Did you know California has its own version of the Venice Canals? If there’s one place in Southern California I love to take people it’s the City of Venice. It’s where wacky and weird collide with trendy and chic, sometimes all on the same block. You’ll find some of the prettiest neighborhoods in LA. You’ll be treated to street performers and be invited to a freak show. You can watch workouts at muscle beach as you head down the boardwalk. At the pier you’ll have the perfect spot to watch surfers catch a few waves. Then head inland and you’ll find Abbot Kinney’s Venice Canals.
The Venice Canals
Abbot Kinney envisioned a “Venice of America” resort town in Southern California with beautiful canal ways and gondola rides, amusement piers, a hot salt-water plunge, hotels and even Venetian-styled buildings. The Venice Canals built in 1905 were a tribute to the original Venice Canals in Italy. Then the modern age and automobiles came along and paved roads replaced canal ways. Soon what was left of them was forgotten, hidden away in the quiet yet lovely neighborhoods they run through.
The Venice Canals are located right off of 25th street in Venice Beach. You’d be surprised how easy it is to miss them. I’ve walked right by them and never even known they were there! As soon as I learned of their existence it wasn’t long before I was strolling the pretty walkways, crossing lovely white railed bridges and pretending I was in Italy for the afternoon.
I spent a lovely Sunday afternoon strolling through the canals. Sharing the walkways with tourists and locals out walking their dogs. Meanwhile residents enjoyed their patios, sitting and sipping refreshments, listening to music and barbecuing.
While it isn’t Italy and the charm of the 1900’s have given way to more modern times it certainly still is a pretty spot and a lovely stroll.
Have you been to the Venice Canals?