5 Ideas for a Day at Venice Beach

I didn’t have nearly long enough in Venice Beach. But you don’t need long to get a taste, Venice is bigger and more colorful than you’d imagine. Here’s my 5 ideas for a day in one of LA’s most happening seaside neighborhoods.

1. Stroll on the beach

You can't beat a stroll along Venice Beach, whether in the sand or along the boardwalk - it's one of the great Californian experiences!

Venice Beach is all about the sand, the pier and the boardwalkThis is one of the great Californian experiences. Enjoy this endless, larger than life sandy beach – it stretches on for longer than you can see. Certainly, it’s one of the best beaches in the world and ripe for a cheeky FB or Instagram post. Take a dip, weather permitting, or opt for a long stroll by the water’s edge. There’s also the boardwalk, set back behind the awesome expanse of sand, which has some great sights, sounds, characters (believe me!) and lots of place to eat.

And don’t forget to check out Muscle Beach, where Arnold Schwarzenegger buffed up on his road to fame.

2. Go green

Venice Beach has plenty of alternative doctors - look out for the green doctor's coatsCalifornia has given birth to a different kind of doctor, one that you might consider going to voluntarily. These guys, believe it or not, prescribe weed. Green ‘clinics’ are dotted up and down the sidewalk, offering medicinal relief for the woes of the modern day backpacker. You’ll catch on when you see the signs featuring a huge cannabis leaf and various flaky dudes wandering around in light green doctor’s coats. Apparently “walk ins” are fine. Only in America!

(I didn’t but you could…)

3. Grab some 11AM chili cheese fries

I developed a new found addiction for chili cheese fries here in Venice

The boardwalk at Venice is sensational just by itself. But you’d be missing out, in my opinion, if you didn’t indulge in some street calories. There’s loads of choice but the chili cheese fries were my special favorite. Hit them up, if you dare, at any of the reputable holes in the wall along the walk (trust me, I sampled a few). Fantastic stuff.

Jody Maroni’s Sausage Kingdom, at 2011 Ocean Front Walk, is a great pick for the chili cheese fries. $US 3.

4. Get creative

Venice Beach - Mexican craft skulls - Los Angeles

Venice Beach is a hub for all things creative. It has one of the best youth scenes in America, and here youth even lasts. This is proved by the street festivals, which – apparently – fire up almost every night. Sink a few beers and settle into Venice pace, really relaxed but quirky and intellectual at the same time. If you’ve got a good tolerance for weirdness, you’re pretty much in. There’s loads of street art (and regular art) to look at and folks are very chatty.

5. Go fishing on the pier

Sunrise at Venice Beach Pier

Not one to let a good ocean pass me by, I’d suggest you head out onto the pier. Pop in at Papa’s Bait Shop, where you can pick up a rod or a reel and some tackle ($US 15/day) and try your luck. Who knows, you might be able to hook a shark (the folks at Papa’s reckons it happens often enough, although this might be a cutesy ploy to upsell folks to shark-grade rods…)?

Where to stay? The Venice Beach Hostel, close to the water, ranges from $US 35-48, for a dorm room bed. Nice facilities. Some free food and there’s karaoke on Fridays.

What are your friendly tips? Don’t be shy. Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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