Time Out says
People-watching is the raison d'être at Venice Beach, which effectively continues from the southern end of Santa Monica Beach without a break. Jump into the flow of the winding Venice Boardwalk, where you can skate or cycle, watch or play volleyball or basketball, and check out the pumped-up gym obsessives who work out at Muscle Beach. Surfers may want to opt out of the less than pristine waters with inconsistent waves. For a completely different side of Venice, take a stroll through the idyllic Venice Canals (centered around Venice Boulevard and Dell Avenue). Street parking is usually jammed, but there are several beachside lots.
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Users say (10)
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Not being from LA, you realize Venice Beach is the reason that you moved here. Although it can be very tourist, Venice is a special place. Great place to people watch. Skate park, basketball courts, muscle beach, drum circles and shopping. I forgot to mention the beach. But Venice is still dope 6 years after moving to LA.
Nope. There's just nothing charming about the Venice Boardwalk. It's a shame because the actual surf and sand part of the beach is pretty nice—but everything you need to encounter on the way there, from parking to the boardwalk's performers and vendors, is just the worst. If you want a city beach, head south to Manhattan or north to Santa Monica—thanks to the Expo Line opening.
Venice Beach is the perfect place if you're looking for patchouli and hemp mixed with colorful architecture and more colorful personalities. It's also the place to find unofficial (or official) California landmarks such as Muscle Beach and the Venice Boardwalk.
Venice Beach is always a good time! Whether you're going for the beach, the interesting characters that you inevitably encounter or to go to some of the beachy bars in the area (a favorite of mine is Cabo Cantina), it's a fun and entertaining time. There's no other place in LA that gives the same feel as Venice does!
Venice beach is a great touristy spot unlike any of the other beaches in LA, more catered to shopping. To guarantee a parking spot in advance you can reserve a spot beforehand here: http://www.parkme.com/los-angeles-parking/venice-beach