Will you have a car? If not, Santa Monica is the sure winner. Even with a car, MDR is further away from LA. than Santa Monica. But, the two neighborhoods have a different feel. Santa Monica, while a beach community, is still a medium-size city with high-rise office, apartment and hotel buildings, major shopping malls, lots of buses, and, at times, crowds.
Marina del Rey is an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County and is centered on a horseshoe-shaped road (Admiralty Way) which encircles and inland waterway which has a marina at one end of it. There is a boardwalk/bike path (the same one that starts in Santa Monica) that follows along the edge of the marina/waterway, slightly below street level. So, it has a more isolated, 'resort area' kind of feel.
You can run along the beach (or along the boardwalk on the inland waterway in MDR).
You can take an early morning run from either neighborhood. The Marina is less expensive for hotels than SM, but further from LA sights.
We will have a car so driving the area won't be an issue. As long as both are about the same safety wise, I'll just find a hotel we like and that will be the deciding factor :)
The main difference will be that Santa Monica is very walkable - lots of restaurants and shops you can walk to. In MDR, you'll need the car to go out for dinner and everything else. Pricewise, you'll probably do better in the Marina, convenience would be Santa Monica.
thanks everyone for your input. I've decided on Santa Monica since most of our 'things to do' will be due west from there, though the marina isn't too far out of the way.
Appreciate your input
That's perfect, thank you - I'll be sure to find that path.
Just go to any street along the beach in Santa Monica, head south and start your run.
Sorry, I didn't mention the path is right along the ocean..
-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-
This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.
To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html
We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.