I’ve been wanting to visit Venice Beach for a long time. During a family trip to Los Angeles last weekend, I finally got the chance. It was as fun as beaches get and a very relaxing place to spend the day.
Next time, we’ll definitely rent a beach house by the shore and stay for a couple of days. One day is definitely not enough to see everything Venice has to offer — or have a go at all 10 of these Must-Dos.
July was a good month to visit Venice Beach due to its breezy, sunny weather — perfect for surfing. Lots of beachgoers enjoy taking to the waves at Venice. Even if your family doesn’t surf (like mine doesn’t), it’s just as fun to watch those who do show off in the water.
2. Play/relax on the beach
Of course you need to take advantage of the quiet and sandy beach here. Even though Venice Beach is popular, it’s not as crowded as Santa Monica. If you just want some quiet time for sunbathing or watching the kids play in the sand, then you’ll fall in love with Venice. There are even public bathrooms and showers you can use at the end of the day.
Its separate bike path makes biking along the shore so much more enjoyable. There’s no need to worry about running over pedestrians, and the scenery along the path from Venice to Santa Monica Beach is spectacular. For about 12 bucks, you can rent a bike for half the day. Not a bad deal at all.
4. Take pictures of cute beach houses
I am not kidding when I say Venice has some of the world’s cutest beach houses. We took so many photos of all the cute houses in the neighborhood. It’s really fun to see locals who actually live there enjoying a cup of coffee on their front porch and running in the morning.
5. Enjoy a brunch at The Cow’s End Cafe
There are tons of great restaurants on Washington Boulevard, but my family loved The Cow’s End Cafe! The food is delicious and fresh — you’ve absolutely got to try one of their sandwiches and omelettes — but my favorite part was actually the upstairs reading area. It’s really quiet and relaxing, and you’ll find many locals kicked back with a book or computer, reading and writing. Oh, and the smoothies are the bomb. Make sure you try the refreshing Acai smoothie to start the day. You won’t regret.
My advice for you is to avoid shopping at the famous (read: touristy) boardwalk. If you want an authentic shopping experience at Venice Beach, make sure you explore the smaller streets where there are tons of tiny boutiques and hidden treasures tucked away. Abbot Kinney Boulevard and Main Street are great for browsing handmade furniture, home decorations, and vintage clothing stores.
7. Watch performances on the boardwalk
Bring lots of $1 bills to tip hardworking street performers along the boardwalk. You will find paintings of Venice, dancers, singers, artists, and photographers showing off their talents along the walk. It’s their talent and artistry that makes Venice Beach so fun and special.
8. Admire wall art everywhere
In Venice, you’ll find vibrant wall art just about everywhere you go. They really add color to Venice and serve as great photo backdrops. The Venice Art Walls are free and open for anyone to paint on so long as they obtain the free painting permit beforehand.
The $2 million Venice Beach Skate Park features a 16,000-square-foot facility with lots of street skateboarding elements.
10. Fish at the pier
The pier of Venice Beach is a fisherman’s paradise. It is not as crowded as other piers so you can enjoy some quiet hours watching the waves and surfers.
What are your favorite things to do at Venice Beach? Hit the comments to share your best tips for getting around the area.