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Marina Del Rey

Marina Del Rey boasts that it has the world’s largest man-made small-craft harbor––up to 7,500 boats are docked here. Built in wetlands in 1960, the main channel is 18 to 24 feet deep, 1,000 feet wide, and a mile long. Among the attractions are Marina Beach (known as Mother's Beach); Burton W. Chace Park; Aubrey E. Austin Jr....
Marina Del Rey boasts that it has the world’s largest man-made small-craft harbor––up to 7,500 boats are docked here. Built in wetlands in 1960, the main channel is 18 to 24 feet deep, 1,000 feet wide, and a mile long. Among the attractions are Marina Beach (known as Mother's Beach); Burton W. Chace Park; Aubrey E. Austin Jr. Park, with an accessible jetty walkway and an overlook of the Marina Lagoon; and Fisherman’s Village, a collection of tourist shops and limited food venues. The colorful village was pretty from a distance, but up close we found it rather deserted and run down; access was limited.

Inside the marina, at the north end, is Marina Beach, a small, sheltered swimming beach. There is no surf here, so the water tends to be dirty. The main attraction for wheelchair riders is an accessible 150-foot-long ramp to the water's edge. Depending on the tide, the far end of the ramp will be a few inches or a few feet underwater. A concession stand is north of the restroom building; other dining options include a beachside restaurant or bringing food to barbecue near one of the sheltered picnic tables. A play structure at the beach’s south end, near Panay Way, has an accessible rubber surface in places.

Pretty Burton W. Chace Park overlooks the marina and hosts numerous events throughout the year. Its 50 acres contain shade trees, rolling lawns, sheltered picnic tables, barbecue grills, and a snack bar. Its paved walkways are good for strolling or jogging. Public fishing docks are along the park's edge and there’s a dog run next to the parking lot. The park office displays historical photographs of Santa Monica, Playa del Rey, and the canals of Venice in 1905, when they were new.

Because there’s no contiguous walkway around the marina, it’s easy to feel lost when driving around it. You can’t rely on the shoreline for orientation because buildings often hide it from view, and the shoreline changes direction every few hundred yards. Just keep in mind that you can’t go too far wrong if you stay between Washington Street, Lincoln Boulevard, and Fiji Way.

Visitor center: Make a quick stop at this small information center, housed in a stucco building with a tile roof and a small lighthouse-shaped cupola, for maps and brochures.

Accessibility Details

The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.

Beach Wheelchair: Yes

Available on a first-come, first-served basis at the lifeguard tower;
310 822-6712. At the lot for Marina Beach on Panay Way, the visitor center off Admiralty Way, Burton W. Chace Park, and Fisherman’s Village. Free parking is available for vehicles displaying a disabled placard or license plate on non-holiday weekdays at lots that are either staffed or ungated. The only fully accessible restroom I found is at the park office and rental facility at Burton W. Chace Park (open daily, 7 am-8 pm).

Most restrooms in the marina have limited wheelchair access. Restrooms near the picnic shelter have front-transfer stalls with one side grab bar, but the stalls are too small to close the door with a wheelchair inside. Restrooms outside the visitor center have narrow front-transfer stalls and grab bars, but the entrance doors are heavy and the 90-degree turn into the stalls might be too tight for a large wheelchair. At Marina Beach, restrooms have three-foot-wide stalls with grab bars mounted too high, and the flush valve is hard to reach. There are spacious changing areas in these restrooms.
At Mother’s Beach and Burton W. Chace Park

Other Things of Interest

At the end of Fiji Way you can access the Ballona Creek Trail, which travels west nearly three-quarters of a mile to Dockweiler State Beach.
Accessible path on Marina Beach
Accessible path on Marina Beach (Bonnie Lewkowicz)

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Features icon key

  • Beach Wheelchairs Available
  • bicycling
  • boating
  • particularly good for families
  • picnic
  • swimming

Additional Information

View Map  
Website: beaches.lacounty.gov/wps/portal/dbh/mdr/
Managing Agency: LA County Department of Beaches and Harbors
Address: Corner of Admiralty Way and Mindanao Way (visitor center)
Nearest City: Marina Del Rey
Phone: (310) 305-9523
Hours: Park: Daily, 6 am-10 pm
Fees: None
Dogs: On leash
Public Transportation: Metro During the summer, a free, accessible beach shuttle runs to Marina Del Rey, Playa Vista, and Venice Beach Pier.
Useful Links: List of beaches with beach wheelchairs in Los Angeles County
Reviewed by Bonnie Lewkowicz, April 13, 2013
Access Norhtern California This web guide is a project of Access Northern California.  
California Coastal Conservancy Thanks to our partner the California Coastal Conservancy

DISCLAIMER: Although the information contained in this web-guide was believed to be correct at the time of publication, neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy shall be held responsible or liable for any inaccuracies, errors, or omissions, nor for information that changes or becomes outdated. Neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy assume any liability for any injury or damage arising out of, or in connection with, any use of this guide or the sites described in it.

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Accessible Wheelchair Icon looks like a wheelchair with balloon wheelsBeach Accessible
Wheelchairs Available
  Hiking icon is silhouette of a hikerHiking & Trails
Biking icon looks like person riding a bikeBicycling   Good for Familis icon is a child on a swing'Particularly Good for Families
Boating Icon is a boatBoating   Picnic Area Icon is a picnic tablePicnic
Camping icon is a tentCamping   Swimming Icon is a person swimmingSwimming
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