As one of Southern California's most prized recreational areas, Marina Del Rey is the realization of a dream that spans more than 100 years. This marina has endured bankruptcy, two world wars and Mother Nature. Today, it has transformed into a popular destination for day visitors, tourists, water sports enthusiasts, business travelers and anglers. Fishing is not permitted on the docks; the only fishing allowed in the marina is on berthed vessels and at designated fishing piers dispersed throughout the marina.
The marina itself is surrounded by high-rise condos, hotels, apartments, shops and restaurants. It was designed for small boats and pleasure crafts; in fact, it is one of the largest small boat harbors in the US. Since this is a marina and not an actual pier, Marina Del Rey does not have the highest fishing profile especially since the harbor has an average depth of 15-21 feet. Despite the lack of a pier, there are some avid anglers that claim this marina as their own fishing spot.
This multi-faceted destination was opened to the public in 1965 and formally dedicated as Marina Del Rey. Since then, the marina has been part of a continuing vision that keeps growing. Additions that have been made during the years include more than 1,900 feet of guest boat docks, 180 feet of public fishing docks, Admiralty Park (which was later renamed Yvonne B. Burke Park in 2009), and a promenade.
Today Marina Del Rey offers more than 6,000 recreational boat slips, one of the highest densities of restaurant seating in a one-square-mile area and plenty of boat launching ramps that provide access to over 100,000 trailer-class boats annually. Before Marina Del Rey was developed, it was a salt-marsh fed by freshwater from the Ballona Creek, frequented by duck hunters and few others.
A trip to Marina Del Rey is not complete without stepping foot out on Burton W. Chace Park. The park was named in honor of the Father of the marina and long time LA County Supervisor. The park offers 10 acres of lush lawn and trees that extends into the Marina’s main channel, a great harbor viewing area, multipurpose rooms, picnic tables, barbecues, guest docks and hosts a number of events year-round, including free outdoor summer concerts. Burton W. Chace Park has been the site of many weddings, and like the Santa Monica pier, it has been used for scenes on television shows. Admission to the park and harbor is free.