Hello! It's been a hot minute, between travels, illness and Aria's birthday we've been pretty nonstop, but I'm excited to finally share our first ever Airbnb experience! In January we visited Marina del Rey just south of Venice Beach in California. I used to live in Los Angeles and always loved this area. It's much more calm, less crowded and the perfect location if you're looking to truly relax and soak up the ocean view but still be within walking distance of all the boardwalk and touristy excitement.
When it comes to accommodations, I'm a big fan of hotel amenities, specifically the total privacy, housekeeping, endless soaps and room service (especially with kids!), so Airbnb was never really on my radar but when I saw this coastal beach pad just steps away from the sand for such a great price, I couldn't resist. It was newly renovated, the perfect location for our 5-day stay, had cute modern beachy decor and great reviews so I figured "Why not?!" and we gave it a go!
The booking and check-in process was surprisingly easy. Our host, Georgina, messaged me almost immediately after I booked on the Airbnb app to say hello and give me all of the details about check-in. The apartment was attached to the back side of her main home but it was completely private with it's own full bathroom and entry via lock box key. It was stocked with plenty of beach towels, coffee and a kitchenette, so we loaded up on some groceries from a nearby market and had breakfast on the beach every morning. We watched surfers, chased seagulls and even saw dolphins!
We happened to be visiting during the total lunar eclipse, so instead of trekking up to the Griffith Observatory as we had planned, we curled up together with a blanket on the beach and had a perfect view of the blood moon just steps away from our room. During the daytime we walked up to the Venice Beach boardwalk, strolled the canals, Aria skateboarded at the famous Venice skate park and rode a tandem bike with her Daddy. There are electric scooters for rent all over the beaches now too, so if you're not up for walking you can rent a Bird or Lime scooter to get just about anywhere.
I also booked a surf lesson experience through Airbnb during our stay that I was really excited about but unfortunately my instructor had to cancel because the waves were too rough the morning of my lesson. Airbnb was great though and refunded my payment for the experience almost immediately. We did spend one day down in Laguna Beach and our last day at Disneyland but the Marina del Rey location was perfect, especially for returning our rental car and getting back to LAX.
So if you're on the fence about trying Airbnb for the first time, definitely weigh the pros and cons and read the reviews! Not all hosts accept families with small children, so be sure to check before booking. Most also charge a small cleaning fee on top of the nightly rate, so read the fine print. We really had a great experience and would definitely use Airbnb again!