Parking in the Venice area can be a major pain. Parking is difficult to find unless you park in the paid lots, which can range from $4 - $10 depending on the day and time.
Also, watch your belongings.
Like any other major city, just be careful of your surroundings. Venice is just adjacent to Santa Monica so obviously, the homeless problem that seems to proliferate over there, spills over into Venice. Also, drugs are a somewhat of a problem in Venice so be careful of stupid people high on one drug or another (e.g. cocaine, shrooms, etc...). Not recommended for a woman to be walking around alone at night. Basic rule of thumb: the areas closer to the beach tend to be nicer, but still potentially a little dangerous. There are lots of little alleys and side streets that are not very well lit which you should avoid at night.
Plagued by the homeless and human 'freaks', Venice is certainly a spectacle.
I have found myself in the area numerous times, and each time I leave, I find myself hating the place more and more.
With regards to the homeless, sure, L.A. has a problem, but Venice is a joke. The broadwalk is full of 'lazy' homeless who approach you asking for 'spare change' (if such a currency exists)
Just to clarify, i'm all for the street performers. This is a form of busking, rather than just bellowing out 'Give me a dollar'.
I find the whole area somewhat tacky. But something odd is that if you continue 5 minutes north on the broadwalk, you come across Santa Monica, which is 'bum' free.
To conclude, if your idea of fun is to visit the undesirables, I would suggest visiting Skid Row, where you will see the people who really could do with your 'spare' change.
But to be brutally honest, there are missions all around the city for the 'undesirables' to get food.
The 'bums' in Venice are odious and not in real need.
I do hope I don't find myself in the neighborhood again.
You gotta be careful especially if you are doing things you should:)
The police around here run deep. They are on foot, in their cars, on bikes and on horses. Today was the first time I saw them on horses, ther arrested a lady for something? I dont know what she did but she got caught. The officer on the bike got her then called his back up in the car to pick her up. Then the officer on the horse took pictures with the kids who were around.
So I guess if you arent doing anything bad you have nothing to worry about.
If you are a very liberal-minded person, Venice is a progressive heaven. If you a staunt conversative, you'd want to "heave ho" it out of your sight. If you are like me, you are more neutral and judge Venice for yourself, for the good or not.
Venice Beach is the common representation and serves as the unmistakably, progressive center of the entire city. No doubt, Venice is unabashedly vocal on its political stance. Its voting record is Democatic-friendly but, moreover, it's probably the most left minded spot in southern California. Call it an offshoot of the northern giant, San Francisco. Regular folk of Venice including the hippies and bohemians gather along the famous boardwalk and proudly espouse lefty jargon to those who want to hear and not.
Venice is worlds away from, say, the sleepy town of Yorba Linda -though the actual distance between the two is only about 50 miles! Yorba Linda is quiet, tamed and known as the conservative cradle celebrating Richard Nixon. Venice is starkly loud, wild and is ,well, a place that would more likely nix glorifying Nixon and those of his ilk and shake their way of thinking.
Certainly, you would not see this eye-opening store pictured here in Yorba Linda. Sexeteria is a scandalous little staple located along Venice Beach.
If you love the beach, do not go to Venice. People who come to the beach here do so mainly to do people watching and just "hang(out)". Venice Beach is not the most ideal beach community. Waves here are not so extraordinary for surfing or swimming. There is no lovely rock landscape or pier here. Unlike for otehr beach towns, the beach is not a major escape from the jungle of the citylife in Venice... the jungle is just steps away from the Venice shore!
If one wanted and could afford to buy a beachfront property, the choice to shack up in Venice could most likely be laughed at. Don't get me so wrong, the housing near Venice Beach is not very cheap, just not as desirable as, say, neighboring Santa Monica. In fact, there is a major difference between the beachlife of of two sister cities. Santa Monica is the prettier, more angelic sis, while Venice is that outcasted freak- but they both making waves!
Walking along the shore here is almost boring, compared to doing the boardwalk with the colorful street performers/artists, a parade of doggies and various odd and wild happenings. At least, it said overal that the beach area is kept decently with not a lot of trash in sand.
At night and in general, Venice is less safe than other parts of greater L.A. In the past, gang activity was pretty high around here and on the off streets. Things have cool down a bit but still there can be heightened potential for crime here. Pick pockets are always out in big tourist areas. Also, car robberies occur, as Los Angeles (including surrounding cities) is the so-called car robbery capital of the world. All this being said, don't be terribly turned off to visit. Just be on guard even more so! If I can survive Venice, so can you!