A Day at Los Angeles’ Venice Beach

16 September 2014

Venice Beach is as American as apple pie and a trip to Los Angeles isn't complete without paying the area a visit. Check out the iconic bodybuilders training in the outdoor gym, watch the quirky and creative activity along the boardwalk and stroll through the canal-lined streets.

 Enjoy the laid-back  Venice Beach vibe

 

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What To See And Do:

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The Boardwalk

The boardwalk is the place to go for live street performers, souvenirs, juice bars and Cali-style taco vendors. You can get everything here from tattoos to sunglasses and you will find tourists and locals alike enjoying the two-and-a-half kilometre stretch of walkway. Enjoy a bike ride or don a pair of skates or rollerblades and go full ‘Cali’. Failing that, simply take a stroll and watch the many eccentric personalities that call this place home.

 Stroll along the promenade

 

Muscle Beach Venice

This is an open-air weights pen with bodybuilders wearing tighter-than-tight clothing – what’s not to love? Muscle Beach is infamous for being the training ground for many famous bodybuilders (including Arnold Schwarzenegger, at one time) and is a surprisingly tourist-friendly place. You’ll find visitors hanging by the railings watching the gym-goers pump iron all day long. You can even train there if you like, with day and week passes available for guests.

Canals

In the backstreets of Venice just a few blocks from the ocean are canal-lined streets with quaint bridges joining each side. It’s picture perfect and quintessentially Venice. If you’re into quieter beachside days, then wandering along these walkways with a fresh juice is a great way to spend a day.

 Pump some iron at Arnold Schwarzenegger's old digs at Muscle Beach

 

Party

Californians know how to party and Venice Beach is a prime example of that. As with most of Los Angeles, it’s good to know a local to get inside information about what venues have the best atmosphere. This isn’t always obvious from a quick glance. Spend some time checking out the cafes at the beach during the day and ask the staff where the most popular spots are. If you like beach views then check out High Rooftop Lounge at Hotel Erwin.

Venice Farmers Markets

Fruits, jams, honey, coffee and as much locally-sourced fresh produce as you could wish for. The farmers market is a great way to get to know local producers and residents, and kick-start your day the healthy Californian way. The farmers market has been running since 1987 and is as ‘Venice’ as the boardwalk and the canals. It’s great for those who want to see a different side to this normally quite quirky and eccentric part of Los Angeles.

 Enjoy the quainter side of Venice Beach

 

Californication

Fans of the hit TV show Californication could spend a day at Venice Beach simply retracing David Duchovny’s debauched footsteps. It is here that his character Hank lived and caused all kinds of mayhem. If you’ve seen any of the show you’ll know exactly what to expect from the never dull Venice Beach.

From Santa Monica to Marina Del Rey

If you want to take in more of California’s coastline then start in Santa Monica and hire a bike. Santa Monica to Marina del Rey has to be one of the world’s greatest urban bike paths with the ocean next to you the entire way. The ride should take around half an hour so it’s perfect if you want to take your time and stop along the way. A handy tip though: try and do this early as the area can get a little congested with pedestrians as the day passes.

Tracy Fitzgerald

Tracy Fitzgerald is a big believer that relaxation comes in many forms and has been travelling her whole life trying to discover ways to pacify her restless soul. Her travels have seen her teaching surfing (badly) in the Dominican Republic, playing her violin to strangers in Prague, ‘Jeeping’ around tropical Puerto Rican islands, and living the high life in Dubai and the busy life in London. Now in Sydney, Tracy is a writer and editor who is still trying her very best to just relax…