Venice Beach

High on the list of things to see and do in Los Angeles is a visit to Venice Beach. While there are several world class beaches in the area with comparable views, Venice Beach is a congregation of fascinating characters, talented performers, and oceanfront amenities well-suited for a perfectly sun-soaked day.

Two things that must be experienced are the Boardwalk and the beach. However, the magic of Venice Beach doesn't begin and end at the water’s edge. The three-mile beach stretches along the Pacific tides with plenty of room for a group picnic, a game of soccer, volleyball, or the largest of sandcastles. Venice Breakwater offers some killer waves just north of the Venice Pier, used exclusively by serious surfers. The Boardwalk is famous for venice_beachits double-wide bike path, skating ramps, and restaurants while the Venice Pier is famous for its 1,300-foot long wooden walkway, excellent views, and fishing spots. Visit Muscle Beach where Arnold Schwarzenegger became part of the Gold’s Gym Famous in the 1980s and where fitness buffs continue to work out or simply hang out and relax on the golden, manicured sands.

People watching is a time-honored tradition at Venice Beach as are the street and sidewalk performers. Listen to the music and watch the golden-orange sunset over the ocean from High, an open-air rooftop lounge above the Hotel Erwin. Dine at Primitivo, the Sidewalk Cafe, or Bar Pico and then look through the kiosks, booths, and souvenir carts along the Ocean Front Walk.

Venice Beach sponsored annual events are a great way to participate in the Venice Beach culture. Do the New Year’s Day Venice Penguin Swim, yearly Art Crawl, or the Surf-A-Thon every October with hundreds of tourists and Los Angelinos. Take your group to this landmark beach and participate in the spirit and charm of Venice.