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The Ultimate Guide To Venice Beach In A Weekend


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Courtnay Rau



Welcome to the vibrant and eclectic world of Venice Beach, one of California’s most iconic beach destinations. Located on the west side of Los Angeles, Venice Beach is renowned for its unique blend of bohemian culture, stunning beaches, and diverse entertainment options. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker looking for adventure or a laid-back beach lover in search of relaxation, Venice Beach has something to offer everyone.


With its colorful boardwalk, beautiful canals, and trendy shopping districts, Venice Beach is much more than just a sandy shoreline. It’s a vibrant community that celebrates art, music, and the free spirit of its residents. This ultimate guide will take you on a journey through the best things to do and see in Venice Beach over a weekend, ensuring you make the most of your time in this captivating coastal paradise.


During your stay in Venice Beach, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the famous Venice Beach Boardwalk, soak up the sun on pristine beaches, wander the charming Venice Canals, indulge in unique culinary delights, and experience the vibrant nightlife. Whether you’re a solo traveler, a couple, or a group of friends, Venice Beach offers a multitude of activities to suit all tastes and interests.


Aside from its picturesque beauty and lively atmosphere, Venice Beach is also home to a myriad of outdoor activities such as surfing, rollerblading, skateboarding, and beach volleyball. The blend of nature and urbanity in Venice Beach creates a unique setting that attracts visitors from all over the world.


With its close proximity to other popular destinations such as Santa Monica and the iconic Hollywood, a weekend in Venice Beach provides the perfect opportunity to explore the beauty of Southern California. So put on your sunscreen, grab your sunglasses, and let’s embark on a memorable adventure through Venice Beach!


Day 1: Exploring the Venice Beach Boardwalk

Start your weekend in Venice Beach by immersing yourself in the vibrant energy of the world-famous Venice Beach Boardwalk. This iconic 2.5-mile stretch is a hub of activity, filled with street performers, unique vendors, and an array of interesting people.


As you stroll along the boardwalk, take in the sights and sounds of the bustling atmosphere. You’ll encounter artists showcasing their talents, musicians filling the air with melodies, and local vendors selling everything from handmade jewelry to quirky souvenirs. Don’t forget to bring some cash to support the local artists and indulge in their unique creations.


One of the highlights of the Venice Beach Boardwalk is the renowned Venice Skate Park, where talented skaters and BMX riders showcase their skills in a lively and energetic setting. Sit back and watch the jaw-dropping tricks and flips or, if you’re feeling adventurous, rent a skateboard or rollerblades and join in on the action.


If you’re in need of a caffeine boost, make a pit stop at one of the many trendy coffee shops along the boardwalk. Sip on a delicious latte as you watch the world go by and soak up the bohemian atmosphere that Venice Beach is famous for.


As you make your way further along the boardwalk, you’ll come across the iconic Venice Art Walls. This open-air gallery showcases the vibrant and diverse art scene of Venice Beach, with ever-changing graffiti and murals adorning the walls. Take some time to admire the unique artwork and capture memorable photos of this colorful display.


No visit to the Venice Beach Boardwalk is complete without indulging in some classic beachfront cuisine. Sample delicious fish tacos, mouthwatering burgers, or freshly squeezed juice from one of the many food stands and beachside eateries in the area. Grab a spot on the sandy beach or find a bench overlooking the ocean to enjoy your meal.


As the sun sets over Venice Beach, the boardwalk comes alive with a different energy. Street performers entertain the crowds with their captivating acts, colorful lights illuminate the area, and the sounds of music fill the air. Take a leisurely evening stroll along the boardwalk, enjoying the lively atmosphere and soaking in the vibrant nightlife that Venice Beach has to offer.


After a full day of exploration along the Venice Beach Boardwalk, you can retire to your accommodation and prepare for another exciting day ahead.


Day 2: Enjoying the Beach and Outdoor Activities

On day two of your Venice Beach weekend getaway, it’s time to fully embrace the sun, sand, and outdoor activities that this coastal paradise has to offer. Start your day by heading to the beach and settling onto a cozy spot of golden sand.


Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a beginner looking to catch some waves, Venice Beach is a surfer’s paradise. Rent a surfboard from one of the local surf shops or sign up for a surf lesson with experienced instructors who will guide you through the basics of riding the waves. Feel the exhilaration as you ride the waves and experience the thrill of surfing in the Pacific Ocean.


If you prefer a more relaxed beach experience, simply kick back and soak up the sun. Bask in the warm California rays, take a refreshing dip in the ocean, or build sandcastles along the shoreline. The beach is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the natural beauty of Venice Beach.


For those who enjoy a more active beach outing, Venice Beach offers a multitude of outdoor activities to explore. Grab a beach volleyball from one of the nearby rental stands and join a pickup game on the sand. Engage in a friendly competition with friends or fellow beachgoers as you dig, set, and spike your way to victory.


Another popular activity in Venice Beach is rollerblading or biking along the boardwalk. Rent a pair of rollerblades or a bicycle from one of the rental shops and cruise along the picturesque coastline. Feel the ocean breeze on your face as you glide or pedal past street performers, colorful murals, and lively cafes.


