Venice, California is a beach-side community that is perfect for any family looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. With its central location, all of Los Angeles is just outside your window. The luxury you will find in Venice goes beyond what you would expect from a Southern California community. This article will give you an inside look at this incredible town!
When you think of Venice, you think of the beach, and that makes sense because it’s the famous California boardwalk that is seen mostly on media. The Venice Beach promenade stretches a whopping two and a half miles long and has always been something of an open-air museum with its mix of artists, performers, vendors, food carts, street musicians, fortune tellers, and more.
A Bit of History
Surprisingly though, Venice hasn’t always had such an eclectic community. It started with the dream of an investor named Abbott Kinney who wanted to recreate the canals of its Italian namesake including a massive entertainment complex that was very popular in the early 1900s.
His vision didn’t last past the 1960s, with many canals being filled in to make room for streets and the entertainment complex succumbing to competition from Disneyland and others. Venice continues to be a hotspot for tourists and locals alike, with many options for people of all ages and demographics to find something to do.
The Art of People Watching
Venice is a hotspot for people watching, especially along the boardwalk. But it’s not just the tourists that make this neighborhood worth exploring, you’ll find all sorts of street vendors and performers in addition to some iconic art installations by local artists especially along Abbot Kinney Boulevard.
One such installation on the Venice Boardwalk has been transformed into what is now known as ‘The Living Room’. It was once an old firehouse that had been abandoned for many years and overgrown with weeds before artist Liz Larner took notice in 1989, clearing away the plants and turning it into a vibrant outdoor living space complete with couches and swings where anyone can come hang out or take pictures – perfect for when your toes need to rest after hours of beachcombing!
Get Ripped At Muscle Beach
Of course, you can’t talk about Venice without talking about the iconic Muscle Beach, a place where you can go for a little exercise or just to admire the most ripped dudes around. The historic center of this famed bodybuilding area was formally known as ‘Muscle Rendezvous’, but nowadays it’s called ‘The Pavilion’. These days, however, there has been an increase in women working out at muscle beach as Venice continues to draw in more and more diverse crowds of all demographics.
The Venice Canals
The Venice Canals are an important part of Venice’s history as they provided much-needed flood protection during storms for homes on higher ground; some residents even claim that their property values wouldn’t be what they are today without them.
The current canal system was built in 1927 with two sets of locks connecting it to the Pacific Ocean near Marina del Rey or Santa Monica Bay and Ballona Creek watersheds at its eastern end. This not only provides protection but also serves as a habitat for over 100 species of plants.
The Venice Canals are open to the public during daytime hours with free admission and you can rent a gondola for an hour. You’ll get one of the best views in all of LA while taking your leisurely ride.
Venice, California is also home to some of the top bars and restaurants in Los Angeles. There are so many amazing options to choose from that it can be difficult to narrow down your selection.
The Venice Whaler is a seafood restaurant located on the end of Sunset Blvd where you’ll find some of the freshest and most delicious cuisines around, including their lobster bisque and grilled salmon salad. A few blocks away on Abbot Kinney lies The Tasting Kitchen a modern twist on Mediterranean cuisine that always has a bustling brunch service that offers creative dishes and cocktails.
If you’re looking for something more upscale then head towards Washington Boulevard in Marina Del Rey or onto Rose Avenue near Santa Monica Bay and dine at some of Los Angeles’ most popular restaurants.
Bohemian Beach Town
Although definitely far from its Italian inspiration, Venice remains one of the most exciting neighborhoods in all of Southern California. Aside from its many area hotspots to explore, it also has some picturesque canals surrounded by modernist homes which are perfect for an afternoon stroll or evening bike ride.
So whether you’re a single individual looking for inspiration or a family that wants to settle down where the activities never end, Venice is a great neighborhood to call home.