10 Things to Do in Venice Beach

Venice Beach is a neighborhood on the west side of Los Angeles. Development in the area began in the late 1800’s by Abbott Kenney who won the land from his former partner in a coin toss. Kenney built the area to be a wealthy person’s playground relying on the recently arrived trains to deliver tourists from Sacramento and Los Angeles. While the mode of transportation has changed, the wealthy still come here to play and live. Venice Beach offers many activities that are perfect any time of year. This guide will tell you about the very best things to do in Venice Beach.

1. Walk Along the Venice Beach Canals

Strolling along the walkway surrounding the canals is one of the top things to do in Venice Beach. Start at the corner of Washington Boulevard and Pacific Avenue where you will find a broad walkway along the canals. As you walk along, you will notice the million-dollar homes. Once you get towards the end of the walkway, you will find a little park which is a great place to relax and feed the ducks. Walking along the canals is free.
While the walk along the canals is lovely, it is two miles long. Therefore, small children and the elderly may have trouble enjoying this activity. While the canals never close, make sure to prepare for the weather especially from June to September when it can be quite warm.

2. Stroll the Venice Boardwalk

The Venice Boardwalk is a two-mile long strip that has a variety of attractions. On the west side of the strip, visitors can see a variety of street entertainers and performers. The east side of Boardwalk contains a variety of shops, restaurants and clubs. The area also has a bike path, a roller-skating plaza and skateboard ramps. Strolling along the boardwalk is free.
While strolling along the Boardwalk is one of the most popular things to do in Venice Beach, due to its length, seniors may have a hard time walking along the Boardwalk and vehicles are not allowed. Parents are advised to consider what they want their children exposed to as there is a variety of entertainment options. The best time to visit the Venice Boardwalk is during the summer, but remember to take water along. You will also need money to tip the street performers.

3. Hike Along on the Reel to Real Walking Tour

Join Jonathan Kaplan, a 20-year Venice native, on a Reel to Real Walking Tour of Venice. Ever since Abbott Kenney first laid out the city, it has drawn top-name entertainers. People on these tours which is one of the most popular things to do in Venice Beach can see historical footage of the city throughout its history while standing on the exact spot where the footage was filmed. All tours start in front of the Venice Post Office. Tours range from $20 to $45.
Since each tour lasts between two and four hours, it is usually best for people who are in good physical shape. Therefore, it may not be the best choice for children and seniors. Those attending these walks can choose the one that interests them the most including beach walks, the historic Canal District, and the Kinney Historic District.

4. Fish at the Venice Pier

One of the most popular things to do in Venice Beach is fishing from the pier. Anglers love the opportunity often catching a great variety of fish including yellow tail and white sea bass, trigger fish and needle fish. The pier is located near the intersection of Ocean Front Walk and Washington Boulevard.
This pier is the perfect spot for people who use wheelchairs because they have cut out spots in the railing making fishing easier when sitting down. Fishing here requires that you bring your own equipment as there are no places to rent any. Some bait is available at Nick’s Liquor Store located near the pier. Parking is limited, so consider using the free shuttle.

5. Sip Drinks at the Rooftop Lounge

After a full day of exploring things to do in Venice Beach, then relax with a drink at the High Rooftop Lounge. This lounge sits on top of Hotel Erwin and is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike. The best time to go is usually on the weekends when DJs are playing music. In addition to cocktails often featuring locally sourced ingredients, they also serve many favorite bar foods.
Obviously this activity is not for children. The legal drinking age in California is 21. Venice has a much higher than average number of single people. Many of them congregate at this location.

6. Visit the Mosaic Tile House

The Mosaic Tile House located at 1116 Palms Boulevard is a great place to tour by appointment only. The cost of the tour is $12, and it can be made by emailing mosaictilehouse@mac.com. The home is the creation of Chari Pann and Gonzalo Duran who have spent more than 20 years covering every surface inside and out with mosaic tile. The home also contains many found objects that have been turned into works of art. All surfaces in the home are covered with tiles including furniture while outside the couple has even covered the ground.
While this tour is among the favorite things to do in Venice Beach, it may not be appropriate for small children. The couple lives in the home, so make sure to respect their privacy. They also operate a gift shop where they sell creations to the public.

7. Eat at Curio Cowboy

Any meal is a great one at Curio Cowboy that draws its inspiration from Egypt where the owners grew up. The restaurant is located at 46 Windward. This restaurant uses no trans-fats and no preservatives. Starting a day here by dining on a great breakfast in their beautifully landscaped garden is one of the favorite things to do in Venice Beach. Consider ordering the big Egyptian Burrito for $7 or their delicious Nutella bagels for $4. They open at 8 AM and are open to 10 PM during the week and 11 PM on the weekends. They are not open on Tuesdays.
This restaurant is great for everyone with many options for people on special diets. They do not take reservations, so during the busy times, you may have to wait a few minutes.

8. See the Venice Beach Freakshow

Make sure to attend the Venice Beach Freakshow to learn that there is no such thing as normal. Once inside this popular thing to do in Venice Beach, you will see a vast array of animals with more than the normal amount of parts, including a dog with two noses, a two-headed baby chick and a turtle that tries to swim in two directions at the same time getting no where. Every seven minutes, the Freakshow has a stage show where people swallow swords and a seven-foot long balloon. Admission to the freakshow is just $5 a person.
Everyone will enjoy attending the Freakshow. This show has been featured on AMC. The show is open only from noon to 6 PM on weekends.

9. Workout at Muscle Beach

If you want to prove that you have a body of steel, then work out at Muscle Beach. This facility is one of the few outdoor weightlifting locations in the world. If you do not have what it takes as a bodybuilder, then you can watch shows at this location on many different weekends. Cost to work out here is $10 per day. Most shows are free to watch making them one of the most popular things to do in Venice Beach.
Participants need to be in good shape to work out at this facility operated by the Los Angeles Parks and Recreation Department. It is open from 8 AM to 5 PM most days and until 7 PM on some. No one is allowed in the exercise area without purchasing a day pass. Children are not allowed in the exercise arena.

10. View the Murals

At various points around Venice Beach, 24 large-scale murals have been painted. The best way to see the murals is by walking which is a three-mile round trip beginning at the Social and Public Art Resource Center located at 685 Venice Boulevard. The outside of this building contains the mural of Abbot Kinney. Many of the murals feature history lessons from earlier times in Venice Beach. The Chamber of Commerce publishes a walking guide. Seeing the murals is free.
This tour is best for those who are able to walk three miles. There are various places to stop and rest along the way. Visitors can also see the murals by riding bicycles or roller-skating. It is also possible to see many of the murals from a car. The walking distance can be cut to about 1.5 miles by taking public transportation part of the way.
There are many exciting things to do in Venice Beach. Plan your trip to play on the beach, explore the culture, enjoy great food and see unique attractions very soon.

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