For visitors looking to get off the beaten path, Marina is for you. We take pride in our parks, beaches, and open spaces. I recently asked members of the Marina Community Facebook Group what some of their favorite outdoor activities are and this is what many of them had to say.

Hiking Trails

Photo Courtesy of Kerrick James

Whether it’s a short walk through the Fort Ord Dunes State Park or an outing on the beach, Marina has plenty of outdoor trails that are fun, safe and environmentally conscious. With beautiful long stretches of beach and gorgeous coastal hiking trails, it easy to see why Marina is one of the premier outdoor destination hidden gems in California.

“Hiking trails, going to the beach, & biking.” – Tammy Bishop

“Hiking at Fort Ord and walking the Rec trail!” – Laura Foss

“Riding bikes along the ocean and people watching!” – Brona Wince

Marina State Beach

Photo Courtesy of Geno Quiroz

Marina State Beach, located off Highway One at the Reservation Road exit, features a sandy beach and consistent breezes, making it a popular spot for walking, relaxing, kite flying and hang gliding.

Imagine the silence, the calmness, the beautiful marine life, the sheer magnitude of the natural wonder that surrounds you at this quiet and secluded local favorite. Breathing in the fresh ocean air, taking in the rich hue of the sea allows you to relax and unwind on a long stretch of beach with plenty of privacy, even during those busy summer months.

“I love being able to walk or ride my bike to the beach. The ocean is so amazing and it’s right at my fingertips.” – Danielle Rae Clark

“We like to head over there and just hang out in the car during work breaks. The view is fantastic and sometimes you can see the dolphins and whales frolicking just off the shore.” – Geno Quiroz

Marina Parks & Playgrounds

Photo Courtesy of Sherry Porter

Marina has a number of great family friendly parks that our locals love. Whether it is Vince DiMaggio Park, Locke-Paddon Park, Gloria Jean Tate Park or Windyhill Park, you will always find Marina families hanging out around the playgrounds, walking their dogs, playing catch, playing soccer or just enjoying that Marina fresh air.

The City of Marina Recreation & Cultural Services Department Mission is to acquire, develop, operate and maintain a park and recreation system which enriches the quality of life for residents and visitors alike and preserve it for future generations.

“Walking my dog at Locke Paddon Park.” – Sherry Porter

“Police station, library (toddlers), and windy hill playgrounds.” – Vivien Quiroz

“Enjoying or volunteering at the Oak Woodlands in Locke Paddon park. Playing on the playground equipment at the Marina Library.” – Karen Anderson

Horses and Trail Rides

Photo Courtesy of Marina Equestrian Center

Another local favorite, and member of the Marina Chamber of Commerce, is the Marina Equestrian Center. The Marina Equestrian Center is operated by the Marina Equestrian Association (MEA), a non-profit association consisting of boarders and other community members.

The equestrian center is home to more than 60 horses. The center offers self-care boarding, an economical and affordable alternative to full care – and has three arenas, a round pen, wash racks with both hot and cold water, storage rooms for hay and tack, 30 pastures for flexible use (including regional visitors, emergency evacuations and routine turning out of horses), trailer parking, and more. There is easy access to a trail system covering 5000 acres of land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Fort Ord Public Lands.

Want to see the Fort Ord National Monument on horseback? Join them for a trail ride! Trailhead access is conveniently located right outside our main gates. Rides are offered through our partnership with the Monterey Bay Equestrian Center (MBEC). To book your trail ride, please contact MBEC directly at (831) 663-5712

“Horses and trail rides” – Pat Grant Dvm

Marina Skate Park

The Marina Skate Park is another local favorite, especially amongst the youth. It is well maintained and is great for beginners. The pool is geared a little more towards experienced riders.

“My husband and daughter love their ritual of going to the Marina skatepark early on Sunday morning for their “Ol’ School Sundays” – the experienced skateboarders mentor our daughter in learning new skateboard tricks” – LJ Aguon

In Closing

These are just a few of the hidden (and not so hidden) outdoor gems of Marina. If you have some favorites of your own, let us know. We would love to publish more local favorites in the months to come.

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Geno is the Owner of Monterey Premier (Website & Digital Marketing Services), President/CEO of the Marina Chamber of Commerce and Creator of the Marina Community Facebook Group currently at over 2K members. He is passionate about Jesus, family, and building community.
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