Magazine article Sunset

L.A. Day Trip Marina del Rey

Magazine article Sunset

L.A. Day Trip Marina del Rey

Article excerpt

Why go now: Venice's lowerkey neighbor is ramping things up with splashy new eats and summer adventure. On a driveby: You'll see a kitschy New England-themed Fisherman's Village, South Pacific-inspired street names (Bora Bora, Fiji Way), and prefab condos. But look more closely: For waterfront walks and bike paths along Admiralty Way, sweet beaches, killer kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. A wild water park: Snowy egrets and blue herons hang out in the Ballona Lagoon on the scenic southern tip of the Marina Peninsula. Or take a guided tour of the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve (balionafriends.org). Go green: Starting Memorial Day, a free summer shuttle bus leaves nearby Playa Vista and stops at the marina and Venice Pier (every half-hourTri-Sun). Blue views: Stroll the main channel's north jetty as boats sail to and from the Pacific; look for sea lions, pelicans, and coastal views that stretch from Catalina to Malibu.

1. A better day at the beach

Opened in 1965, the MDR marina is the largest manmade small-boat harbor in the world, with room for 4,500 vessels. And the Marina Peninsula has some of the widest beaches around - since parking is limited, the shore feels more private than nearby Santa Monica.

2. Swirl and sip

Tucked among the shops where the boulevard meets the beach, Bin 73 wine bar has an around-the-world wine list and a happy hour (4-7) with $5 glasses and $3 snacks (cheese- and nut-rolled grapes, flatbreads, peel-and-eat shrimp, sliders, crabcakes). The cozy front patio is great for people-watching. 16 Washington Blvd.; 310/827-6203.

3. Catch a ride on the water

Weekends starting June 22, the colorful Marina del Rey WaterBus ($1 one-way; 310/628-3213) makes seven stops, including Fisherman's Village, Mother's (aka Marina) Beach, and Burton Chace Park. It's especially handy on summer concert nights in the park, when the bus runs until midnight. chacepark.com/events. …

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