Venice Beach, best known for it’s eclectic boardwalk, muscle beach and street performers, is my favorite place to play tour guide while still experiencing that local flavor. You’ll see everyone from local’s walking their dogs, biking, skateboarding and rollerblading to tourists from all over the world. There are vendors selling on the street and performers singing and dancing for your pocket change. It’s people watching heaven and you won’t be disappointed. Day three of my guide to L.A. Takes you to Venice, California for a blend of tourist must sees with local love for the perfect beach-side city day!
How to Explore Los Angeles in Three Days Like a Local: Day Three
Take a stroll down the Venice Beach Boardwalk for an eccentric mix of wacky and weird where local life collides with street performers and vendors. There’s no shortage of shopping to be done here. From Venice and California souvenirs, novelty items, and a plethora of amazing locally made art you’ll easily find a memento or two to take home with you.
The Venice Beach Boardwalk, on Ocean Front Walk, a great place to grab a bite to eat. The Sidewalk Cafe or On the Waterfront Cafe are both beachfront dining favorites with fresh delicious menus. The Sidewalk Cafe has Tacos Tuesdays and a fantastic Happy hour Monday through Fridays. From the boardwalk you can wander down to the ocean and dip your toes in the water. Bring your beach towel and sunscreen and stay awhile.
The Sidewalk Cafe: 1401 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291
On the Waterfront Cafe: 205 Ocean Front Walk, Venice California, 90291
Parking: Lots by the beach range anywhere from $10 – $18 dollars for the day. I recommend parking once and being prepared to do a lot of walking! Free street parking in the surrounding neighborhoods can be tough to find on the weekends, but if you’re willing to hunt for it, you just might get lucky and save a few bucks!
Grab some Four Barrel coffee at my favorite coffee shop Menotti’s Coffee Stop. This awesome coffee bar is relatively new to the Venice coffee shop scene, opening up at it’s Winward Avenue location in 2013. With it’s award winning latte-art baristas and sweet secret menu you will not be disappointed! Stay and enjoy your coffee in their hip shop then take a walk to the end of the block for a shot of the iconic VENICE sign.
Menotti’s Coffee Stop: 56 Windward Ave, Venice, CA 90291
VENICE Sign: Pacific Ave & Windward Ave, Venice, CA 90291
Continue down the boardwalk all the way to the Venice pier. It’s a great spot to see surfers catch a few waves! I love all the beach houses along the walkway on one side and the ocean and palm trees along the other side. From the pier you can walk up W Washington Boulevard. Keep an eye open for the beautiful Venice Canals. The Boulevard crosses over the Grand Canal right after Strong’s Drive.
You’ll find an entrance to the walkways to the Venice Canals right off of W Washington Street. I only recently discovered the canals! Talk about quaint! I cannot believe how many times I’ve simply walked past the entrance over on 25th street not knowing the Canals were there!
For more about the canals read my post about these Beautiful Canals of Venice, California!
If you’re up for the walk it’s a little under two miles to the famous Abbot Kinney Boulevard. You should definitely plan to hit up Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Besides making many appearances in T.V. shows and movies it’s filled with sweet clothing, vintage, surf stores, coffee shops, cafes and restaurants. It’s also filled with lots of fun and instagrammable wall art! Looking for more instagrammable wall art? I wrote a post about The Most Instagrammable Street in LA!
Abbot Kinney Boulevard: Runs from Pacific Avenue to W Washington Avenue, Venice, CA
I love grabbing a cup of coffee at Intelligentsia Coffee! It’s one of my favorite coffee shops in Southern California. The vibe perfectly fits this hip beach city and all of the baristas are awesome. Their Black Cat espresso is fabulous and they make one yummy cappuccino! If you enjoy real macchiatos you won’t be disappointed and they make their own amazing infused syrups if you are looking for a flavored latte. They also have a wonderful tea selection and fresh baked goods.
Intelligentsia Coffee: 1331 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
Parking: Limited free parking behind shop. Metered street parking.
Have you been to Venice? What are some of your favorite spots to hit up?