Chels and I had another weekday off together and decided it was high time we went and explored Venice Beach. And I just want to know… why did we wait so long to go there!? I loved it! Every beach town along this coast seems to have its own unique personality, and Venice especially had a whole lot of unique personality! I’ve always heard how eccentric this little beach town is and how you’ll see the most colorful characters while visiting. While I feel like those people may have been exaggerating a little bit, it was quite eccentric. Maybe more bizarre people come out during the weekends; who knows? I just know that it was quite the fun place to visit and I definitely want to go back soon.
We started our afternoon at the pier; we parked in a day lot there in fact, and had no trouble finding a spot. ($6 for the full day is quite the steal around here!) From the pier you can see south towards Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach and watch the planes heading west above the Pacific as they take off from LAX. Looking north you can see the Santa Monica Mountains, Malibu, and if you look closely, the Santa Monica Pier. Next time I visit I’d like to split the day, spending half of the day in Santa Monica and then renting a bike to ride down the boardwalk to Venice Beach.
There are lots of restaurants and bars around the pier area, as well as many homes and apartments. And murals! So many murals! (One of Venice’s best features, truly!) Farther north is where you’ll find the more touristy part of Venice. The farther north we walked, the more eccentric it became. This part of the boardwalk is probably what people are most referring to when they talk about VB. The infamous “Muscle Beach Venice” is situated along this strip, which is a public city park offering racquetball, basketball, and tennis courts, exercise equipment, and the familiar skate park I’ve seen in so many photos online. If you’ve seen a movie with scenes of people skating and working out by the beach, you’ve probably seen this park. Also, so much graffiti, which seems encouraged here and definitely brightens up what could be a very grey, concrete area. We spent a while looking around the different tags and then watched the skateboaders for a bit.
The boardwalk in this area is honestly not much more than a tacky tourist destination. People line up along one side of the sidewalk to sell their own arts and crafts while the storefront side sells you souvenirs, t-shirts, and medical marijuana cards. It was interesting to walk along there, but it seemed to go on for quite a ways; once you’ve seen one shop full of touristy California t-shirts, you’ve sort of seen them all. Not to say I wouldn’t wear this Biggie shirt though, because I totally would.
My favorite part of Venice Beach was actually the canals, but I’ll post those photos another day! It just gives you something to look forward to. 🙂