- 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 ideal, but the neighborhood has become distinctly Californian, embodying the spirit of the wealthy, the alternative, and the just plain bizarre. Here, you'll find canal-side mansions near funky boutiques and restaurants.
Venice Beach's claim to fame is its boardwalk. Hosting a daily procession of eclectic characters and scatily-clad beachgoers, the boardwalk never fails to wow out-of-towners. As far as the beach goes, the water is generally okay for swimming, and the beach is prime territory for sunbathers.
Depending on your expectations, Venice Beach will either entertain or appall. Some call the beach "filthy" and the restaurant options "minimal." But others rave about the neighborhood's alternative feel, bustling beach, and the unique food options along Abbot Kinney Boulevard.
Venice Beach is approximately a 20-minute drive west of central L.A. Parking can be a hassle at certain times of the day. For more information, check out the neighborhood's website.