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.
Officially part of the City of Los Angeles, Venice is a beach community nestled between the City of Santa Monica to the north and Marina del Rey (also part of the City of LA) to the south. It was founded in 1905 by a developer, Abbot Kinney, who dug out canals to drain the marches in the area for the construction of a beach resort he named "Venice of America." The main shopping area saw the construction of several buildings with arched porticoes that imitated the architecture of the real Venezia. The community became popular in the 1950s and 1960s as an artistic enclave, a reputation which has continued to the present day. Its distance from the business centers of Los Angeles has allowed the area to retain this artistic, laid back small town feel. It is definitely one of the must-see areas in Los Angeles, but one can love it or hate it, particularly if one only sees the beach and the Boardwalk. Therefore, one must take a walk inland to Abbot Kinney Road, the Canals and the surrounding areas to get a fuller picture of this area.
Things to see:
1- The Beach;
2- The Venice Beach Boardwalk;
3- Muscle Beach;
4- The canals;
5- Abbot Kinney Road, its shops & restaurants.
Venice beach is the place where many of the Hollywood wannabes gather and sing, dance, act, jump up and down and act like idiots in the hope that some producer from Hollywood comes by and offer them a job in his next production.
It's a very fun place to hang out with fleamarkets and funny people all over the place.
There are many jice little cafes and it´s my favorite luch spot in Los Angeles.
Be aware though that the place is pretty dodgy at night, so i recommend that you visit during the daytime.
Venice beach is famous, actually it is an icon of LA, it’s on the must see lists most of the times so we thought it was a good idea to visit it. The idea was to make a day trip there because we spend all day in Venice and Santa Monica, as they are connected through the Venice Beach. My opinion is that Venice beach is definitely an overrated beach with a lot of hype about it but nothing to get excited with when you go there.
The beach itself is sandy, big and loooong, about 3 miles long, so you will have a lot of space for you. We didnt manage to swim though as it was very windy but we spent some time watching the waves and the surfers. The water is always cold here by the way so most of the people come for fun and the sun and they dont enter the pacific ocean but they get the tan.
Walking along the beachfront was nice at it is lively most of the time (quiter in the morning) with a lot of so called weirdos, funny dressed people that laugh for no reason, dance, sing, talking to outerspace, walking in high speed etc :) There are dozen and dozen of souvenir shops and restaurants, mainly bad quality fast food but this is not enough. There also stalls with fake sunglasses, countless skateboards/rollerbladers and bikers going up and down non stop and people selling magic crystals, telling the fortune etc. During the night the area is dangerous so its better to be avoided. You can easily go during the day and enjoy it the tall and thin palm trees along the beach.
I must admit I do not share most peoples opinion of Venice Beach. Whereas most people seem to enjoy a trip here I found it more run down than vibrant and exciting. Interesting yes but not up to my pre - trip reading. The weather also closed in through our visit and I missed seeing the Venice canals other than a quick glance when running through the rain over a bridge.
The buildings are run down along the main path but the beach and palm tree area between the path and beach is quite nice.
I have never seen so many tee shirt shops and the other shops are a mix of cannabis medicinal practices , gift shops, souvenier shops and cafes.
Parking is expensive at $15 and I am told the area is not safe at night.
My own view is that I cannot recommend this attraction.
The wax celebrity figures here at Madame Tussauds look so real in person that you feel like they are actually there. When I first saw Marilyn Monroe I actually thought it was a Marilyn impersonator she looked so real. I didn't go inside the museum but it was fun just hanging outside.
I live in Los Angeles and had no idea of the history of Venice Beach. A friend and I did this scavenger hunt and had a blast! The group that put it together is called, "Venice Scavengers" and these "hunts" are a cross between a guided tour and the t.v. show the Amazing race. You compete in teams of 2 (our group was about 16 people) and race around venice on bikes finding answers to the clues provided (20 total). The Clues had tidbits of venice history in the wording and was a great way to learn about its "Coney Island" like history along the scavenger hunt. We had a great time and told them we would help them spread the word...Thanks you guys!!! www.venicescavengers.com
Venice was founded by millionaire Abbot Kinney and was originally called Venice of America. Like its namesake Venice, Italy, this town was built with miles of canals, but it also boasted coastal piers and an extremely popular amusement park. After the town was annexed by the city of LA in 1925, and through the 50s, Venice badly deteriorated. In the 60s the area was revitalized as a hotbed of the hippie movement, as well as a home of artists and poets. It retains some of this counter-culture character today, but is has become much more mainstream.
If you go, check out the beach and some of the quirky shops and restaurants along Abbot Kinney Blvd.
Venice is known as a favorite home and hangout of many actors and musicians including Arnold Schwarzenegger who lifted at Venice's Golds Gym, Simpson's creator Matt Groening, and Jim Morrison from The Doors. Other residents include Julia Roberts, Nicolas Cage, and Tim Meadows. South Park creator Matt Stone also lives in Venice, and he ended one of my favorite episodes of South Park with a song whose lyrics said, "…in the city of Venice; right by Matt's house, you can chill if you're homeless."
Don't miss the canals if you're in Venice. They're beautiful, and just a short walk from the beach. If you walk east from the Venice beach pier on Washington Blvd., you will see the canals on the left. Beautiful homes, small foot bridges, lovely place to stroll. Grab yourself a coffee from the Cow's end and enjoy one of the prettiest neighborhoods in Los Angeles.
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.
Others on VT disparage Venice Beach, and I can't understand how they came to such a low opinion of the Los Angeles icon. Perhaps they bought some cheap sunglasses, ate some bad pizza, got buzzed by a skateboarder limped back to their car, the sunglasses broke, clouded their vision, and they ended up sinking their Mercedes into the Canals. That's all I've come up with.
Okay, so yeah, don't go on the beach at night. Head inland to the fabulous Abbot Kinney neighborhood, nearby. But, Venice is a wonder during the day, filled with an amazing diversity of people and shops to browse. All races and nationalities are welcome, and everybody seems to get along!
There are tourists, to be sure, but this famous hippie enclave still retains loving locals, loonies and surfers who call Venice home.
I like to walk the sand, watch the roller disco(astounding!), and then decamp to Sidewalk for beer and fries. It helps me remember I'm alive...
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.