If you’re feeling adventurous and want to explore beyond the beach, consider renting a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) and venture out into the tranquil waters of the Pacific Ocean or the enchanting Venice Canals. Paddle through the calm canals, admiring the unique architecture and tranquil surroundings. It’s a great way to experience a different perspective of Venice Beach.


After a day filled with beachside activities, unwind and relax at one of the beachfront bars or restaurants. Grab a tropical cocktail and enjoy the breathtaking sunset views as you reflect on your day of outdoor adventures.


As the evening approaches, you can continue to enjoy the nightlife in Venice Beach. Many bars and clubs offer live music, DJ sets, and a vibrant atmosphere for those looking to dance the night away. So put on your dancing shoes and experience the energetic nightlife scene in this lively beach community.


After a day of enjoying the beach and outdoor activities, you’ll likely find yourself in a state of pure bliss, ready to rest and rejuvenate for another exciting day ahead.


Day 3: Exploring the Venice Canals and Abbot Kinney Boulevard

On your final day in Venice Beach, take some time to explore the picturesque Venice Canals and the trendy shopping district of Abbot Kinney Boulevard. These two iconic destinations offer a unique blend of charm, beauty, and vibrant energy.


Start your day by immersing yourself in the tranquil ambiance of the Venice Canals. Take a leisurely stroll along the serene pathways that wind around the canals, admiring the beautiful houses, lush gardens, and charming bridges that make up this idyllic neighborhood. The canals were designed as a replica of the famous canals in Venice, Italy, and provide a peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the beach. Enjoy the calmness and take in the scenic views as you embrace the charm of this hidden gem.


After exploring the Venice Canals, make your way to Abbot Kinney Boulevard, often referred to as the “coolest block in America.” This trendy street is lined with an array of boutique shops, artisanal cafes, and upscale restaurants. Browse through the unique clothing boutiques, art galleries, and home decor stores, and discover one-of-a-kind treasures. Don’t forget to explore the side streets and alleyways, as they harbor hidden gems and hidden courtyards waiting to be discovered.


As you stroll along Abbot Kinney Boulevard, satisfy your taste buds with a delicious meal at one of the many acclaimed restaurants. From farm-to-table eateries to international cuisine, there’s something to suit every palate. Indulge in culinary delights and savor the flavors of Venice Beach.


After satisfying your shopping and culinary cravings, take some time to unwind at one of the many stylish coffee shops or trendy bars on Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Enjoy a cup of expertly crafted coffee or sip on a handcrafted cocktail as you people-watch and soak up the vibrant atmosphere.


For art enthusiasts, Abbot Kinney Boulevard is also home to several art galleries, showcasing a diverse range of contemporary and modern artworks. Pop into the galleries and get inspired by the creative talent that thrives in Venice Beach.


As the sun begins to set on your final day in Venice Beach, take a moment to reflect on your weekend adventure. The beauty of Venice Canals and the vibrancy of Abbot Kinney Boulevard have surely left a lasting impression. Capture the moment with a final stroll along the beach, feeling the cool sand beneath your feet and taking in the breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.


Venice Beach has undoubtedly provided you with an unforgettable experience, filled with vibrant culture, stunning beaches, and endless opportunities for adventure. As you bid farewell to this captivating destination, take with you the memories and the spirit of Venice Beach.


Where to Stay in Venice Beach

When it comes to finding accommodations in Venice Beach, you have a range of options that cater to different budgets and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a luxury beachfront hotel, a cozy boutique inn, or a budget-friendly hostel, you’ll find the perfect place to stay in this vibrant coastal community.


If you’re seeking a luxurious beachfront experience, there are several upscale hotels and resorts that offer stunning ocean views and top-notch amenities. These properties typically feature spacious rooms or suites, on-site restaurants, spa facilities, and sometimes even rooftop pools. Staying in a beachfront hotel allows you to wake up to the sound of crashing waves and enjoy easy access to the sandy shoreline.


For those looking for a more intimate and unique experience, consider booking a stay at one of the charming boutique hotels or inns in the area. These smaller accommodations are often located just a short walk from the beach and offer a more personalized and intimate atmosphere. You’ll find beautifully designed rooms, cozy common areas, and personalized service that will make your stay memorable.


Travelers on a budget can take advantage of the various hostels and budget-friendly accommodations in and around Venice Beach. These options offer affordable rates and often provide shared dormitory-style rooms or private rooms with shared facilities. Staying in a hostel is a great way to meet fellow travelers and save money while still enjoying the vibrant atmosphere of Venice Beach.


Another popular accommodation choice in Venice Beach is to rent a vacation home or apartment. Many homeowners in the area offer their properties for short-term rentals, providing guests with the comforts of a home away from home. This option is ideal for families or larger groups who desire more space, privacy, and the ability to cook their own meals.


No matter where you choose to stay in Venice Beach, you’ll find yourself surrounded by the unique charm and energy that defines this eclectic coastal community. With a wide range of accommodations to choose from, you can find the perfect place to rest and relax after a day of exploring the beach, boardwalk, and canals.


