Venice is one of my absolute favorites in LA, an exciting and lively playground by the beach that still manages to have a cozy small town feel to it. Surfers with wetsuits lowered to their hips carry brightly colored boards under their arms and run towards the waves. Skateboarders slide past tiny cafés and shops while tall women wearing almost nothing rollerblade past the beach and its assortment of weirdos, like the guy carrying a sign that says “kick me in the nuts for $5”.
LA is a vast expanse of nothing and everything at the same time, but Venice feels so much more manageable. You can actually walk places here. Ride around the palm lined streets on your bike or skateboard and people will stop you just to say they like your hair. Everyone here is suspiciously happy and it’s great!
Venice Beach gives you plenty of reasons to be suspiciously happy, though. The awesome stretch of sand by the Pacific and near-endless sunshine are enough to melt even my dark, icy heart. Get there early enough and you might actually find a quiet spot on the beach for a relaxed picnic.
Abbot Kinney Boulevard is one of my Venice favorites. This unofficial main street of the neighborhood has a slew of great restaurants, bars and shops. Try Gjelina for the city’s best pizzas or The Tasting Kitchen for a fun brunch!
The Brig is a great place for cocktails and fun times on Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice also has canals, naturally. Abbot Kinney didn’t just give his name to my favorite street – in 1905 he developed these man-made canals as part of his odd plan to make this the Venice of America. Apart from the canals, I don’t really see much in common between the two Venices.
California’s Venice isn’t just a copy, it’s a true original.
Venice has a great Farmers Market on Fridays
1970s hippie culture lives on in Venice. The calm residential areas are filled with graffiti and murals that carry on the message of the movement. Small wooden houses have peace signs adorning their walls. The area is full of medical marijuana dispensaries. Another reason why everyone might be suspiciously happy.