As they say, if the East Coast has Coney Island, the West Coast has Venice, California. Now deemed as one of the most expensive neighborhoods in LA, folks would love to live here for its year-round perfect weather, proximity to Silicon Beach, and pedestrian-friendly landscapes. It’s also a famous tourist destination as there’s just so much to see and experience here.
In short, Venice is certainly one of the places you shouldn’t miss when you’re visiting the city of Los Angeles. But why? And what exactly can you do on your visit here? Allow us to elaborate further below.
Venice Beach is a great spot to hang-up, here’s why
As mentioned above, Venice is inarguably one of the most charming locales in Southern California. Why? Let us count the ways:
It has a unique bohemian vibe
Folks attribute this to its colorful history and that really explains it succinctly. Venice beachfront is the home to hippies and beatniks in the 70s, so it certainly developed a laidback artistic vibe. Pair it with the fact that it is situated by the beach and you’ve got yourself a classic quaint, artsy beach town.
Sure, the 80s and 90s were gruesome decades that nearly ruined the area but it bounced back in the past decade. Now, it’s more attractive than ever.
Venice, California is home to Venice Beach (Venice Pier) which is perfect for surfing (Pacific Ocean) and features a charming boardwalk (near the Santa Monica Pier). With the year-round perfect weather and proximity to a big city, it’s certainly a great place to visit if you just want a quick dose of vitamin sea.
A wide range of attractions
If your idea of the California life involves the sun, sand, and a whole lot of modern amenities, you’ll get the best taste of it in Venice. Again, there’s so much to do around here and most of it might just convince you to move to Cali.
5 Great Things to Do in Venice, California
What, exactly, are these things that you can enjoy when you visit Venice? Here are five things that you absolutely have to do when you stop by for a day or two:
1. Explore the locale
There are several unique spots around the area that you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. This makes Venice an excellent destination if you love to see new places because it is made exactly for that.
What are you going to see when you amble around? Here are a few notable areas that you should make a point to see:
The area actually got its name from the Italian city (Italy) because its creator wanted to make this part of California the ‘Venice of America’. As a part of that plan, he created several canals around the locale. The Venice Canals add a unique charm to the neighborhood and make it a lot more quaint than other beach towns in the US.
Visitors can take a stroll along the canals and take in the beauty of the surroundings. The structures and residential homes around are also quite a sight, so you’ll definitely find this activity enjoyable.
The ‘Boardwalk’ a.k.a. Venice Ocean Front Walk
As Venice Beach was also intended to become the ‘Coney Island of the Pacific’, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it also has an exciting Venice boardwalk (a.k.a. Venice Beach Boardwalk). Theirs is actually world-famous and is packed with things to see and enjoy.
On one side, as one would expect, it’s packed with stores selling all sorts of stuff. On the other, you’ll find tons of street performers that will entertain you in various ways. It’s also a great spot for people-watching as it’s certainly one of the most popular places to go to when you’re in Venice.
The murals all around the locale give Venice its vibrant and artsy vibe. This is why you should also take a moment to appreciate them. Even if you’re not the biggest fan of street art, you’ll find these gorgeous masterpieces impressive if not awe-inspiring.
2. Visit the ‘Coolest Block in America’
No visit in Venice would be complete without strolling through the Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Named after the area’s founder, it’s practically the most popular tourist destination in the locale. It could be partly because the GQ Magazine called it the ‘coolest block in America’ and that it’s pretty much a “shoppers’ paradise” for the wide range of items that you can get there. Either way, it should definitely be one of your stops when you’re in the area.
What makes this spot different is that its shops are all worth checking out. They’re all charming in their own ways and they might also entice you in picking up a thing or two. Some are even so quaint they prove to be great additions to people’s whimsy social media feeds.
3. Try ‘Cali-Chic’ dining
There are also tons of amazing restaurants in the area, so if you want to celebrate your visit with some good food, you can definitely do so. A lot of the eateries here are also housed in interesting buildings, so there’s a lot more to enjoy.
4. Check out or try the local activities
If you have time to spare or you’ll be staying for quite a while, you should also try out the many activities that you can enjoy in Venice. You can learn surfing from professional surfing schools all-year-round, for starters.
You can also visit the Venice Beach Recreation Center and Venice Skatepark (where top skaters practice their tricks) to get in on the fun. Visiting Muscle Beach (where top bodybuilders in LA hangs out, and Arnold Schwarzenegger once lifted) might also be a great way for people to watch and enjoy the unique environment of Venice. Here are other cool stuff to do: biking on the bike path along the beachside, surfers can surf all-day, check out the near farmers’ markets, play beach volleyball with the locals, or walk around the ever famous Abbot Kinney Blvd.
And, if you have time, drive-by there nearby hotspots: Marina Del Rey, Beverly Hills, Westside, Malibu, and Playa Vista.
5. Bask in the artsy environment
With its bohemian vibe and well-known history of being connected to famous artists, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you can also do all sorts of artsy things in Venice. In fact, you can visit a lot of galleries on your visit.
If you also happened to visit at the right time (or during the month of May), you can also take part in the Venice Art Walk. This annual attraction will tour you to artist studios and private homes to view their works and art collections.
You can also stop by at the Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center which is hailed as an LA literary landmark.
These, of course, are just a few of the many things that you can do in Venice, California. Surely, you’ll learn, see, and experience a lot more on your visit.
Wanna know more about living in California, read on.
Founder, Editor-In-Chief // A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, ICANN, and Raytheon. A mentor at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) Entrepreneur School, Dr. David Choi. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; and invested in some. // Let's Connect: firstname.lastname@example.org