Four Hours: There’s a New England town hiding in SoCal

Marina del Rey may be nestled between two neighborhoods that seem to attract the most attention – quirky Venice and the technological landscape of Playa del Rey – but it’s not likely to be overshadowed: it’s a great place for you. conveniently takes you to the water’s edge.

(Lou Spirito for the weather)

As the largest man-made small craft harbor in North America, Marina del Rey is a water playground. Meet early to beat the crowds and enjoy the calm, cool sea.

9h00 Book a beginner’s stand-up paddle course with Paddle Method owner Tim Sanford. Each hour-long lesson begins on the sands of Mother’s Beach at 4135 Admiralty Way.

Students take beginner's classes with Tim Sanford, right, from Paddle Method: Stand Up Paddle Board LA in Marina del Rey.

Students take beginner’s classes with Tim Sanford, right, from Paddle Method: Stand Up Paddle Board LA in Marina del Rey.

(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

“This is the best time to come because the wind hasn’t picked up and it’s less crowded,” said Sanford as he prepared a 10-foot board. “Water is like glass.”

During the lesson, the certified World Paddle Assn. The instructor introduces students to the basics of kneeling, standing and walking on a paddle board. Then it’s time to get in the water and show off your skills. Don’t worry, falling only means you’re wet.

10:00 a.m. After your lesson, cross the street for a shot of caffeine at Buna’s at 552 Washington Blvd. Ditch your regular coffee and get something exciting instead, like Buna Honey, which includes espresso, honey, cinnamon, and any steamed milk of your choice.

10:15 a.m. There is only one proper way to get around here: a scooter. With so many options, including Bird, Lime, and probably others that we haven’t heard of yet, you’re bound to find a few. Choose your brand, download its app and take a ride around the marina to the fishing village at 13755 Fiji Way. No scooter for you? Lyft or Uber (or take in the waterfront views on a walk that will take about 30 minutes.) If you’re visiting after June 20, you’ve got an even better option: take a water taxi straight from Mother’s Beach at Fisherman’s Village for only $ 1.50.

10:30 Fisherman’s Village is a place time – and developers – have forgotten. Yes, it’s kitsch, but that’s what makes it so interesting to visit. More reminiscent of Maine than California, the small strip offers several restaurants and cafes, including a delicious ice cream parlor.

A pair of kayakers walk past pinnipeds in the sun on a dock in Marina del Rey.

(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

The village is the best place for Instagram-worthy photos, thanks to the vibrant buildings and a plentiful seal population apparently ready and willing to take selfies. If you happen to be there on a Saturday, there is a farmers market and live music on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the spring and summer.

11:30 a.m. Stop at the Historical Society of Marina del Rey. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the history of the marina. Inside, visitors can browse historical photos, a presentation, books and memorabilia. Best of all, free.

Discover the region at the Marina del Rey Historical Assn.  museum in Marina del Rey.

Discover the region at the Marina del Rey Historical Assn. museum in Marina del Rey.

(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

11:45 a.m. It’s time to find another flock of birds to unlock. Climb aboard and return for lunch to Salt at 13534 Bali Way.

Noon Not only does Salt have some of the tastiest food on this side of the 405, it’s also home to the best marina views. When making your reservation, ask for a table at the bottom of the bridge to have a breathtaking view of the passing boats. Since you’re on the water and have a solid appetite, go ahead and order the fish and chips. You deserved it.

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About John A. Provost

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