Sunshine, sand, and waves…Ahh is there anything else more relaxing than the combination of these things?
If you find yourself anywhere near the LA area, then take a spontaneous trip and add Venice beach to your list!
With the Venice Beach Itinerary, who says you can’t spend a day or two here!
After all, who doesn’t see countless videos on social media about popular influencers visiting this beach?
Who knows…you may just run into one of these influencers!
One thing is certain, this beach may be what you are expecting from a beach vacation.
Of course, it is up to you to decide whether or not you want to check it out!
A little bit about Venice Beach California
Venice Beach, California is located in Orange County.
It is probably one of the most famous and popular beaches in all of LA County!
Not only do famous celebrities and influencers make a ton of videos here, but there is something hipster and upbeat about this particular beach town.
It hosts about 3 miles of coastline and about 236 acres of the beach!
You can do everything from visiting the skate park, playing tennis, working out at muscle beach, and biking.
If you have never been here then it may be something you want to check out! Just favorite this Venice Beach itinerary so you are ready to go!
The Cool History of Venice Beach
Venice Beach has a quite interesting history. One of the most pragmatic things surrounding this buzzing city is the vision of what it became.
Venice beach was just a marshland before the 1900s.
According to a history, Venice beach became a grandiose vision of tobacco millionaire Abbot Kinney.
He envisioned it as a beach resort town in 1905 as the “Venice of America”, where his imagination ran wild.
It was then that he wanted to recreate Venice Italy in California, hosting everything from gondolas, canals, Venetian-styled buildings, hotels, and amusement piers.
A grandiose dream that would only be short-lived.
He did get straight to work and featured an amazing grand opening!
According to history, there was everything from fireworks, yacht racing, swimming races, concerts, and newly built 16 miles of Venetian look-alike canals!
Kinney also built a 1200-foot long amusement pier that featured attractions, restaurants, and more.
But after his passing in 1920, things took a turn.
After having his son take over the business, the pier burned down about a month later. It was rebuilt but another fire destroyed it once again.
In 1929 Venice beach became officially part of the city of Los Angeles.
Everything from the Great Depression to discovering oil in the area changed what was once known as a big touristic place.
Oil canals were filled in to help ease the flow of traffic, the miniature railroad was removed.
WWII happened and the area was used by the national guardsmen for patrolling enemy ships and submarines lurking nearby.
In the 1950s it became known as the “slum of the sea”.
However, it wasn’t till the 1960’s that Venice beach was recreated. Old buildings were demolished to bring out new structures.
Fast forward to the 1960s and beyond, it has once again become a tourist attraction!! To check out some more history, visit the source.
What to expect when visiting Venice Beach California
In summary, Venice Beach is known for its upbeat, buzzing crowded bohemian beach vibe. Do not expect it to be a blissful paradise of a quiet serene beach.
On the contrary, Venice Beach is a very popular and interesting sight to check out in LA county. It is definitely a busy beach! Think Miami in California.
Some people love it while others don’t.
You can see everything from artists, bikini-clad roller skaters, palm readers, street performers, belly dancers, vendors, and bodybuilders.
It’s perfect for shopping and eating!
It does have pretty cool things to check out but it also has a side of not-so-cool things.
Moreover, do not be surprised to realize the other side of how dirty it can be. Remember, there is a larger population of people inhabiting the area.
The biggest shocker is seeing homeless encampments and trash built up.
There are shops on one side of the boardwalk and homeless encampments on the other. It is truly sad to see.
When walking the Venice boardwalk, there are lots of people who try and sell you their albums or take their flyers.
So keep in mind that you may be bombarded with advertisers. Just kindly say no thank you and move on.
In addition, there are all sorts of funky stores with very interesting clothing slogans printed in bold words.
It is indeed a very touristy beach that has grown in population over time! (This Venice Beach itinerary is my honest opinion of what to expect when visiting)
Best time to visit
Venice Beach, like most beaches in Cali, has cold water temperatures.
One of the biggest differences between the east coast and west cold beaches is the water temperatures and weather.
So if you are going to visit any beach in Cali then keep in mind that this is also true.
Though, it is typically common that the weather is best in July which oftentimes gives you warmer temperatures making the water that much more tolerable.
And with the weather being hot, it’s nice to get a dip in the water around that time!
So if you are planning a beach trip or vacation, then best plan in the summer!
June still has some June gloom, but July and August are nice for that weather.
Just keep in mind that there are obviously more crowds with summer breaks and people having more time off.
