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The Best Boating Trips Near Los Angeles

Boating near Los Angeles is possibly the best way to get away from the fray close to home. Live the sea-faring life with the area's best boating trips for beautiful shoreline views, sun-soaked sailing adventures, and wet and wild ocean exploration that'll have you telling the-one-that-got-away stories for years.

Marina Sailing
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Marina Sailing
13444 Bali Way
Marina del Rey, CA
(310) 822-6617

Click here for pricing.

If boating to you means sailing away for a day of wind in your hair and spray in your face, then turn to Marina Sailing for a smooth ride. In fact, if you want to learn to sail, this is arguably the best place to take a lesson on the basics as well as for ASA certification purposes. The fleet owned by Southern California's oldest sailing club is diverse at this Marina del Rey outpost and at its sister sites in the Channel Islands, Newport Beach and Redondo Beach. Marina Sailing boasts every kind of vessel, from sailboats to yachts to catamarans to power boats.

Related: Best Dates for Adventurous Couples in Los Angeles

Lake Arrowhead Queen
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Arrowhead Queen Boat Tour
28200 Highway 189
Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352
(909) 336-6992

Price: $15

This 45-minute boat tour of Lake Arrowhead gives a great overview of the area, resplendent with luxury second homes where Angelenos go to get away from their busy lives in the city. If you're curious about who lives where, don't worry: The captain will tell you in minute detail. He's a witty guy with lots of stories about this other-worldly part of California just 80 miles from downtown LA. Boats take off on the hour from the dock in the village behind the McDonald's, and tickets may be purchased at Leroy's. On a calm day, this lake is like glass, sure to calm even the most frazzled urban dweller.

Santa Catalina

Santa Catalina Island Company
150 Metropole Ave.
Avalon, CA 90704
(800) 626-1496

Click here for pricing.

With 320 moorings owned by the city of Avalon and 720 moorings owned by Two Harbors, there are plenty of opportunities to launch your craft and ply the waters on Catalina Island. To learn more about your choices, the visitor's bureau is the best place map out your day. Meanwhile, boat-in campsites at this island retreat convenient by air (in 15 minutes) or by ferry (in about an hour) to Los Angeles mean true seclusion from the outside world.

Holloway's Marina
Photo Credit: Holloway's Marina

Holloway's Marina
396 Edgemoor Rd.
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
(909) 866-5706

Click here for pricing.

Big Bear Lake may be convenient to Angelenos at two hours away from downtown, but this high-altitude outpost is world's away from urban life. Holloway's Marina is one of many places in this area perfect for boating at your leisure, whether that be by paddleboat, pontoon or kayak. One extra special amenity at this particular spot for those who choose to wakeboard: a tow cable that tows you across the lake's inlet so you don't have to get off of the boat.

JW Marriot
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JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa
74855 Country Club Dr.
Palm Desert, California 92260
(760) 341-2211

Price: Free

You won't go very far during your boating adventure right down the road from Palm Springs in the high desert about an hour and a half from Los Angeles, but you'll definitely remember the experience for years to come. While taking note of the hummingbirds, parrots, macaws and cockatoos that flutter above you right before you board your gondola, just remind yourself it's not a mirage. Actually, the outdoor tropical oasis starts on the ground level of this Marriott hotel, so you go right from inside to outside. Indeed, right off the lower lobby level, your gondolier awaits to take you on a boat ride a la Venice for an afternoon tour of the immediate vicinity, to your choice of the restaurant right on the resort premises or on a custom charter excursion of your choosing.

Related: Ultimate Family Beach Vacation Ritz Carlton Laguna Nigel

Los Angeles freelance travel writer Jane Lasky, contributes to publications such as Travel + Leisure, Vogue and Esquire. Her weekly sojourning column ran in 40 newspapers for 20 years. Jane is anything but an accidental tourist. Check out her articles on


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