10 Fantastic Things to do in Venice, California
by Lisa Arcella
August 10, 2017
While no trip to LA would be complete without checking out the famed Hollywood sign or Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, there is so much worth exploring beyond the normal tourist attractions. Nearby the popular beach destination of Venice, California offers something for just about everyone.
Take a Stroll along Abbot Kinney Blvd
Sometimes called the “Venice of America” and this boulevard is a shopping and people watching paradise. There’s a unique mix of shops and art galleries. Abbot Kinney was once named the “Coolest Block in America” and no matter what you are looking for you will be able to find it here. Use this GPS location for free four hour parking: 1612 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291. We love Rag & Bone is the cool clothing store at 1118 Abbot Kinney Blvd and Sweaty Betty where there’s great exercise gear and accessories at 1112 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
Venice Beach is a haven for artists and various creative types and that’s illustrated on many of the detailed murals along Abbot Kinney & Milwood Avenue. Don’t miss the chance to take a selfie in front of the colorful hearts that create “The Love wall” at the corner of Abbot Kinney & Santa Clara. We also love the “So Far So Good” located near the Rag and Bone Shop at 1118 Abbot Kinney Blvd and for the “when in Rome” moment don’t miss taking a few photos in front of the “Palm Tree” mural at 1130 Abbot Kinney Blvd. This is California after all.
Angelinos love their java and Venice has an array of fun places to relax and grab a cup of whatever suits your taste buds. Some of our favorites include the Intelligentsia Café which has a funky alley entrance at 1239 Abbot Kinney Blvd Just across the street, there’s a bohemian vibe at Toms café and if you are looking to keep it healthy, the eco-chic Kreation organic Kafe & Juicery serves organic juices, sandwiches & salads at 1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
There are tons of great places to grab a meal and many of them can be found on Abbot street. The Butcher’s Daughter at 1205 Abbot Kinney Blvd is famous for its avocado toast and egg sandwich platter. The rustic decor and delicious New American cuisine at Gjelina have made it a hot spot at 1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd. Just about everything is amazing at the Mediterranean inspired Tasting Kitchen at 1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd and be sure to finish the night at the Salt and Straw at 1357 Abbot Kinney Blvd for delicious farm sourced ice cream.
Bike along the historic district
You can borrow a bike at both Rag & Bone (1118 Abbot Kinney Blvd) and Sweaty Betty (1112 Abbot Kinney Blvd) and then make your way along the Venice Canal Historic district where you can check out the colorful buildings that once housed the Beat Generation of poets and artists.
See Santa Monica
After exploring all that Abbot Kinney and its surroundings have to offer, go to nearby Santa Monica and check out its famous Pier and busy beach. There’s no doubt about it, it’s always crowded but that’s just part of the fun. Stroll along the bike path and check out the surfers, the aquarium and even a trapeze school! There are also many museums and art galleries worth exploring. Bergamot Station, once a train depot, is now home to over 35 galleries alone.
Get Down in A Drum Circle
At the end of Brooks Ave. on the beach, hundreds of people gather at the Venice drum circle with their drums, shakers, congas, percussions once the sun goes down.
See the Venice Canal Historic District —the part of California is famous for its man-made canals, which evoked the canals of Venice, Italy and even offer gondola rides. The canals originally covered the entire area between Abbot Kinney, Pacific Ave., and Venice Blvd
Hang out at the Venice Beach Recreation Center
The center located between Ocean Front Walk he center includes several children’s play areas with a gymnastics apparatus, as well as handball courts, tennis courts and volleyball courts, all unlighted. If it looks familiar, it was featured in the 1992 film White Men Can’t Jump.
Sunset at Venice Beach
Go Surf LA offers beginner and intermediate surfing lessons all year long at Venice Beach for about $80 a lesson. But perhaps the nicest thing about this beach is its incredible sunsets over the ocean that is not to be missed. Sometimes the best things in life really are free!