Where to Fly-in
Since Venice Beach California is located in Orange County, your best bet will be Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
It is one of the closest airports that will bring you to Venice Beach.
LAX has many major airlines that fly there and is known as one of the busiest airports in all of California.
You can explore Orbitz to compare prices for the best flight deals.
How to get around Venice Beach
Once you’re in Venice Beach you have options of walking around the beach or renting a bicycle for an allotted time.
The best way to get to know Venice Beach and or its surrounding beaches is to walk it.
My favorite has been to bike it and take the biking trail that leads you into Santa Monica Beach Pier.
It is one of the best ways to get to see Venice beach in a short amount of time!
However, in order to explore outside Venice beach and check out the cool surrounding area of LA, your best bet is to rent a car.
Sure, you may have to pay for parking at the beach if you decide to rent a vehicle, but it is definitely worth it. There is a lot to explore in LA.
Where to Park at Venice Beach
Parking is a bit tricky to find at Venice Beach. Most parking lots charge a parking fee. It is best to arrive early to secure a spot. Depending on what season you go, it may fill up quickly.
Rose Ave Parking
- Address (You can find it at Speedway and Rose Ave.)
- Parking fee $15.
(Keep in mind, most parking lot places do NOT allow you to come in and out of there) So once you park, you pretty much stay there.
OceanFront Parking Lot
- Address 2700-3100 Ocean Front Walk
- Parking fee $15
There are a couple more parking lots along Speedway, just keep in mind that they do charge a fee for parking. Parking lot prices are similar, so expect to pay anywhere from $15-20 a day.
Where to stay
There are a couple of hotels along the beach area of Venice Beach. Though some are not nice and very pricey.
If you look a little past the beach, you can find some really nice hotels. Depending on if you’re looking for a 3-star or 4-star hotel, there are lots within walking distance.
Check out Orbitz for the best hotel deals near here!
Cool things to do around Venice Beach
- Visit the shops on the Venice Beach boardwalk
- Do any beach activity such as swimming, surfing, fishing, or beach volleyball
- Visit the graffiti park
- Visit the Skate Park
- Catch or play a game at the tennis courts
- Catch the sunset at the beach itself
- Take pics at the pride lifeguard tower
- People watch on the Venice Beach boardwalk
- Check out muscle beach
- Grab lunch or a dessert on the boardwalk
- Check out the colorful murals on the Venice Beach boardwalk
- Rent a bicycle and do the bike trail to Santa Monica Pier
- Check out the Venice Canals
- See the Iconic Venice street sign
2-day Venice Beach Itinerary
- Start the day by grabbing breakfast on the boardwalk
- Take a stroll to the Venice canals
- Check out the iconic Venice street sign
- Walk to graffiti park and the skatepark
- Catch the sunset on the beach
- Rent a bicycle and ride to Santa Monica Pier
- Visit the pride lifeguard tower
- Grab lunch or dessert on the boardwalk
- Go for a swim, or play volleyball near muscle beach
Tips and Tricks
- Go early morning to get a good chance of parking especially in the summer
- Remember most parking lots do NOT allow in and out entrance
- Never leave valuables inside your car there had been break-ins reported
- Rent a bike if your short on time so you can see most of Venice beach
Venice Beach California is one of those beaches you need to see for yourself.
Some people will love it! Others will hate it.
It really is up to you and what your preferences are!
If you like the more upbeat, hip, and busy beach with lots to see and do…then this beach may be for you.
However, if you prefer a quiet serene beach to take your family, then this may not be it.
Whether you are thinking of visiting or just want to go to find out what all the hype is then see for yourself.
You can say that Venice Beach is one of those beaches known for its busy scene!
You can find everything from street performers, workout aficionados, skateboarders, and tourists.
Sadly, Venice beach also has a side of homeless encampments and trash.
So do not be surprised to see this here as well. Just be wary of your surroundings and follow the tips and tricks of getting around Venice Beach!
There are things worth seeing while visiting!
Hopefully, this Venice Beach itinerary & guide explains some things that will allow you to get started when you first visit.
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- The Ultimate San Diego Itinerary: The Samurai Way
- Ventura Beach and Pier Guide: Things To Do and More!
- Point Checklist: A Coronado Beach Vacation Guide
- San Clemente to San Diego Guide
- Crystal Cove State Park Destination Guide
Jess and Jeanette are two sisters who created Unseen Beaches. This beach travel site was inspired by their family beach vacations while growing up. Helping you discover the best U.S. beach destinations worth visiting, staying, and eating.