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Playa del Rey

A hidden gem on the sparkling blue Pacific coast, Playa del Rey remains the best beachfront value in Los Angeles. Beautiful sunsets and a close­-knit community define this small coastal enclave. Insulated on all sides – the sparkling Pacific Ocean to the west, the wide open Ballona Wetlands to the east, the Marina del Rey harbor inlet to the north, and the unpopulated Dockweiler State Beach to the south ­- Playa del Rey is one of the last “small towns” in Los Angeles.

In the 1870s, the undeveloped Ballona Wetlands were intended to be the first dredged harbor in Santa Monica Bay until winter storms washed away the initial efforts. In 1921, the land was developed by Dickinson, Gillespie and Co. and was originally known as Palisades del Rey, later becoming Playa del Rey. The rolling hills were formed by compacted sand dunes: known as “The Bluffs” these natural wind­-blown formations stand up to 125 feet high. Custom-­built homes sprang up for Hollywood actors and producers including Cecil B. DeMille and Charles Bickford, and construction boomed as the Del Rey Hills district east of Pershing Drive was developed.

Beautifully balancing privacy with easy city access, it’s easy to see why the community is so strong. Downtown Playa del Rey has experienced a renaissance with award-winning restaurants and lounges that cater to both the tech companies of nearby Silicon Beach and the laid­back locals. Minutes to the South Bay and the Westside, Playa del Rey is truly a hidden gem.

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