Bucket Listers

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The Best Boating Experiences in Los Angeles

We've rounded up the top ways to spend a day on the water in LA.

by Los Angeles Bucket List


In a place that’s known for its year-round good weather, finding fun activities on the water in LA isn’t hard. But not all are created equal, which is why we’re here to help. From low-key boat rides to all-day yacht parties, scroll down to view our picks for the best boating experiences in Los Angeles!

Dragon Boat Festival | June 4

Hosted by the Castiac Lake Dragon Boat Club, this festival is a great introduction to the ancient art of dragon boat racing and serves to celebrate different cultures while forming a sense of community. While you have to pay to participate in the race, the festival is free to attend and will feature live music.

Where: 32132 Castaic Lake Drive, Castaic, CA  91384

When: June 4, 2022

Price: Free to attend

For more information on Dragon Boat Festival

Swan Boat Rental in Echo Park

It wouldn’t be a Los Angeles boating list without mention of the Swan Boats in Echo Park. A welcome break from the hustle and bustle of downtown L.A., these boats allow for a fun-filled and relaxing day on one the city’s most well-known lakes. And starting at just $11, this is an affordable option for a fun daytime or evening activity.

Where: 751 Echo Park Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026

When: Dates Vary

Price: Starting at $11 for two people

For more information on Swan Boat Rental in Echo Park

Parasailing in Marina Del Ray

See the Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach Boardwalk from new heights with this exciting parasailing experience! Choose from the standard 500ft flight, or the thrill-seeker 800 ft. package. While it might seem scary, parasailing is actually a very serene activity, making this a good choice for those wanting a unique but relaxing water experience. 

Where: 13717 Fiji Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292

When: Dates Vary

Price: Starting at $105 per person

For more information on Parasailing in Marina Del Ray

Los Angeles Maritime Institute

The Los Angeles Maritime Institute is a nonprofit that provides educational and recreational classes for kids and adults of all ages. New sail events and festivals are frequently added to their website, so be sure to keep an eye out for new opportunities throughout the summer. If you’d prefer to host a private party, their famous brigantes are available to rent.

Where: Berth 73, Suite 2, San Pedro, CA 90731

When: Dates Vary

Price: Prices vary by event—check their website for individual event pricing.

For more information on Los Angeles Maritime Institute

On-the-Water Films at Boat Cinema | Various Dates

Watch a movie from your own personal mini boat! Expect a night with food, drinks, music and even pre-show fun on the Boat Cinema Beach. Thirty minutes from DTLA, Castaic Lake is a bustling lake area with boaters, water skiing, long stretches of gorgeous beaches, and camping. Reserve a mini electric boat or bring your chairs and enjoy our beach seating. Pack a picnic or have one on your boat prepared for you. Come ready for a summer night on the water with great films, food, music and even our one-of-a-kind snack boat offering boat side service and pizza delivery!

Where: Castaic Lake Headquarters: 32132 Castaic Lake Dr. Castaic, CA; Parking Lots 1 & 2

When: Dates Vary

Price: VIP Mini Boat: $329, includes a front-row electric mini boat rental for up to 5 people (850lb combined weight limit).

GA Mini Boat: $279, includes electric mini boat rental for up to 5 people (850lb combined weight limit).

Beach Seating: $20, bring your own beach chairs, towels or blankets and enjoy the movie from the beach. Price is per person.

For more information on Boat Cinema.

Island Boat Party Yacht

Grab your friends and get ready for a party on the water! Island Boat Party Yacht provides all you need for a perfect day, including paddle boards, a karaoke system and complimentary refreshments. Each boat fits up to 12 people and is perfect for bachelorette parties, birthdays or company parties.

Where: 13701 Fiji Way, Dock 55, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292

When: Dates Vary

Price: Starting at $1,575 for up to 12 people

For more information on Island Boat Party Yacht.

Gondola Adventures

If flying to Italy isn’t an option right now, this is the next best thing. Gondola Adventures brings the history and food of Venice, Italy right to Newport Harbor with their private gondola rides. Each cruise is one hour long, and comes with your choice of an antipasto or dessert course. Book this for a romantic night you and your significant other won’t soon forget!

Where: 200 Bayside Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660

When: Dates Vary

Price: Starting at $180 for two people, inclusive of food and beverages

For more information on Gondola Adventures

Jetski Adventure to Catalina Island

This is not your standard tour, but rather a Pacific Ocean adventure that you will never forget.  While you will get to jet ski, you’ll also experience so much more: snorkeling in crystal-clear waters, swimming through beautiful caverns and swimming with dolphins! This can be done as a solo adventure, or with a partner. 

Where: Hotel Maya: 700 Queensway Dr, Long Beach, CA 90802

When: Dates Vary

Price: Starting at $399 for one jet ski rider

For more information on Jetski Adventure to Catalina Island