Playa Del Rey

Playa Del Rey

Playa Del Rey is a coastal neighborhood and beachside community within the city of Los Angeles.  The rolling hills are the result of ancient, wind-blown compacted sand dunes which rise up to 125 feet above sea level. These dunes run parallel to the coast line from Playa Del Rey south to Palos Verdes.  The community is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west, Marina Del Rey and Ballona Creek to the north, Playa Vista to the northeast, Westchester to the east and El Segundo to the south.

Much of Playa Del Rey was originally wetlands and the harbor was the mouth of the Los Angeles River before its course shifted to its current outlet at San Pedro.  For a brief period from 1910 until 1913, Playa Del Rey was entrenched in an exciting short-lived rivalry with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and could make a valid claim as being the "Speed Capital of the World."   Palisades Del Rey was the name of original 1921 neighborhood land development by Dickinson & Gillespie Co. that later came to be called Playa Del Rey. This area of sand dunes was the last stretch of coastal land in the city of Los Angeles to be developed.  Construction in Playa Del Rey surged in 1928 with the development of the Del Rey Hills neighborhood in the eastern part of the community and with the oil boom along the Los Angeles County Beaches.  Many of the houses were custom built and were owned by Hollywood actors and producers, including Cecil B. Demille, Charles Bickford, and others.  In the early 1950's and 1960's, the beach there was known as a top Southern California surfing spot and the beach at the northernmost end of Playa Del Rey is still known as "Toes Over Beach", a name derived from the toes over surfing maneuver.

Today, Playa Del Rey is still considered one of the "hidden gems" of Southern California.  It's close proximity to Los Angeles International Airport and Downtown L.A. while retaining the feel of a small, secluded beach town make it an attractive area for residents who want to experience all aspects of Southern California living.  A bridge between Playa Del Rey and the jetty between Ballona Creek and Marina Del Rey is accessible to foot traffic and bicycle traffic (but not to automobiles), and bikers, skaters and joggers traverse the sidewalks of the beaches north to Santa Monica and south to the South Bay at this bridge.  The beaches at Playa are some of the least crowded in Los Angeles and the locals enjoy not just amazing sunsets and great weather there, but the nearby Del Rey Lagoon and Park is a great spot for parties, bbq's, baseball, dog walking, late night strolls and community gatherings.
 
While the vast majority of land in Playa Del Rey is zoned for residential purposes, portions of Manchester Boulevard, Pershing Drive and Culver Blvd have small shops and cafes mixed with a few business offices.  The Shack and Cantalini's Salerno Beach restaurants are longtime landmark eateries in Playa and there are a number of French, Italian, Indian and traditional American-style restaurants within walking distance for most residents.  There are also a number K-12 schools, both private and public in the area and portions of the Ballona Wetlands, one of the last significant wetland areas in the Los Angeles basin, are in Playa Del Rey.