Incorporated in 1975, Marina is a city in California, located 8 miles north of Monterey and about 34 miles south of Santa Cruz along California State Route 1 on the Monterey Peninsula. Marina is in Monterey County and is known for its beaches, especially Marina beach and its hang-gliding, sand dunes, and the Fort Ord National Monument, a former US Army post. Unlike the rest of California’s coastline, Marina’s coastline is largely undeveloped to protect rare species of butterflies, sea lettuce, and buckwheat, and has plants to adapt to climate change using managed retreat.
The city was originally referred to as “Paddonville”, after the founder, William Locke-Paddon, but he didn’t like it and preferred the name Marina, so it was changed in 1918. He purchased the 1,500 acres of the original city with the intent of selling it off at $75 per acre to farmers. Today, the coastal city attracts people wanting to move to Marina, CA for the amazing meals, relaxing days at the beach, or thrill-seeking adventures.
Ty Powell, a retired Buffalo Bills linebacker, and Ron Rivera, an NFL head coach of the Washington Commanders and previous head coach of the Carolina Panthers, spent his high school years living in Marina.
Marina, CA Population & Demographics
Marina, CA has a population of 21,966 spread out over 8.9 square miles and 2,466 people per square mile. Marina was named one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People and that’s reflected in the average age of the population being just 34 years old. The race and ethnicity of the population is about 40% White, 14% Asian, and 7% Black and there are slightly more females than males, with 52% of the population female. The median household income is about 10% lower than the rest of California, at $73,115.
Marina is a safe place to live, safer than the rest of California and also safer than the rest of the United States! The total number of crimes are 1,763 per 100,000 people in Marina, which is 36.4% lower than the crime rate in California of 2,772 total crimes per 100,000 people and 28.8% lower than the national average of 2,477 crimes per 100,000 people.
The Marina police department strives to keep the city safe, with 27 officers on payroll.
Cost of Living in Marina, CA
Whenever you’re considering a new place to live, one of the first questions you’ll need to answer is how much it costs to live in that city. According to the Economic Policy Institute, a family of 2 adults and 2 children will need to earn $114,198 per year to make living in Marina affordable. The sales tax rate in Marina is 9.25%.
Common Living Expenses
(Data provided by Numbeo)
- Value meal at McDonalds – $7
- 1 gallon of milk – $3.89
- 1 dozen of eggs – $2.75
- 1 gallon of gas – $4.89
- Monthly utilities (electric, heat, AC, water, garbage) $222.54
If you’re planning to buy a house, the city median home price is $800,000. The average apartment rent in Marina and Monterey area is $2,323.
Marina Neighborhoods | Where to Live in Marina
When you’re trying to figure out where to live in Marina, you’re in luck because there is no bad place to live in the city! Every neighborhood is a good place to live in Marina. Some of the best neighborhoods include:
- South Marina
- Marina Heights (Closest to Marina State Beach)
- Marina Station
- City Center
- Marina North
You could also live in any Marina suburb and travel the 34 miles from Marina to Santa Cruz within 40 minutes. Need a place to live? Check out this list of Marina, CA homes for sale.
Marina Weather & Climate
The climate of Marina is pretty consistent, with temperatures ranging from 44°F to 70°F and rarely dipping below 36°F or going above 80°F. The warm days are even more comfortable due to the lack of humidity. People swim or surf in the ocean year-round in Marina, although water temperatures are only in the 50’s most of the year. You might want to invest in a wet suit if you plan on spending a great deal of time in the ocean!
According to PurpleAir, the air quality in Marina is satisfactory and the air pollution poses little to no risk.
Things to Do in Marina
One of the great things about living in Marina is the proximity to everything in Monterey. If you’re scoping out the area before you move, or have friends coming from out of town, the long list of Marina, CA hotels on the beach offers great places to stay.
Marina State Beach
Relaxing public beach and one of the best places to spend the day with your family in Marina. Public restrooms are available, but there is no camping or dogs allowed. You’ll find the beach area winding through the Marina Dunes Natural Preserves. People love to visit the beach for hang-gliding, including radio-controlled gliders, and views of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
200 Reservation Rd, Marina, CA 93933, 831-649-2836
Ford Ord Dunes State Park
One of the best places in Marina for sightseeing and spending an afternoon outdoors, Fort Ord Dunes State Park offers a bluff-top platform to give you breathtaking views of Monterey Bay and a trail to a beach. You can bring dogs on a leash on the walking trails but they can’t go on the beach. While there is currently no camping at the park, there are plans to develop a state park campground and beach access facilities on 130 acres.
