Venice (California)

Venice, also sometimes referred to as Venice Beach, is a district of Los Angeles in Southern California. Its colorful Boardwalk is a great scene: free, fun, and funky, making the "short list" of things to do in Los Angeles.


Venice Canals

Venice was the creation and dream of one man, Abbot Kinney. Kinney was an investor who built a sort of recreation of Venice, Italy including a massive system of canals and a huge entertainment complex that opened in 1905 and became very popular.

The overly ambitious canals were mostly filled and made into streets in 1929. A few of the canals survive and are lined with funky, expensive, and architecturally diverse urban homes. A stroll along a couple of the remaining streets is a lesson in architectural eclecticism.

Kinney's huge Pacific Ocean Park entertainment complex survived until the mid-1960s, eventually succumbing to competition from Disneyland and others. The spirit of his seaside entertainment complex however, still pulses in Venice's captivating Boardwalk.

In the 1950s and '60s, Venice became a center for the Beat generation. There was an explosion of poetry and art. Major participants included Stuart Perkoff, John Thomas, Frank T. Rios, Tony Scibella, Lawrence Lipton, John Haag, Saul White, and Philomene Long. Jim Morrison of The Doors also lived in Venice and wrote much of his poetry and song lyrics here.

In the late '60s, Venice became a center for radical activism, including a Black Panther chapter, a Free Venice (from Los Angeles) movement and many other activities opposing various urban renewal plans. Venice, today, is a community in the throes of gentrification but maintains a strong identity and progressive political posture.

More than one hundred years after Kinney's debut, Venice remains unique and well worth the visit.

Get in

Driving from Los Angeles International Airport, take Lincoln Boulevard (CA-1) north and turn left on Venice Boulevard.

Taking a public bus from LAX to Venice is quite simple; take a free shuttle to the LAX Transit Center then board a #3 Santa Monica Blue Bus, north; ask for an interangency transfer. Get off at Washington Blvd. and at the NW corner of Lincoln and Washington take the Culver City Bus #1, west. Get off at Pacific and Windward; you are now in the heart of Venice Beach and Ocean Front Walk.

Get around

Venice itself is pretty much small enough to walk in, especially along the beach. You can hit more inland areas of Venice by car, bike, or on Metro bus lines.





Abbot Kinney Blvd. reflects the neighborhood's funky feel with eclectic shops, artist galleries, one-of-a-kind clothing and more. There are also many local artisans and craftsmen at Venice Beach along the Ocean Front Walk. Items range from tourist items, handmade jewelry, spoon art and bottle art (which is really cool) to bongs made out of beer cans.


This page uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
Budget Under $10
Mid-range $10 - $20
Splurge Over $20






Go next

The following cities and neighborhoods share borders with Venice:

Routes through Venice

Santa Barbara Santa Monica  N  S  Marina del Rey Long Beach

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, March 30, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.