- Parking around Venice Beach can be tricky and expensive so I’d recommend biking, walking or using Uber to get around.
- Abbott Kinney Street is my favorite part of Venice Beach because it’s clean, trendy but somewhat still beachy and just a great area to hang out in. Here are a few recommendations in that area:
- Restaurants: Gjelina (& GTA is the take away option for the impatiently hungry), Tasting kitchen, Saltair, Butcher’s Daughter (plant-based restaurant, cafe, juice bar) Zinque, Plant Food + Wine*, Felix Tratorria*, Barrique*, Kreation (for tasty fresh salads & fresh pressed juices & shots), Lemonade (fast casual healthy dining option to go or in room), Sweetfin (poke) and MTN*.
- Coffee: Intelligentsia, Blue Bottle Coffee and Zinque.
- Treats: Salt & Straw (best ice cream) and Blue Star Donuts.
- Shops: Toms (great shop & coffee shop!), Alternative, Aviator Nation (a must if you’re visiting California), Marine Layer (SF company), Burro (cute shop with so many gift ideas), Rag & Bone, Scotch & Soda, Strange Invisible Perfumes (Authentic botanical perfumes), WILL leather goods & STAGG (for men).
- Bars: OtherRoom, Zinque and The Brig.
- The beach is nicer closer to the Venice Beach Pier: it’s less Crowded and feels cleaner.
- You can find a lot of interesting characters on the Boardwalk, especially on weekends. Most people who come to this area will take pictures under the Venice sign and in front of the ‘touch of Venice’ public wall art. They will check out the skate park, the Venice Public Art Walls around there and size up the people working out at Muscle Beach gym.
- Good restaurant options around there: The Waterfront (trendy, dog friendly, nice design and tasty food) Poke-Poke, James Beach (also turns into a bar), Menotti’s Coffee Stop, Hama Sushi, Great White, Eggslut (breakfast), Bank of Venice (drinks & food), Bowlology (to-go açaí and pity bowls) and a fun bar called Townhouse.
- Sunset spot: High rooftop lounge on the top floor of the Erwin hotel
- I strongly recommend going for a walk around the Venice Canals. You’ll feel like you’re in Europe!
- If you’re making your way down from Santa Monica to Venice Beach via Main Street you’ll probably want to stop in a few cute shops, restaurants and coffee shops. Here are few MUST stops:
- If you’re in Venice Beach and want to stay away from the crowds, I recommend stopping at Deus Ex Machina store and café (especially if you are or have a fan of bikes/surfs exploring with you). Here are a few notable restaurants/bars in this area: Wurstküche (German style sausages), Superba Food + Bread*, The Lincoln* (drinks!) and Firestone Walker Brewing Company*.
(* still need to try these places)
Throughout the years, I’ve spent a good amount of time in this area and I’ve come to realize that what makes Venice Beach so unique and enjoyable for me is Abbott Kinney Street. This little area hosts very cute restaurants and bars (not along the boardwalk) and just chill vibes. I’ve spent entire days having brunch, shopping, enjoying a late lunch and coffee, drinks and late dinner!
I’m not a fan of the beach nor the boardwalk as it gets very crowded, stinky and can be a little bit rough (compared to neighboring beach towns such as Manhattan Beach or Santa Monica).