Beyond its off-shore venues and land-based event space, planners are mad for the Marina because its location provides a breadth of unique group activities. Touting one of the largest manmade harbors in the country, the Marina is rife with options, perfect for team-building and group activities.
Scour the waters for a truly different outing. Charter a private vessel and hit the open waters of the Pacific, with a deep-sea fishing excursion with Marina del Rey Sportfishing. Coordinate friendly competition amongst groups with your very own mini-sailing regatta with Blue Water Sailing or Blue Pacific Boating. Build team spirit in organizing group rowing lessons with the Whitehall Spirit Rowing Club or through the UCLA Marina Aquatic Center. Let loose in the Marina channel by renting jet skis, kayaks or power boats from Marina Boat Rentals. Soar above land with an exhilarating parasailing excursion with Marina del Rey Parasailing. Entertain groups and mingle with locals on a sunset cocktail or blues cruise with Hornblower Cruises & Events.
If land is more your beat, the Marina is generous with outdoor activities. Plan a relaxing nature walk and bird-watching expedition along the southern Jetty, which borders Ballona Wetlands – a freshwater marsh filled with hundreds of acres of unique birds and other wildlife. The wetlands are also available for group tours and hands-on restoration activities. For a more active jaunt, round up the group for a collective bike ride or power walk along the famed 22-mile Marvin Braude coastal bicycle trail that winds through the heart of the Marina. Jumpstart or wind down the day's events, with a sunrise or sunset stroll along Marina Walk, taking in ocean air and views of sleek vessels.
For groups wanting to explore the surrounding area, look no further than the next town over - the eclectic, artsy, street carnival that is Venice Beach. Turn your conference into a tourist adventure by visiting the illustrious Ocean Front Walk, bursting with artists, street performers and other circus-like characters. Groups can take in the world famous Muscle Beach and participate in a pick-up game of basketball on the beachside courts. A softer outing can include a saunter through the picturesque Venice Canals or a jaunt down the hip and vibrant Abbot Kinney Boulevard – a shopping district lined with funky boutiques and stylish eateries. Continue your adventure into Santa Monica, where groups can take refuge in endless happy hours, rows of shopping and a lively night scene.
Additional Marina Del Rey Information/History
Once a large estuary, Marina Del Rey is one of the largest manmade harbors in the U.S. Known for its relaxed lifestyle centered around the marina, don't let this small community fool you; even though it's only 807 acres (half of which are underwater), this walking-friendly community is bursting with waterside eateries, boutique shops, water and outdoor recreation and entertainment.
On any given day, visitors to Marina Del Rey can take in an outdoor concert, board a 32-foot luxury gondola, explore walking trails, charter a yacht or parasail above the harbor. Shopping options include Fishermen's Village, a 1970s New England seaport and a great location for recreation and sport fishing, complete with anchorage, dining options, water activities and free weekend concerts. The stylish Waterside at Marina Del Rey is home to dozens of upscale shops, restaurants and spa services, while the eclectic Abbott Kinney Boulevard, located in the center of Venice's creative community, is just a short distance from Marina Del Rey.
Outdoor recreation options in Marina Del Rey include the 10-acre Burton Chace Park, which juts out into the main channel and features a multi-purpose room, picnic areas, pergolas, guest docks and barbecue areas. One of the last remaining wetlands in Los Angeles, Ballona Wetlands is available for group tours and hands-on restoration activities, while its public trail around the freshwater marsh is open daily to the public.
Marina Del Rey is home to more than a dozen group-friendly waterfront eateries in close proximity to the community's hotels, serving innovative dining options and cuisine for every palate. In fact, the community features more than 60 restaurants within a two-mile radius. Restaurant options include the famous Cafe Del Rey, which serves sophisticated California Mediterranean cuisine in a romantic, seaside setting. Shanghai Red's serves California cuisine in a tropical setting, complete with full-service, all-inclusive event planning for group gatherings. Tony P's Dockside Grill serves generous portions of steak, seafood and pasta in a cozy, waterfront setting, while the Warehouse Restaurant – one of the first businesses to open in Marina Del Rey – serves delicious steaks, chops and fresh fish in a whimsical, fun Polynesian atmosphere. Finally, the legendary Killer Shrimp, known for its signature spicy killer shrimp offering, is an edgy 5,000-square-foot eatery graced with intimate booths, family-style tables and private dining space. The California contemporary Chart House Restaurant offers up seafood and steak for up to 215 with a waterside view.