The beach in Venice is great, although touristy it's not crowded if you get there in the morning even over the weekend. The sand is soft and the washingtonias are the tallest and thinnest palm trees I've seen. It makes the view very scenic. The water in late May was too cold though.
The winter of August the 4th was replaced by the spring of the 5th, but still not inviting to swim.
So, I must admit that I left California without entering the Pacific Ocean. Next time I'll try December...
Anyway Venice was nice. The channel area had no resemblance with Italian Venice, except that the water was wet (forgive the joke!), but it is a really nice spot, with everything straight and lined as a good American construction. The beach was almost as empty as Santa Monica. Some of the differences that make the "almost" were not advisable, but we met a Brazilian lifesaver curious about our language. It was the first time she listened to Portuguese Portuguese.
About the beach... Well, it has sand, and water, and waves, a beautiful lifesaver, and if you want me to say something more, wait for my next visit.
One of the most urban beaches, there are lots of people, lots of noise and lots of stuff. It's great fun on the weekend. Everyone I've talked to has seen this guy that is an institution on Venice. He roller blades up and down the pavillion playing a guitar in a full-on turban playing the guitar all day, every day...It adds a nice feeling to Venice. This is also the place to pick up cheap T-shirts for everybody...not good quality...but definitely cheap! You can get 4 T-shirts for 10 bucks.
Venice was founded in 1905 by a rich developer Abbot Kinney who had an idea of creating a seaside resort like its namesake in Italy.
It was built on the marshy land, what made Kinney dig several miles of canals to drain the marshes and convert them in the residential area.
There are many beautiful houses along the beach and the canals. One next to another there are old wooden houses, Art Deco ones and very modern glass facades.
Venice Beach boardwalk is a famous place often shown in the movies. But it doesn't look the same way in reality. It used to be well known for artists but it didn't seem like an artists' place to me. It's full of street performers, junk food and it's dirty. The beach itself is great through.
Venice Beach is a different beach; when in L.A. it is a must. It is not only for windsurfers, rollerskaters or sunbathers; something is always happening by the beach. It is a very colourful place, and you meet very different and special types of people.
Lots of street artists gather here, especially when the evening comes. Daytime the beach is more quiet.
Lots people sell different kinds of things from RayBan sunglasses to cheap souvenirs.
The way nearest the ocean is named the "Ocean Front Walk"; it is long and you can walk or rollerskate all the way to Santa Monica by the ocean.
Please note: watch out, also daytime, for pickpocketing. Evenings take good care of your valuables and handbag. The area is full of people from the end to another and you cannot trust anyone.
Venice beach is an interesting place. If you go often enough you start to notice the "regulars" that hang out there. There is a guy that walks around in a speedo with a couple of parrots on his shoulder. The crazy limbo guy with the disgustingly long toe nails and the guy that makes a dragon sand castle and doesn't want anyone to take pictures of his creation without giving him a couple of bucks. BTW, he makes the same same castle week after week.
Regardless though, this place is an awesome place to go an people watch. There are tons of hippes selling incense, psychics wanting to tell your fortune and vendors selling some interesting things. Most of it is just junk though. But I have bought a couple of things here.
It is definitey a "must see" when visiting LA. Make sure you go on the weekend. Things are pretty dead during the week.
Venice was the very first place I've seen in California and I was absolutelly amazed with the variety and colours of the flowers and other plants.
There were huge splendidly blooming roses, the greenest bamboo, one of a kind red bottlebrush, star jasmine which has a gorgeous and very strong smell, araucarias and many others I don't even know the names of.
Our friends from LA took us down to Venice Beach for the afternoon. Firstly we had lunch at one of the many restaurants that are scattered along the promenade. Then we just leisurely made our way along the boardwalk all the way down to Muscle Beach gymnasium. Along the way we saw street performers and entertainers, skateboarders, rollerbladers, bike riders, basketball and beach volleyball courts, restaurants and plenty of souvenir shops (we bought some really cheap suitcases and a few souvenirs). We even saw a video shoot in progress for a Stacie Orrico film clip. And also witnessed another beautiful sunset over the Pacific Ocean (check out my photos). We were in no hurry but found that time went really quick. Before we knew it, it was getting dark, and it is well known that you don't want to hang around there when it gets dark, as it can be quite dangerous. During the day is fine though.
The infamous Venice Beach is a bit overrated, but if you enjoy roller blading and people watching it's the ideal place. There are also cute little shops and amazing artists and some weird and wonderful street performers.
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