From the many beaches in the Los Angeles area, Venice beach distinguishes itself because of its highly entertaining atmosphere. You can do anything from shopping to bike riding and you will always find something to do here. Some of the most common things I have seen include roller skating, people watching, street performances, walks by the beach, local and small restaurant dining, and work outs at muscle beach which is connected to Venice Beach.
I personally have mixed feelings about this beach whereas Juan says it’s his favorite. The thing is though, Juan is a person who easily gets entertained and likes to laugh with the ‘weird’ things he sees. And believe us, you will see the darnest craziest things and the most unique looking people at Venice Beach. I also enjoy it for the same reasons, but my area of dislike comes from it stinking like weed and pee throughout most of the boardwalk. I won’t even go into the bathroom situation! But aside from that, Venice Beach is one of those places we enjoy very much. Our favorite activity is bike riding and my most memorable experience has been getting splashed by waves in front of everyone while I was climbing the beach side rocks. Yup! Embarrassing moment I’ll share ahead…
Venice Beach Street Performances
You will find all types of performances at Venice Beach. We have seen skateboarders gather at the skate area doing their fancy tricks. We thought it was fun to watch roller skaters gathered in one area dancing to music. Muralist/painters have an area they paint with spray paint. But what we have run into the most has been performers and musicians who do side shows on the boardwalk. The picture below is a man balancing himself on red SOLO cups. Each time he kept adding another layer beneath the wooden board and I simply couldn’t understand how he could do this! You definitely have to have skills for this! We have also seen young men doing acrobats and jumping flips over a line of people, and we’ve seen dancers who twist their bones or joints out of place. They perform in exchange for donations which they ask for when they are done with their mini show, so be ready to have some loose bills on you.
Venice Beach Boardwalk
The boardwalk itself offers some of the best entertainment. Throughout most of the walk, you will find people on the sides selling their handmade art. Some sell paintings, handmade key-chains, wooden name paintings, and almost any other art work you can imagine. The board walk also offers things I stay away from which are supposed psychics who hand read and a ‘freak show’ venue. There are also many stores to shop at for regular clothes where some prices are decent while others are a total scam! I had to pay some overpriced shorts when I got splashed by water, but I had no other choice. Other than that, some of the stores offer good prices for souvenir t-shirts and other things.
The boardwalk is also a great place to people watch. I enjoy this because the hipster fashion draws my attention, though most of their fashion ideas make me feel a bit old to dress like it. But if I went back a few years in age, I’d definitely wear some of the cool looking clothes. Gosh, I’m making myself sound old here!
Activities to Try at Venice Beach
Like I mentioned earlier, there are lots of things you can do. On one of our visits we chose to bike ride. I was nervous to do this because I was sure I’d be that one person who fell face flat in front of everyone or that I’d run a pedestrian over! I am glad to say, this did not happen to me. Thank God! Bike riding wasn’t as difficult because it has its own lane running parallel to the boardwalk. But if you go during a busy day, you will be using the bike lane with a lot of other riders and most of them will probably be faster than you, so watch out! My whole ride I was sure I’d get knocked over by someone. But don’t let that stop you from trying it. It was a fun activity that was worth the fear of falling. We drove our bikes from Venice Beach to Santa Monica beach and then returned. The price came out to $20 for an hour bike rental.
Another activity you might try is roller skating on the boardwalk and skateboarding on the area designed for it. Or if you want to get your fitness on, you can go next door to Muscle Beach (as if you were in Venice Beach), and you can use their many balance and body weight poles and ropes they have.
Beach Side Story
Like any other SoCal Beach, the water for me is too cold! So if you are brave, then go ahead and jump in, surf or do whatever you want to do. This girl and her hubby, we only stick our toes in the water! Most of the time we only see kids in it anyway. My favorite memory by the water at Venice Beach was one that left me embarrassed but turned out to be memorable because sometimes the bad things that happen to us turn out to be the best memories to laugh at right?!
So, there are these beautiful rocks at Venice Beach that I wanted to climb to get a selfie with Juan. Usually the waves are huge and splash against the rock walls, wetting people nearby. We’ve even laughed at people who accidentally got soaked for being too close. It so happens that I became the laughing source for others myself this time. I saw there were no waves crashing so Juan and I quickly climbed to take a picture. He warned me to hurry in case a wave came. And right as I was around the 10th couples selfie, he tells me to run down because a wave was coming……
He had sneakers , I had sandals! Sandals that if ran, I’d slip, fall and break something on my face. I knew I wasn’t going to make it on time without getting hurt on my way down, so, I jammed my foot between two rocks and held my body tight in place. And not once, but three or four times I had waves crashed wildly against my body while I stood as frozen as I could while gripping on to a rock. Maintaining my balance was not easy because the waves hit me hard and I knew I could get hurt. Luckily, I was fine. But there were people onlookers laughing, and I thought I saw someone recording (may have been my imagination, but they were holding their phone up). They probably thought I was a stupid girl for standing there waiting for the waves to keep hitting me. And Juan? Well, he was in the crowd laughing along with my sister and in-law. Thank you my loving husband!
There I went, soaked, drenched, walking into stores to find clothes that fit me. Found some shorts and borrowed Juan’s sweater. Of course something like this would happen to me! But you know what? It’s a great memory and a lesson to never trust the ocean!
Walking the Shore
I’ll leave you with some more pictures beach side and walking towards Muscle Beach where there is a boardwalk. 🙂 Venice is a place we will probably keep visiting in our temporary time in California. It never fails to entertain us.