Mother’s Beach Marina Del ReyAugust 29, 2010 No Comments
Mother’s Beach, Marina del Rey – that was where my son and I were heading this past Saturday. It was just the two of us (I’m divorced) and we were off on one of our many local adventures here in Southern California. With a name like Mother’s Beach, I wasn’t sure what to expect. All I kept picturing was hordes of territorial mothers and their children running us off the beach! I hadn’t heard of the place before and we’d only just received the invite the day before, so I didn’t have a chance to look it up online.
It was August 28th 2010, and this was the last weekend before the new fall school season. It was starting out to be another beautiful sunny California summer day, so I knew the beaches and Marina area would be in high demand. It was only a 30 minute drive from our house to Mother’s Beach, and when we arrived we found plenty of parking on Panay Way just off Via Marina.
Marina Del Rey, translated from Spanish as King’s Marina, is the largest man made Marina in the world. It is a crescent shaped beach within a stones through of hotels and motels such as the Marina del Rey Marriott, the Foghorn Harbor Inn and the Best Western Jamaica Bay Inn. As you walk in from the lot, ($8 for the whole day which is pretty reasonable) there’s a play area with swings, climbing frames and even a pirate ship where children of all ages can play. As you make your way onto the sand itself, you see the cordoned off area of water to swim and play in, which extends outwards for 75 feet or so and runs three quarters the length of the beach – a coastal area stretching about 1/3 of a mile long. There is even a lifeguard hut that comes complete with its own lifeguard -don’t laugh, but I’ve come across many on the ocean side that are shuttered and unmanned. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised when I saw what lay in front of me. We were invited here for a birthday party, and I was relieved to see not only mother’s playing with their children but also dad’s, grandmas and grandpas enjoying the fun.
After giving it some thought, I believe ‘Mother’s Beach’ is very appropriately named because it’s a great place to bring little children. There are no waves, the beach slopes very gently into the water and despite being in the heart of the marina, the area is marked by a series of buoys, that indicates the line swimmers shouldn’t cross, and also that boats should avoid. I saw a number of boats making their way in or out of their moorings just beyond, but none came even close to the line.
It’s a wonderful beach for children to get used to the feel of the ocean without the threat of getting knocked over by waves or boogie boarders. My son loved it, and it gave him a chance to practice his swimming without the fear of a ‘shark attack’, something that is nearer the top of his thoughts despite all my reassurances. At his age I can’t blame him for such irrational fears, especially with all the Hollywood shark films playing on cable 24 hours a day. I’m a single parent and I’m finding it harder and harder to regulate his TV time!
We had pizza for lunch, care of the birthday party, but we could have had snacks or something more substantial at a number of stores and restaurants within 5 minutes walk of the beach. Indeed Mother’s Beach is flanked by many local restaurants like the Cheesecake Factory, a favorite of children and adults alike. I have to say, some of the smells coming from that restaurant made my mouth water. With all the hotels lining the area the place seemed more like a resort than a public beach.
It was a fun and relaxing day all round. The beach was nowhere near as crowded as I had anticipated despite the wonderful weekend weather. There was plenty of wide open space to run around and play ball or Frisbee, and many of the kids did just that. As we were leaving my son and I agreed that this was definitely a place worth visiting again.
Author: Mark McAlinden