Can you imagine visiting Venice and coming back with the dream of finding the style of the city in the United States? That’s what billionaire tobacco entrepreneur Abbot Kinney did. He planned and developed Venice Beach, with a vibe full of positivity.
The place is one of the most famous beaches in the United States and has become a place that attracts many young people, mainly hippies, rappers, and surfers. It is possible to spend a day on the sand, ride a bike, play sports, try the local cuisine, go shopping, and of course, visit one of the most famous piers in the world, with the right to a movie sunset.
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What to do in Venice Beach
When you visit this beach, you’ll feel like all the tourist attractions are right next to each other. There’s a pier and sports areas on the beach. Across the street, you’ll find a boardwalk with small shops. If you explore further into the city, you’ll discover canals, more shops, restaurants, and the famous city sign where everyone likes to take pictures. Take a look at the main highlights of this beach below:
1. Venice Beach Boardwalk and Ocean Front Walk
As the name implies, it is a boardwalk facing the ocean. It’s on the other side of the beach and is the ideal place to go for a walk, adapt to the good vibes of Venice Beach and people-watch. You can visit the rustic shops to buy souvenirs and go to restaurants. There are also many street artists selling handcrafted pieces and of course, prepare to be surprised by an artistic performance.
2. Spend a day at the beach
How about enjoying the California sun and going to the beach, whether sunbathing, playing in the sand, or diving in the sea? Just be careful with the ocean, as there are some regions with rocks. Surf lovers can go to Venice Breakwater, as there is an artificial barrier built to protect the pier, which is the only place where the waves break on both sides, forming perfect waves for surfers on duty.
3. Venice Beach Recreation Center: Skate Park, Muscle Beach and more
You will notice that there are people practicing sports along the shore; from running, rollerblading, or court sports like basketball. One of the main attractions there is Muscle Beach, an outdoor gym with many people training. It was in this space that the famous actor Arnold Schwarzenegger lifted weights, in the 70s and 80s. Another space is the Skate Park, a track for skateboarding lovers and even if you don’t practice it, it’s worth taking a look at the acrobatic stunts.
4. Cycling along the shore
You can take a very peaceful and relaxing bike ride to enjoy the incredible landscapes and see people from all over the world and of course, the locals are very cool and with a contagious positivity. You can choose to cycle a little further and go from Venice Beach to Santa Monica on the Marvin Braude Coastal Trail bike path, which has a great structure. The ride lasts around 20 minutes and the price for renting a bike costs US$15 per hour on average, with the possibility of renting it for a whole day.
5. Venice Canals
The idea of visionary Abbot Kinney, the developer of Venice Beach, was for the canals to emulate those of Venice. Unfortunately, the project ended up not fully materializing, but it’s worth taking a walk along the canals to take amazing pictures and see the historic mansions. You can visit the canals via South Venice Blvd, Pacific, Ocean Ave, and Washington Blvd.
6. Abbot Kinney Blvd
Abbot Kinney Blvd is a street with shops, bars, and restaurants. The stores are, in general, surfing, sports, and local stores. As for the restaurants, despite not having varied options, you can find some interesting dishes, such as seafood, and healthy food. Near this street, you will still find the famous sign that everyone takes pictures of.
7. Venice Beach Pier and Sunset
To end the day, when the sun is setting, head to the famous Venice Beach pier and watch one of nature’s most beautiful spectacles. Expect to find a crowd there, especially in high season.
In addition to these main attractions, you can also follow the Venice Beach Drum Circle, an improvised circle with musical and dance performances that happen frequently on weekends. There is also the option of going to the Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center which is dedicated to literature and art with cultural events. As you can see, Venice Beach breathes art.
Important tips and information to enjoy Venice Beach
To avoid stress in Venice Beach, check out some tips that can make your trip easier:
- Climate Good Vibes: The environment of Venice Beach is very alternative and can scare some people who are not used to this lifestyle. So, visit this place if you have an open mind to see different things;
- Be careful not to get run over at the sign: The iconic sign where everyone takes a picture is at an intersection and the best angle is in the middle of the street. To take a beautiful photo, it is important to take advantage of the red signals to register;
- Parking: You will hardly find spaces on the street, as the main parking lot in front of the beach is paid for. You will spend an average of US$ 15 dollars to park. Keep an eye out, especially in the high season, like summer, as it is more difficult to find a vacancy in this space;
- Gastronomy is on Abbot Kinney Blvd: Despite having food options on Ocean Front Walk, it is on Abbot Kinney Blvd that tourists find the best options, even if they are few;
- Visiting time: One day is perfect for visiting Venice Beach. The visit can be even shorter if you don’t want to see the sunset because in one morning you can see all the attractions;
- Visit during the day: Just after sunset, the atmosphere gets a little empty, and like anywhere else, empty spaces can be dangerous. Then, at dusk, retire.
Where to stay
There are those who prefer to stay in Venice Beach to get in the mood of the destination. See some options:
- Samesun Venice Beach – $$: Samesun is a famous chain of hostels, in Venice Beach the location is privileged, as it is just a few meters from the beach and other attractions. It offers shared and even private rooms. The Kitchen and laundry are available for guests.
- Venice On The Beach Hotel – $$: The hotel has comfortable rooms and is very well located. Both on the roof and on the ground floor, it is possible to sit and relax in cozy spaces.
- Venice Breeze Suites – $$$$: The suites at this accommodation stand out for having a full kitchen, ideal for saving money.
- Hotel Erwin – $$$$: This 4-star hotel is located across from the Venice Beach Boardwalk. It’s a boutique hotel that oozes the whole beach vibe, with a lobby decorated with surfboards. The rooms are large and spacious, some with a living room, leaving the atmosphere very cozy. Highlight for the terrace of the hotel that has a bar, the High Rooftop Lounge.
Most accommodations in Venice are boutique hotels, that is, they are just rooms and do not have large facilities, such as swimming pools. There are also accommodation options for rent, such as Airbnb, or staying in nearby places, such as Santa Monica.