Playa del Rey is a resort community in Los Angeles County that was once an important link in the old Red Car transit line that transported LA residents from downtown to the coast. During its heyday, Playa del Rey was the site of many grand hotels, restaurants, and a funicular railway. Today, it is nothing more than a faded assemblage of commercial venues and unattractive condos, and described as LA County’s only urban ghost town.
Playa del Rey is located south of the Ballona Wetlands and Marina del Rey. This beach community is quite small and rather uncrowded. In the 1970s, it was a popular surfing destination for LA residents with a surfing spot considered to be the best in the area. Unfortunately, beach erosion caused by rock jetties has diminished the quality of surfing and people now venture further south to the areas around Manhattan Beach.
Playa del Rey has a peaceful lagoon nestled near the beach along Pacific Street that remains a popular destination for families with children and for those looking to go dog-walking. The highlight of Playa del Rey is the neighborhood of Palisades del Rey, which rests atop a high bluff. The hike up to this area is hilly but enjoyable for its spectacular ocean views.
Sadly, there was once more to Playa del Rey, but the community is now used as a sound barrier between the Los Angeles International Airport and the ocean. The county exercised its power of eminent domain to condemn much of the property here, destroying entire neighborhoods and hundreds of homes. Today, Playa del Rey is pretty much a ghost town of crumbling housing foundations and run-down street lights.
Dickey, Jeff. Los Angeles, 3rd Edition. Rough Guides, 2003. ISBN: 1843530589.
“Playa Del Rey.” < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Playa_Del_Rey>
 Dickey, 142-43
 Id. at 143
 Dickey, 143