8 Reasons VENICE Should Top your LA List

June 13, 2017 Hilary

8 Reasons VENICE Should Top your LA List

#venicebeachI absolutely love LA, its many neighborhoods, and all they have to offer, but keeping up with all the fun can be tough! I know, fear of missing out (FOMO), isn’t exactly a real problem is it? Beyond the everyday happenings, which include a multitude of fabulous restaurants, endless shopping opportunities, and entertainment there are also numerous festivals, special events, and pop ups happening all over the city every single day! So little time so much fun!

#veniceOkay, I live here and I feel this way, so I can only imagine how a visitor must feel. How do you decide, with limited time, which of LA’s amazing neighborhoods to visit, and what should you do while there? I can help with that!

#venicebeachIn my humble opinion no trip to Los Angeles would be complete without a visit to the great and wonderful weird that is Venice, so it makes sense to start there! I’ve mentioned a few of these places in my recent post 50 things to do in LA, but thought it might be fun to highlight some of my favorite parts of this eclectic and spirited neighborhood in greater detail! Read on to see where you might you find me on any given day…

A Brief History


Venice, originally called the Venice of America, was founded as an independent city by Abbot Kinney in 1905. In 1926 Venice merged with the city of Los Angeles and is famous for it’s canals, beaches, and of course the famous Ocean Front Walk.


1. Abbot Kinney Boulevard

#abbotkinneyThe place to be right now, Abbot Kinney is one of the hottest streets in town! Many of today’s most popular fashion brands have stores here, not to mention street art galore, and the many trendy bars, coffee shops and restaurants to choose from. #favoriteplaces

#abbotkinneysunsetWhen I first moved to LA, 16 years ago, this area was still on its way up and had been for a while, but its safe to say it’s arrived, and then some! I like to spend time here on weekdays when it’s a little less crowded.

Current Elliot

#current/elliotOne of my favorite shopping spots, I love the fun, slightly eclectic casual style of Current Elliot. The clothing feels loved, vintage and worn in perfect for beach life.

Salt & Straw

#saltandstrawThe ice cream at Salt & Straw is delicious, but don’t take my word for it, the ever present line around the block should speak for itself. One reason the line is so long… you can sample as many flavors as you want!

Blue Star Donuts

donutsBlue Star is high on my list of LA donut shops, the poppyseed lemon is my favorite… this is saying something as there are over 600 donut shops in LA County!



Don’t forget to stop and take an #instagood picture in between shopping and eating on Abbot Kinney Boulevard!

2. Windward Avenue

#venicebeachThis little street is Home to Menotti’s Coffee Shop, the Venice Sign, and the Venice Public Art Walls You’ll easily find me here at least three times a week!

Menotti’s Coffee Shop

#menottiscoffeeGet the Spanish Latte! I promise you won’t be disappointed when you taste this delicious coffee concoction! Seriously, what are you waiting for? Go there! Then take your coffee for a walk along the beach!

The Venice Sign 

#venicesignOriginally hung across Windward Avenue at Pacific by Abbot Kinney himself, this current version was installed in 2007. Most often lit with traditional white marquee lights, the Sign changes throughout the year in support of various events. Currently the sign is lit for Venice Pride!

Venice Public Art Walls

#venicebeachYou’ll find the Venice Art Walls on the beach at the end of Windward Avenue. The Walls are open for painting every Saturday and Sunday, so if you’re feeling creative grab a can and join the fun! Alternatively, show up during the week to see what’s new!

3. Ocean Front Walk

#oceanfrontwlkVenice’s 2.5 mile pedestrian only Ocean Front Walk is world famous for it’s eclectic mix of locals, tourists, performers, physics, and artists! Not to mention, the selection of sunglasses and t-shirts is world renowned. You never know who or what you’ll discover during your visit, but I can guarantee you’ll have an amazing time, and probably come away with at least one treasure!


There’s something for everyone on the boardwalk

The Wee chippy

#theweechippyLocated just off  Ocean Front Walk at Westminster, the Wee Chippy is a walk up fish and chips joint, owned by a Scottish fellow. The fish is great, but the chips are easily the best I’ve ever had. Anywhere! I’m serious! The opening hours are: Lunchtime to sunset… good luck!

4. Bike Path

#santamonicabikepathThe bike path in Venice is part of a larger 22 mile long paved path, which stretches from the Pacific Palisades to Torrance! While riding along the Venice section of the path you’ll be treated to the sights, sounds and smells of the Venice beach Ocean Front Walk, as well as the Venice Art Walls, the skateboard park, countless shops, artists at work, restaurants, and all the wonderful weird that makes up the vibe that is Venice Beach.


The view from the bike path… not too shabby!

5. High Rooftop Lounge

The High Rooftop Lounge is the only rooftop bar in Venice, and its location couldn’t be more perfect, only steps from the beach and everything else Venice has to offer.  The food is good, but views are even better! You’ll find the High Rooftop Lounge on top of the Hotel Erwin on Pacific Avenue. Just before sunset seems like a nice time to arrive!


