a small, quirky town with a lot of character and history to match. The Cabrillo Way Marina is just the place to tie up your boat to go ashore and explore.
Home of the US Navy Battle Fleet from 1919 to 1940, San Pedro is a town steeped in maritime tradition. You can pay homage to that history by visiting Ports o’ Call Village to view the Los Angeles Maritime Museum, or to visit the battleship USS Iowa. While you are in Ports o’ Call, you can enjoy dining and shopping at a number of places along the waterfront — most of which offer a great vantage point for viewing the busy workings of the Port of Los Angeles. Stroll by the Irving and Exy Johnson boats — a pair of twin brigantines, or visit historical landmarks such as the Point Fermin Lighthouse or the Korean Friendship Bell.
One of the best things about the Cabrillo Way Marina is its proximity to the ocean and all that lies beyond it. Cabrillo Way Marina that it is the closest marina to the beautiful Catalina Island (22 miles from the marina to Avalon, the primary town on the island), and it provides the shortest route to Angel’s Gate (the opening of the Port of Los Angeles). The marina also offers:
- Free parking
- 695 wet slips
- Water and electricity hookups
- Dinghy and kayak racks
- Picnic area
- Pump-out station
Rainbow Harbor and Marina, Long Beach
By turns a seaside resort and a wartime industrial center, Long Beach has had many faces over the years. And while times have changed, Long Beach’s connection with the ocean lifestyle has not diminished. Rainbow Harbor and Rainbow Harbor Marina attract boaters, visitors, and locals alike with their extensive dining and shopping options and proximity to a myriad of cultural experiences.
In addition to the famous Aquarium of the Pacific, the Rainbow Harbor Marina is also minutes away from art museums like the Long Beach Museum of Art and the Museum of Latin American Art, as well as the Long Beach Symphony and the Long Beach Opera. The city also plays host to a growing number of music festivals, and it enjoys a thriving theater scene with at least three playhouses and many smaller “black box” theaters.
Away from the established art centers is the picturesque East Village Arts District, and Long Beach is renowned for its street art (one stunning example being a mural by artist Robert Wyland — one of his famous Whaling Walls on the Long Beach Sports Arena). Shoreline Village is a very popular place to shop and relax, and you can see such historic vessels such as the Queen Mary, or sailing ships like American Pride and SSV Tole Mour.
Rainbow Harbor Marina is an excellent place to stop in for the day to see the sights or take part in an event, and (depending on your needs) you can select from:
- 87 slips for commercial and recreational boats
- A 150-foot long dock inside the marina
- A 250-foot stretch of guest mooring outside of the entrance to the harbor
Tying Up Your Boat in Los Angeles
Whether you are stopping in LA for a day in the sun or for an extended stay to relish the many diversions that SoCal can offer, there are plenty of exceptional marinas for you to steer your boat into. Marina del Ray Marina and King Harbor Marina can offer you the charm and relative remoteness of northern LA, while Cabrillo Way Marina and Rainbow Harbor Marina can put you at the exciting junction where the city meets the sea.