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Archives for August 2012

What to Visit in L.A. on a Layover: Marina del Rey

Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey

Only a 10 minute drive from LAX, Marina del Rey is a nice place to visit during a layover in Los Angeles.

When your travel plans take you through LAX and you have a layover of three hours or more, you’ll have time to escape Los Angeles International Airport and visit some of LA’s nicest coastal areas.

Marina del Rey is only five miles north of LAX. It’s an easy ten minute drive when it’s not rush hour and, even at peak travel times, Lincoln Boulevard (Highway 1) isn’t among LA’s most traveled roads.

Marina del Rey is the world’s largest man-made small craft harbor and home to more than 5,000 boats. Much of the waterfront is lined with sidewalks, an ideal place for a brisk walk or relaxing stroll to stretch your legs in between long airplane flights.

Marina del Rey is home to an array of interesting restaurants, from casual to upscale dining. For casual dining on the waterfront, try Tony P’s Dockside Grill, with its large outside deck overlooking the water, or large inside bar. If you’re looking for something more upscale, try Cafe del Rey (one of LA’s best restaurants) or the Ritz Carlton Hotel. The Cheesecake Factory, the Chart House and the Warehouse are some chain restaurants located in the marina.  Shanghai Reds in Fisherman’s Village offers a tropical theme and a large outside dining area.

You might want to begin at the Marina del Rey Visitors Center, at Admiralty Way & Mindanao.  There are some restaurants within walking distance.  Right down the street from the visitors center is Burton Chace Park, located on a hilly peninsula at the end of Mindanao Way. Chace Park is a nice spot for a walk and ‘yacht watching.’ There are several private yacht clubs around the marina, too.

Some of my favorite spots in Marina del Rey include Cafe del Rey (a terrific ‘special occasion’ restaurant), Mermaid Cafe is a good spot for a super casual breakfast or lunch (it’s a little hole in the wall located on the waterside of the Marina Fitness Center.

If you are looking for a place to spend the night, the Best Western Jamaica Bay Inn at Mother’s Beach is a beautiful ‘barefoot elegant’ inn. The fire pit outside the bar is a great place to enjoy a drink on a cool evening, however, the restaurant, Vu, has gotten mixed reviews.

Related: Santa Monica Daycations

I always feel at home when I’m in Marina del Rey, I hope you have the chance to experience this oasis amid the giant city of Los Angeles.

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Marina del Rey

Marina del Rey is a ten minute drive from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) but, it feels like a world away. Travelers who have a 3+ hour layover at LAX can experience the So Cal lifestyle by taking in a waterside meal or walk. If you're into the boating lifestyle, Marina del Rey is terrific place to live or visit.

[img src=]1230Marina del Rey Sunset
[img src=]440Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey
Bring your own room. The Ritz Carlton offers room service to boaters docked at the hotel's slips!
[img src=]11940Marina City Club
This condo highrise is a landmark in Marina del Rey.
[img src=]260Ritz Carlton
The Ritz Carlton on the left, and a modern highrise apartment building on the right.
[img src=]230Marina del Rey
The view from the patio at Killer Shrimp.
[img src=]210Kayaker on Marina del Rey
The calm waters of the Marina is an ideal spot for kayakers.
[img src=]290Mothers Beach
[img src=]550Marina del Rey Harbor, ariel view
[img src=]2370The Bill of Rights sails into Marina del Rey
The Bill of Rights, a 137 foot replica vintage sailing ship, sails into Marina del Rey, CA on Wednesday, May 16th. The public can tour the Bill of Rights on Saturday and Sunday, May 19-20, during MarinaFest 2012. Image courtesy of