6. The Beach

Los Angeles SurfingWhy not give surfing a try?! After all you’re at the beach!  No matter if you’ve never been on a board before, sign up for a lesson and you’ll be popping up in no time! If I can do it, so can you! Even if you’re not up for riding the waves, you can still wiggle your toes in the sand while eating an ice cream and soaking up the rays!

7. Public Art Galore


Painted by NEVER this homage to Venice is at Baby Blues BBQ on Lincoln.

If you’re at all interested in public art then Venice is the place for you! Street art, sand art, light art, and more can be found just about everywhere you look! There really isn’t anywhere that hasn’t been touched by this explosion of public art!


They serve Kool-aid at Baby Blues BBQ! Awesome!

Main Street
Lincoln Boulevard
Venice Beach

8. California Dreaming Comes to Life


The hustle and bustle of the city is all around you, yet there is a peacefulness, the smell of the ocean on the breeze, the sun on your face, and the sand between your toes. Here is where the dream comes alive, dolphins and surfers sharing the same waves, skaters and bikers pass each other on a palm tree lined path, the smell of delicious food and coffee permeates the air, they all come together to create the good vibes that are Venice and the California Dream.

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I love to travel & explore the world both near and far! I do my best to make the most out of life each and everyday! I have two boys and they are, at the ages of 13 and 18, world travelers and all around go along guys. There isnt anywhere I cant take them. It is my hope this blog will be a way to share the fun things Ive learned while on our many adventures together!

Comments (42)

    • It’s a work in progress, but rest assured that when I finally get around to making my mark, I’ll let you know when its up!

  1. Wonderful post, as always. So informative and so well documented photos and accompanying text. All the work you put into your posts is very much appreciated.

  2. I’m sold – beach and bright colours, fab food, plenty of places to wander … definitely on my list. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

  3. We missed Venice this time around, and now I’m sad. It looks totally amazing! So much to see and do. Those sunnies are so cute on you and I wouldn’t mind that ice cream either! #citytripping

  4. Venice sounds like an eclectic and fun place to visit – love the sound of everything on your list Hilary! The Wee Chip Shop made me smile too – a Scot selling his fish and chips in LA – fantastic!

  5. Love this post!! There is something about Venice for sure. I was surprised to learn that there’s only 1 rooftop bar? Is that due to some kind of building code? #farawayfiles

    • Thank you! I’m not sure, but might also have to do with the fact that there aren’t actually many tall buildings in venice.

  6. Ruth

    What an excellent post! After reading this, I know I have to explore more of Venice. So much I have not seen! I am assuming you will blog about the Canals later. That little area is one of my favorites in LA. #FarawayFiles

  7. Anisa

    I need to spend more time in Venice! You convinced me of that when I read your post about the art walls a few weeks ago. Now I have even more reasons. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard!

  8. Clare Thomson

    So cool, Hilary! I’d have to get a pair of those heart-shaped sunglasses to look cool enough for Venice as my surfing and rollerblade skills (or lack of) definitely wouldn’t cut it. This is a great guide. You’ve made me want to revisit. It was my favourite area of LA when I visited back in the 90s. I’ve still got the cool dress I bought there. Great share for #FarawayFiles

    • I love that you still have the dress! I’m no surfer, though I’m proud of myself for giving it a go!

  9. Yassss Hilary. Love your surfing action and how exciting you make Venice. Love the street art, fashion and great eats. Cant wait to get back to LA armed with your insight #FarawayFiles

  10. What an eclectic and interesting place – not your average (European) seaside resort, that’s for sure! Thanks for opening my eyes to the world of Californian oceanside living! #FarawayFiles

  11. pigeonpairandme

    Wow – this is all so bright, and beautiful! I didn’t know about the history of Venice, so thanks for educating me. I love street art, so this looks like somewhere I should definitely have on my list. #citytripping

  12. Wow! I’ve visited Venice Beach so many times because it’s my husband’s favorite beach but haven’t done half the things you mention here. I feel the place is ever changing. We really wanted to go to Salt & Straw but the line was too long. 🙁 Hopefully next time we are there we are in better luck! Saving this post because I want to visit some of the places you mentioned.

    • I’m so happy you’ve found some fun new things to explore! You’re so right, it’s always changing, but yet the fun eclectic vibe stays the same! I guess that’s why I love it so much!

  13. I love this post! Of course, I love Venice, so yeah. Those are epic sunset pictures, and those sunglasses? Pretty sure the second down on the right are the exact ones I got last time I was there. 😉 Thanks for bringing back so many fond memories. Gotta get back to the beach now! 🙂 #TheWeeklyPostcard

    • A fellow Venice lover! Yay! I do love that no matter how long you’ve been away you can count on some things staying the same!!

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