If you know anything about Venice Beach you know it encompasses a variety of entertainers, artistic venues, exclusive boutiques, and eccentric personalities. In nutshell, things can get a little weird out in Venice.
Look past the T-shirt shops and street performers and you'll find enough things to do in Venice that are downright pleasant and—dare we say—borderline charming. Many visitors make a beeline for the grungy Venice Boardwalk, admittedly an iconic L.A. attraction. But there's so much more to see beyond the boardwalk, from idyllic canals to quiet patches of sand that rank among L.A.'s best beaches. Make sure to add these things to do in Venice to your itinerary.
The Venice Canals offer a completely different side of the famed beachfront neighborhood. Take a stroll through these three canal-lined blocks—hence the name, Venice—and you'll discover an idyllic scene: arching pedestrian bridges, charming beach houses, bunches of ducklings and the occasional paddle boarding bulldog. Though you won't find boat rentals anywhere along the canals, you can bring your own non-motorized vessel to tour the neighborhood at water level (enter via the launch ramp at Venice Boulevard).
When artists Cheri Pann and Gonzalo Duran first moved into their Venice home, it was nothing more than a simple, rather drab house. But over the couse of a decade, the couple transformed their live-work space into a spectacular collage of colorful tiles, stone and clay wares. You can explore the space on weekends—you'll just need to make a reservation first.
Surrounded by bad beach food and throngs of people, this little shop has been an oasis of literary calm for four decades. Their local author selection is right up front, so check out the local talent before perusing the aisles, where you'll find a number of hard-to-find independent imprints, along with the more usual suspects such as McSweeney's.
The Venice Oceanarium is a “museum without walls.” This non – profit organization hosts weekly exhibits on the pier where you can view sea creatures up close. The group also holds other events such as after school programs to the beach, grunion runs, and boat trips.
This Real to Reel Vintage Walking Tour of Venice isn’t just any normal walking tour – while passing through the city’s gems, you can watch movies on an iPad with the guide that were filmed on the exact site you walk on using over 104 years of film snippets to fuel the experience. The tour was also voted Los Angeles Magazine’s “Best Walking Tour” of 2012 and 2013. So whether you’re a local or totally new in town, there’s always something to learn about the history of Venice Beach, and this is a fun way to explore it!
Venice, CA is home to some of the best dressed people in L.A. If you would rather not spend your paycheck on one piece of clothing in Beverly Hills, you should seriously consider thrift shopping on main street in Venice near Pacific Ave because its location get an exclusive access to rad designs that you wouldn’t be able to find in other parts of Los Angeles.
For more than two decades a Venice couple has been transforming a 1940’s house into a living work of art by plastering every surface (both inside and out) with ceramic tiles, glass, mirror shards, and other found objects. The result is visually sensational, and you can visit it for free (by appointment only).
C&O’s is a local favorite Italian restaurant, located very near to the ocean front walk. One of the favorites in the restaurant is C&O’s popular garlic rolls that endlessly attract the same customers. It’s a festive setting, which even has nightly Italian sing-alongs where all the customers and waiters become one making Venice Beach seem like a true Italian city.