Venice has the most unique flavor, and if you’re visiting Los Angeles, you need a taste.
If you only have one day, here’s what you should check out:
First, the Venice Beach Broadwalk. Everything you’ve heard about it is probably true.
It has a mix of tourists, transients and tanned muscles in short shorts, it’s relatively easy to get a medical marijuana card, there are dozens of street performers and artists showing off their talents, sometimes there are naked people, and no, I don’t want to put those dirty headphones on and listen to your mixtape.
The public art walls on the beach are always changing. A valid permit lets artists paint the walls in this unique public space just off the boardwalk.
There’s also a long pedestrian walkway that runs parallel to the beach. If you head north, you’ll reach Santa Monica. If you head south, you’ll land in Marina del Rey.
Rent some bikes or blades and cruise the area on wheels. You can’t go wrong.
But if you really want to see and enjoy Venice, move inland.
Abbot Kinney Boulevard is arguably “the coolest block in America,” and it’s only a 15 minute walk away. There you’ll find some of the city’s best shops, restaurants, bars and street art.
A quick scroll through Instagram and your mouth will salivate.
N’iceCream is for when you wanna treat yo’ self (plus they give free samples).
The Brig is a great place to grab a drink, listen to good music and soak it all in. It might be just me, but I like it because the place feels a little more dive bar-y. There are often food trucks parked nearby too.
Next, take a stroll along the Venice Canals in one of Venice’s most affluent neighborhoods and admire the beautiful homes! Originally called “Venice of America,” the area was built in the early 1900s by founder Abbot Kinney as part of a man-made homage to Venice, Italy.
Today, the canals are a nice juxtaposition to all the craziness of the boardwalk.
Of course, a local’s perspective is always the best way to go when visiting anywhere.
And since I live in the South Bay, I conducted a very scientific survey among friends with a Venice address as well as people on my Instagram by asking, “If you had a friend in town visiting for the day, where would you take them?”
Here’s what they said:
@casidym: Rent a bike and bike all over the beautiful little weird beach town! Best way to see Venice for sure. Erwin or whaler for sunset. Venice Ale House for lunch on the boardwalk. Abbot Kinney cruise. Townhouse to get dirty and sweaty 😉
@itsmisseva: Gjelinaaaaa take away! It’s just too good
@trulyblessedjewels: Abbot Kinney! It’s electric feel, gypsy vibe and that it got the coolest Artisan Market! Venice helped grow my dream and I love it from the depths of my soul✌🏼️😘
In summary, Venice is a good place to go if you wanna get weird. There are a lot of places to go, people to watch, beauty to admire and pizza to consume.
You might either fall in love at first sight or look for the nearest exit. But first impressions soon become second impressions, and eventually, all the layers will reveal the unique, weird beach town that it is.
Oh, and did I mention that Snapchat is taking over?