Beach Range Rd, Marina, CA 93933, 831-649-2836
Monterey Bay Aquarium
For a fun thing to do with the kids, the nearby Monterey Bay Aquarium offers exhibits ranging from otters, African penguins, sharks, jellyfish, and touch pools.
886 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940, 831-648-4800
Monterey Mirror Maze
Located in the InterContinental the Clement Monterey Hotel, the Monterey Mirror Maze is a unique amusement center for all ages and the best activity for kids on a rainy day. You’ll walk through a mirror maze with a psychedelic vibe. One of the best places in the Monterey – Marina area for birthday parties and team-building exercises.
751 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940, 831-649-6293
The city operates several parks and facilities available for rent and public use throughout the city. Visit the Marina parks and recreation site to learn more.
Other Major Marina and Monterey Attractions
Shopping in Marina
Marina, CA offers convenient shopping options, including:
- Marina Village Shopping Center
- The Dunes on Monterey Bay – Retail Center
- Marina Square Shopping Center
Keep up with all of the events and happenings in Marina with this calendar of events.
Marina, CA Restaurants
There is no shortage of eatery options in Marina, whether you’re looking for a quick lunch at a diner for hamburgers and fries or salads, want authentic cuisine from other nationalities, or need to grab quick and delicious takeout for the family on the way home from work.
Daddy’s City Diner
If you’re in need of comfort food, head over to the Marina Square Shopping Center and the family-run Daddy’s City Diner. Serving breakfast and lunch with a Filipino influence, the diner offers affordable meals with healthy portions.
265 Reservation Rd F, Marina, CA 93933, 831-883-0817
I’m Thai Cuisine
Authentic Thai food made with ‘heart’, I’m Thai Cuisine offers an extensive menu of Thai favorites including mixed veggies in garlic sauce, orange chicken with cashew nuts, a variety of curries, and several rice and noodle specials.
3170 Vista Del Camino Rd, Marina, CA 93933, 831-718-8173
Trendy counter-serve pizzeria with imaginative pizza, creative toppings and sauces, including crispy and thin crust pies. Blaze Pizza is perfect for lunch or dinner with the kids or when you just want simple take out that you know everyone will eat! If you’re a garlic lover, you can’t miss the Garlic Lover’s Pizza.
110 General Stilwell Dr. Ste. 106, Marina, CA 93933, 831-741-1077
For the best seafood in Marina and Monterey, visit the Fish Hopper! You can take in the beautiful sea views from the dining room while enjoying classic seafood staples. If you’re dining with someone who doesn’t love seafood, the menu also includes non-seafood favorites like chicken and steak.
700 Cannery Row Suite K, Monterey, CA 93940, 831-372-2406
Jobs in Marina
The largest industries in Marina include accommodation and food services, health care and social assistance, and educational services, while the highest paid jobs are found in utilities, at about $116,000 per year, public administration at about $60,000 per year, and professional, scientific, and technical services at $54,000 per year.
If you want to work for the city you live in, try this listing of City of Marina jobs. Otherwise, the Indeed job listings for Marina give you an updated look at who’s hiring and for what positions. Because of the proximity to Santa Cruz, you can also expand your job search to the Santa Cruz area and make the easy commute.
Public schools in Marina are highly-rated. Students in the city are served by the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District from preschool through grade 12. There are also adult education opportunities and charter schools. USNews ranked Monterey High School #1 in the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District, and 6th for schools in the Salinas, CA metro area.
The Marina Branch of the Monterey County Free Libraries offers students and residents opportunities for research, reading, and educational opportunities.
Marina Statistics & Information
- Zipcode: 93933
- Elevation: 43 feet
- Area: 9.81 square miles, with .90 square miles of water
- Time Zone: UTC-8 Pacific
- Closest Airport: Monterey Regional Airport (MRY / KMRY)
Map of Marina
Explore the area and find more things to do, restaurants, and beyond with this Marina map.
Pros & Cons of Living in Marina
- Pros: Marina has access to gorgeous beaches and parks.
- Pros: The weather is comfortable year-round.
- Pros: The public schools are highly-rated.
- Cons: The cost of living is a bit on the pricey side.
Time to Move to Marina?
If the coastline is calling your name or you’re planning to move to Marina to relocate for a job, don’t stress about everything you have to do to get there. The top Marina movers can get you settled in your new home in no time at all and without stress. Give us a call for a no-obligation quote today at 831-786-5537.