By Jonathan Smith
The district of Marina del Rey in Los Angeles, California, offers a relaxed Pacific Coast waterfront location with convenient links to the rest of the city.
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Living in a quietly upmarket residential area does not mean you have to be stuck out in the suburbs. Marina del Rey is a 30-minute stroll along the seafront to the beach action of Venice, not to mention the myriad shops, galleries and eateries in this coolest of districts.
Santa Monica is further away, but still only 20 minutes by bicycle thanks to the Marvin Braude Bike Trail, also known as The Strand, a 22-mile paved route that takes in some of the best of LA’s coastline and is almost entirely traffic-free.
Running from Pacific Palisades in the north to Torrance Beach in the south, the only point where the route leaves the beach and joins the road is to take a short detour around Marina del Rey.
By car, LA’s rejuvenated Downtown is 30 to 60 minutes away, depending on traffic. And Marina del Rey is less than 20 minutes from Los Angeles International Airport.
Those lucky enough to have their own vessel can choose from numerous yacht clubs at Marina del Rey, including Del Rey Yacht Club, California Yacht Club, Santa Monica Windjammers YC and Pacific Mariners YC. Newbies can learn to sail at Bluewater Sailing school, while for more casual adventures there is a range of boat charters and cruises from various outfits on Fiji Way, including Marina Del Rey Sportfishing.
For something different, Marina del Rey Parasailing takes passengers 800ft in the air, while Paddle Method offers stand-up paddle-board lessons and rentals. Romantics dreaming of the original Venice can even take a tour with Gondolas D’Amore.
Food with a view
Residents are spoilt for choice when it comes to restaurants overlooking the water. Beachside, Tony P’s Dockside Grill and Chart House (known for its lobster) all specialise in seafood. Cafe Del Rey is far from cheap but gets rave reviews for its cuisine, polished service and outstanding views of the marina. For international flavours try Sapori Italian Restaurant or Sugarfish by Sushi Nozawa.
Los Angeles enjoys an average of 3,254 hours of sunshine each year — about twice as many as London or Paris, and a full 700 hours more than New York or Rome. Marina del Rey is on a south-west-facing part of the city’s coastal strip, making it easy to take advantage of the rays. Many town houses have roof terraces that are perfect for sunset watching and evening drinks.
Marina del Ray is not a cheap district but compares favourably with other prime coastal areas of the city. The median price of homes listed at the end of November 2018 was $1,222,628 for the Marina del Rey postal area, according to real estate database Zillow, compared with $2,075,000 for neighbouring Venice and $1,699,000 for Santa Monica.
The median home value was $1,089,700, up 8.7 per cent year on year. Zillow predicts values in Marina del Rey will grow 6.3 per cent in the 12 months from November, outpacing the 4.3 per cent gain forecast for both Venice and Santa Monica.
Photographs: Alamy; Getty Images/iStockphoto