Local resources and a good school system make this area a great place to raise a family.

Welcome to Marina

An affordable Monterey County hometown close to the beach

The coastal city of Marina, located in Central California just north of Monterey, is a residential area with natural beauty. Local resources and a good school system make this area a great place to raise a family.

Marina was founded in the early 1900s by William Locke-Paddon on land that was previously used for infantry training during the Mexican-American War. The Fort Ord base was used for Army and Navy maneuvers in 1940 and was eventually decommissioned and formally closed in the early 1990s when the barracks became dorms for California State University’s Monterey Bay campus.

Today, Marina is one of the more affordable areas of Monterey County. Homes tend to be more modest in architecture, although you can certainly find some larger, stylish homes with upgraded luxury amenities, particularly in the Sea Haven neighborhood. Many residences are built in Spanish or modern styles and are available at a great value, allowing you to live close to the stunning Monterey coast without breaking the bank.

What to Love

  • Gorgeous natural wildlands
  • Historical sites
  • Trendy shops and restaurants
  • Beaches and parks to explore

People & Lifestyle

Marina has a more suburban feel than many areas of Monterey County. Houses are located closer together, and the freeway is close by to get you to any modern conveniences. Overall, Marina boasts a scenic, beach town vibe due to its proximity to the ocean.

Families love living in Monterey due to the affordable housing market and the fun beaches and parks that children can enjoy. The area is also popular with retirees moving away from winter weather to enjoy luxury living in the warmth of Central California.

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

While Marina is a small city, there are plenty of opportunities for shopping and dining. With the beach just steps away from many of these locations, Marina is the perfect place to relax and join your friends and family for a meal.

The conveniently-located Dunes on Monterey Bay shopping center is home to favorite retail destinations, including Target, REI, Kohl’s, and Best Buy. The property is right by the ocean and was constructed on the site of historic Fort Ord. More shopping opportunities are located in the Marina Village Shopping Center.

Saltwood Kitchen and Oysterette is an excellent fine dining establishment in Marina, offering a full-service dining room, bar and lounge, and an outdoor dining patio. Residents also love dining at Ho-Wah Restaurant, an authentic Chinese restaurant located downtown.

Things to Do

Like many areas of Monterey County, Marina is home to a wealth of natural beauty and wildlife. When the Fort Ord base was closed, the local undeveloped wildlands began to be overseen by the Bureau of Land Management, which created over 80 miles of trails for hiking, biking, or horseback riding.

The local Sanctuary Beach Resort is the perfect area to hold an event in a luxury setting, blending contemporary design with California comforts right along the coast. Skydive Monterey Bay also offers an exciting opportunity for VIP skydiving over the beautiful Monterey sights!

Marina State Beach is a protected beach that is also home to hiking trails and a popular place for picnicking and relaxing. Marina’s most historical site, the Fort Ord National Monument, is today a diverse natural habitat with beautiful trails for hiking or biking.


Marina is home to several excellent schools included in the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District. California State University, Monterey Bay, located on the former Fort Ord military base. 

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