Los Angeles is home to many of America’s beloved celebrities, the renowned Hollywood Sign, and of course, countless beaches lined along its coast. With all these possibilities, it can be daunting to choose the best activity.
One of the best ways to enjoy southern California beaches is to be in (or on) the water. Boating in Los Angeles is one of the most popular activity and numerous locations offer this experience with its own unique vantage point. Listed below are some of the best locations to set sail.
1. Port of Los Angeles
What better way to explore the maritime industry than the Port of Los Angeles — the nation’s largest port. Located in San Pedro Bay, 25 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, this port provides nearly 1 million jobs in California alone. Countless container boats and cruise liners make their way through the canal and into the sea every day.
Besides its large economic impact, the Port of Los Angeles boasts many cultural and magnificent landmarks. Joining the LA Waterfront are WWII-era warehouses transformed into CRAFT, a large-scale permanent handmade artisan marketplace complete with live music, delicious food trucks and special events. It is also home to the Los Angeles Harbor Lighthouse (also known as “Angel’s Gate”), twin brigantines Exy Johnson and Irving Johnson, and two historic U.S. warships, Battleship IOWA and S.S. Lane Victory.
The Downtown Harbor offers free recreational courtesy docks for the day. Cabrillo Beach hosts a public boat launch and there are even more public landings available for small boats at Berth 84 and Berth 186. Complete this trip by also exploring the Los Angeles Maritime Museum and Ports o’ Call Village for more wine, dine and fun.
2. Redondo Beach
Redondo Beach is the perfect cute, little beach town to go boating in. King Harbor Marina features four marinas where you can find dockside ties, hoists, and slips for your own personal craft. You can also rent or charter boats. Redondo Beach is known for being a popular fishing hub so don’t be surprised when you see plenty of fly-fishing, sport fishing and deep sea charters. The best part after? Delicious seafood!
If you aren’t keen on fishing, try kayaking or scuba diving. The city offers a wide selection of restaurants and shops. If you love art, visit the local mural, “Wyland Whaling Walls” painted by Robert Wyland. Bring your children into the Seaside Lagoon and Sea SEA Laboratory to keep them happy for hours. Lastly, back your bag and just simply enjoy the sunset with a panoramic ocean view.
3. Marina Del Rey
Looking for a little more peace but just as much beach? Marina Del Rey is another beautiful boating destination. Although not as well-known, its anonymity provides an ambiance of tranquility. This largest man-made small-craft marina is a haven for small boats: the harbor consists of 19 marinas and 6000 recreational boat slips. People love to go boating, whale watching, sport fishing and sunbathing here.
Hidden token: The Fisherman’s Village offers free weekend concerts year-round. Get ready to bring your groove on!
4. Port of Long Beach
The Port of Long Beach is the second busiest port in the country. Besides providing 250ft of mooring spaces at the outside entrances, Rainbow Marina offers a dock reserved for day guests and more than 80 slips. It is also home to the historic Queen Mary and the American Pride.
There are plenty of dinner cruises, whale watching, boat rentals and fishing charters to keep your day occupied at sea. Shoreline Village is also a popular tourist destination with several bars, shops, and restaurants for you to check out.
5. Santa Catalina Island
Santa Catalina Island, or Catalina Island, is the perfect, quick getaway from the bustling Los Angeles. Formerly a Hollywood playground, the island still features many of its glamorous glory. Today it is a favorite destination for both tourists and native Angelinos.
Avalon Harbor offers 400 moorings and more are found around the island. Hop on a boat and sail across from mainland. Besides boating, many enjoy snorkeling, kayaking, zip-lining, fishing, parasailing, and even beach bingo (offered every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday). This picturesque town provides much-needed escape from city life.
A popular landmark is the Catalina Casino, which offers a movie theatre, grand ballroom, and small museum. Two Harbors (the only other town on the island) hosts a pirate-themed “Buccaneer Days” festival every October, completely planned by the boating community. Lastly, don’t forget to toast to island by enjoying their signature drink, a Buffalo Milk.
Why discover Los Angeles from the water?
Boating allows you to admire Los Angeles from a new perspective; there are certain sights and sceneries exclusive to a boat. And the best part about the plethora of Los Angeles boating locations is their own vibe and personality. Each harbor has its unique shops, restaurants, and tradition. Rather than enjoying water on land, it’s time to enjoy water on water.
Picture by Lyvly Expert: David D.