Watch CBS News

Top Activities In Venice Beach

Venice Beach may conjure up images of its eclectic boardwalk, however, with its variety of entertainers, artistic venues, exclusive boutiques, and eccentric personalities, there are other great destinations for locals and tourists alike to explore. From its picturesque beach to famed the Muscle Beach and Abbot Kinney Boulevard's shops, Venice has something for everyone to enjoy. We've put together a guide of the top activities to do while you are in Venice.
Venice Beach Boardwalk
(credit: Robyn Beck/Getty Images)

Take A Stroll On The Famed Venice Boardwalk

The boardwalk has become famous due to its eclectic nature, as well as a great local surf spot with the Venice Breakwater. Known for its history when it became a center for the Beat generation in the 1950s and 60s, the Venice Boardwalk runs parallel to the Pacific and offers an extremely diverse demographic. Restaurants, street performers, small shops, the famed Muscle Beach and much more line the board walk, so there's plenty to do and see. Rain or shine, when you visit the boardwalk there will always be entertainment and something to catch your eye.

venice canal
(credit: Belyay/shutterstock)

Visit The Venice Canals

The beautiful waterways and houses surrounding the Venice Canals are one of Venice's most popular attractions. The man-made canals, which were built in 1905, drew inspiration from Venice, Italy, and are adorned with arched bridges. Currently, there are several blocks of beautiful walking to take in, too. Whether you are looking to escape the masses in Venice or to just take a calm stroll in the sunshine, the Venice Canals are a place of tranquility and beauty. But, keep in mind, it's important to be respectful of noise levels as it is still a residential neighborhood.

BURRO - abbot kinney - verified jarone
(credit: Amanda Weir)

Shop Abbot Kinney Boulevard

Located just a mile from Venice Beach, the mile-long Abbot Kinney Blvd. is the hub for everything in Venice, including art, fashion and much more in Venice. Some of the top shops to peruse along the street include the artsy store Burro, Le Labo, which offers niche perfumes and candles, and designer eye ware spot Warby Parker. Galleries include the award-winning nature and wildlife photography G2 Gallery, and the contemporary art gallery De Soto Gallery among others. Other notable shops include A Kinney Court, with their eyewear, footwear, accessories, art and books, as well as Aesop, Steven Alan, Alternative Apparel, Stag Provisions and many more. View a full directory of shops.

(credit: Gjelina)

Eat & Drink On Abbot Kinney Boulevard

Serving everything from juices, artisanal ice cream, donuts, vegan fare, pizza and much more, Abbot Kinney offers something for everyone. If you are in the mood for something sweet, Blue Star Donuts makes its specialty brioche dough fresh from scratch each day at 3 a.m. with house favorites and seasonal specialties. Or, visit Salt & Straw, the artisanal scoop shop known for its monthly rotating flavor series, serves small batch ice cream. If you are looking to fill your belly a tad more, Gjelina is a hot spot for seasonal New American cuisine and has been a staple of the boulevard for years. For a quicker to go type of meal, next door is Gjelina Take Away also. Plant Food + Wine offers upscale vegan fare with a beautiful patio, while The Tasting Kitchen offers diners an intimate upscale dining experience with a daily changing menu. And, if food trucks are your thing, head over on the first Friday of any month and enjoy a rotating list of some of the most popular food trucks in L.A. It's always a fun night out.

venice bike beach biking
(credit: istockphoto)

Take A Bike Ride On Venice's Bike Path

One of the best ways to see and experience everything Venice is to take a bike ride down the Venice Beach bike path. The path starts at around Navy Street on the North end and runs through to the Venice Pier at Washington Blvd with one side being the beautiful Pacific Ocean and the other the Ocean Front Boardwalk. You can even start in Santa Monica north of the Pier if you want a longer ride, and stroll south to get to Venice Beach.

venice beach
(credit: Joel Anderson/shutterstock)

Visit The Venice Oceanarium
Venice Oceanarium
330 Market St.
Venice, CA 90291
(424) 270-5757

The Venice Oceanarium is a museum-without-walls on Venice Beach. The Oceanarium's mission is to impart a better understanding of the ocean and the life within it and holds weekly, free of charge, local ocean life exhibits on Venice Pier. They do not have a permanent facility, but do set up regular displays of ocean life at the Venice Pier including late night Grunion Run Parties on Venice Beach, as well as educational nature walks along the seashore, local ocean life display and lectures at schools, community organizations, birthday parties, festivals, and special events.

hotel-erwin- verified jarone
(credit: Hotel Erwin)

Have A Drink And Take In The Views Of Venice
Hotel Erwin
1697 Pacific Ave.
Venice, CA 90291
(424) 214-1062

One of the best places to grab a drink and have a bite to eat with a great view is at The Hotel Erwin. Located in the heart of Venice Beach, Hotel Erwin offers the only rooftop bar in Venice Beach called High Rooftop Lounge. Guests have full 360 degree views of Venice where they can watch the sunset over the ocean and on a clear day see all the way to Downtown, too. With nightly drink specials, live DJs and a locally inspired menu, it's a must-go for Venice nightlife.

venice beach
(credit: NZGMW/shutterstock)

Visit Muscle Beach

Located just a few steps from the Venice Beach Boardwalk, Muscle Beach Gym is one of the few treasures of Venice. The home gym of bodybuilders around town, including former greats Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno, it is the only outdoor weight room around. Whether you want to test your strength, a day pass is $10, a week pass is $50 and a year membership is $170, or take pictures with the behemoths on the beach, walk down the boardwalk and check out Muscle Beach.

Article by Jarone Ashkenazi is a freelance writer who covers: restaurants, bars, dating, relationships, sports and other lifestyle topics. More of his work can be viewed at Connect with him on Twitter: @JaroneAsh.
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.