Marina is a city in Monterey County, California, United States. Marina is located along the central coast of California, 8 miles (13 km) west of Salinas, and 8 miles north of Monterey, at an elevation of 43 feet (13 m). Marina was incorporated in 1975 and is the newest city on the Monterey Peninsula. The city includes part of a California State University, Monterey Bay, the UCMBEST branch research center of UC Santa Cruz, and the Veterans Transition Center (VTC). In 2012, Marina was named one of the 100 Best Community for Young People by America’s Promise Alliance.
A traditional Labor Day Parade & Family Festival held the Saturday before the official holiday pays homage to the significant military history of the town. The annual Otter Fest in August welcomes back students, staff, and faculty to CSU, Monterey Bay. It began in 2010 with a Key to the City presentation to the campus president. It is named after the university’s otter mascot. Earth Day is celebrated in April as a community work party to maintain and improve Locke-Paddon Park. Citizens for Sustainable Marina is the lead planning group for the event. The Marina Air Faire, held in October, features vintage and experimental planes, and gives attendees the chance to ride in them (for a fee). Marina also celebrates its 1975 incorporation every five years with numerous city wide events, including a Diversity Dinner celebrating the variety of cultures represented in the city.
Marina State Beach is a windswept beach area between State Route 1 and Monterey Bay where water recreation, hang gliding and paragliding are popular. There is a boardwalk through the Marina Dunes Natural Preserves. Fort Ord Dunes State Park opened in March, 2009 and was formerly an Army practice firing range. Though much of the park is located in the neighboring town of Seaside, California, access for the park is located in Marina. Fort Ord Dunes State Park is a popular place for horseback riding, hiking, fishing and cycling. Fort Ord Dunes State Park abuts Marina State Beach.