Party Earth Review The slightly off-kilter and tourist-packed Venice Boardwalk may draw the biggest crowds to Venice, but a close second is undoubtedly the adjacent three-mile expanse of Venice Beach. Sunny days attract hordes of... ... read full review
Bordered by the Santa Monica Pier to the north and the Venice Fishing Pier to the south
Venice, CA 90291
Daily 5am–midnight, curfew enforced
Venice, Los Angeles –
The slightly off-kilter and tourist-packed Venice Boardwalk may draw the biggest crowds to Venice, but a close second is undoubtedly the adjacent three-mile expanse of Venice Beach.
Sunny days attract hordes of beachgoers, especially in summer when Venice is often twenty-plus degrees cooler than the sweltering valley areas, Downtown, or the veritable Dante’s inferno east of Los Angeles.
Of course, lazy days on the sand are hardly the only activity, as more energetic types can join hard-bodies at the beach volleyball nets, catch the athletic hipsters playing handball, or ogle the hardcore streetballers engaged in serious high-level games at the basketball courts.
Although most of the famed Z-Boys were tearing up parking lots and empty pools further north in Santa Monica during the 80s, skateboarders and roller skaters today enjoy the 16,000-square-foot Venice Skate Plaza, which usually attracts a good crowd of spectators hoping to catch some stunning tricks and, inevitably, equally stunning face plants.
The famed Muscle Beach Gym nearby no longer attracts the big regulars of its heyday when Schwarzenegger used to lumber in, but it still provides an open-air playground for pumping iron just steps from the Boardwalk, while surfers head south toward the Venice Fishing Pier to try to catch the acclaimed breakwater.
With an average of 310 days of sunshine a year, Venice Beach is the perfect place to be as highly active or as blissfully lazy as anyone could want to be.
Diverse mix of athletes, muscle heads, skaters, surfers, joggers, bikers, tourists, hippies, vagabonds, beach bums, bohos, wayward travelers, couples, and families. All ages.
Plenty of bongo drums and impromptu guitar circles.
Most park facilities are free and operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Area parking ranges from $4–$15+/day depending on season. Muscle Beach day pass $10.
Any sunny day or when the surf is up.
The Venice Canals (Eastern Court & Carroll Canal Court) are a beautiful series of man-made canals built in 1905 by developer Abbot Kinney as part of his Venice of America plan. Lined with both funky and chichi houses, the canals feature sidewalks that make for a great easy stroll.