What’s the deal with Venice?
Venice, and its eclectic waterfront along Venice Beach, has long staked its claim as L.A.’s sort-of-grimy but beautiful bohemian enclave. But, for better or worse, the beachfront neighborhood has shed a bit of its New Age-y vibe in recent years as tech industry titans and farm-to-table foodies have transformed the now-high-end ’hood.
For better or worse, Venice Beach always makes its way toward the top of tourists’ to-do lists, so visiting Venice isn’t really a matter of if but what and where. From rooftop bars to an idyllic canal walk, here’s all you need to know about where to eat, drink, shop and stay in Venice.
Where exactly is Venice?
Bordered by Santa Monica to the north and Marina del Rey to the south, Venice is the beach town within L.A. city limits. You won’t find any rail service (Santa Monica’s E Line stops come closest), but you will find some Metro bus stops along the main roads. You can also reach Venice via the oceanfront Marvin Braude Bike Trail.
What will you find in Venice?
Most of the activity is clustered at the end of Venice Boulevard on the pedestrian-only Ocean Front Walk, better known as the Venice Boardwalk. For a bit more local flavor, Venice has become most closely associated with the posh boutiques and high-end yet casual eateries along Abbot Kinney Boulevard and, more recently, the low-key dining scene a couple of blocks inland on Rose Avenue.
If you only do one thing
Stroll along the Venice Canals, three tranquil canal-lined blocks with arching pedestrian bridges and eat-your-heart-out real estate.
Go off the beaten track
As its name implies, the Mosaic Tile House is a homegrown project that’s covered nearly ever surface of a residential home in colorful tiles.
What else is nearby?
If you follow Pacific Avenue or Main Street north, you’ll wind up in Santa Monica’s charming Ocean Park neighborhood, and then eventually it’s busier and more built up downtown. The southern extent of the area encircles Marina Del Rey’s upscale harbor. To the east, Venice Boulevard will take you into the more low-key Mar Vista and then the entertainment industry-driven area of Culver City.