- Type: Beaches, Neighborhood/Area
- Time to Spend: Half Day to Full Day
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Developed in the early 20th century, Venice Beach is modeled — canals and all — after its namesake city in Italy. Admittedly, the experiment didn't live up to its Italian inspiration, but the neighborhood has become distinctly Californian, embodying the spirit of the wealthy, the alternative and the just plain bizarre. Rather than towering churches and intimate pizzerias, you'll find canalside mansions near funky boutiques and restaurants.
Venice Beach's claim to fame is its boardwalk. Hosting a daily procession of eclectic characters and scantily clad beachgoers, the boardwalk never fails to impress out-of-towners. As far as the beach goes, the water is generally OK for swimming, but sunbathing is the activity of choice here.
Depending on your expectations, Venice Beach will either entertain or appall. Some call the beach too "touristy" and the restaurant options "minimal." But others rave about the neighborhood's quirky feel, bustling beach and the unique food options along Abbot Kinney Boulevard.
Venice Beach is approximately 20 miles west of central L.A. Street parking and parking lots are available around the neighborhood, though finding a spot can be a hassle at certain times of the day; read all street signs carefully to avoid a ticket or towing. For more information, check out the neighborhood's website.
Nearby Things To Do
Santa Monica Pier and Beach2.0 miles away
Third Street Promenade2.5 miles away
Rodeo Drive6.1 miles away
Shutters on the Beach1.7 miles away
Casa del Mar1.7 miles away
The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey1.3 miles away