Where to Eat in Venice Beach

When it comes to dining in Venice Beach, you’ll be spoiled for choice with its diverse culinary scene. From trendy cafes to renowned restaurants, Venice Beach offers a plethora of dining options, each with its own unique flair and culinary specialties.


For a taste of California’s fresh and healthy cuisine, explore the numerous farm-to-table eateries that dot the streets of Venice Beach. These restaurants source their ingredients locally, ensuring that you’re getting the best and most sustainable produce available. Indulge in vibrant salads, nourishing bowls, and inventive dishes that highlight the flavors of the region.


If you’re craving international flavors, you’ll find a wide range of options in Venice Beach. From Mexican taquerias and Italian trattorias to Japanese sushi bars and Middle Eastern cafes, there’s something to satisfy every craving. Explore the diverse flavors of the world without leaving Venice Beach.


For seafood lovers, Venice Beach is a paradise. Given its proximity to the ocean, you’ll find plenty of seafood options on the menus of the local restaurants. Indulge in freshly caught fish, succulent shellfish, and mouthwatering ceviche, all expertly prepared and served with a side of stunning ocean views.


Venice Beach is also known for its vibrant food truck culture. Along the boardwalk and in various corners of the neighborhood, you’ll find food trucks serving up a wide variety of delicious dishes. From gourmet burgers and tacos to vegan fare and sweet treats, these mobile eateries offer a unique dining experience that perfectly matches the vibrant and creative atmosphere of Venice Beach.


Don’t forget to explore the local farmers markets that take place in Venice Beach. These markets are a treasure trove of fresh produce, artisanal products, and delicious food stalls. Here, you can sample and purchase organic fruits and vegetables, artisan cheeses, freshly baked bread, local honey, and much more.


As you wander through Venice Beach, keep an eye out for the hidden gems and hole-in-the-wall eateries that may not be as well-known but offer exceptional culinary experiences. These local establishments often serve up authentic flavors and charming atmospheres that will make your dining experience all the more memorable.


Whatever your culinary preferences may be, Venice Beach delivers with its diverse and vibrant food scene. From casual bites to upscale dining experiences, you’re sure to find a restaurant that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more.


Nightlife and Entertainment in Venice Beach

The fun doesn’t end when the sun goes down in Venice Beach. This vibrant coastal community offers a lively nightlife scene and a variety of entertainment options to keep you engaged well into the evening.


One of the highlights of the Venice Beach nightlife is the abundance of live music venues. From intimate bars and lounges to larger music halls, there’s something for every music lover. Enjoy performances by local bands, up-and-coming artists, or even well-known musicians who often make appearances in the area. Venues like The Townhouse, The Del Monte Speakeasy, and The Roosterfish are known for hosting live music events that cater to different genres and tastes.


If you’re in the mood for laughter and entertainment, head to one of the comedy clubs in the area. These comedy clubs regularly host stand-up comedy shows featuring both local comedians and well-known names from the comedy circuit. Laugh the night away as you enjoy hilarious performances and witty banter in a lively and entertaining atmosphere.


Venice Beach is also known for its craft beer scene, with a number of breweries and beer bars scattered throughout the neighborhood. Unwind with a pint of locally brewed beer while enjoying the laid-back vibes at one of the neighborhood’s popular beer establishments. Tasting rooms and beer gardens offer the perfect setting to savor a variety of craft brews and mingle with fellow beer enthusiasts.


For those who enjoy a more relaxed evening, beachside bonfires are a popular way to end the day in Venice Beach. Join locals and visitors alike as they gather around bonfire pits on the beach, roasting marshmallows, sharing stories, and enjoying the warmth of the fire. This communal experience offers a unique opportunity to connect with others and enjoy the enchanting ambiance of the beach at night.


Venice Beach is also home to a number of art galleries and theaters where you can immerse yourself in the local arts and culture scene. Explore the diverse range of artworks, attend live theatrical performances, or even catch an independent film screening. These cultural venues offer a unique glimpse into the artistic side of the community.


Lastly, the nightlife in Venice Beach wouldn’t be complete without its vibrant bars and lounges. From rooftop bars with panoramic ocean views to beachside hangouts, you’ll find plenty of spots to sip on craft cocktails, enjoy live DJs, and dance the night away. Enjoy the energetic and lively atmosphere as you make new friends and create lasting memories.


Whether you’re into music, comedy, craft beer, beachside bonfires, art, or simply enjoying a night out on the town, Venice Beach has something to offer to suit every taste and preference. Soak up the vibrant nightlife and entertainment scene, and let the energy of Venice Beach captivate you after dark.


Transportation and Getting Around Venice Beach

Getting around Venice Beach is relatively easy, thanks to its compact size and convenient transportation options. Whether you prefer to walk, bike, use public transportation, or drive, there are various ways to explore this vibrant coastal community.


One of the best ways to soak up the atmosphere of Venice Beach is by walking. Most of the major attractions, including the boardwalk, canals, and shopping districts, are within walking distance of each other. Lace up your comfortable shoes and take a leisurely stroll through the streets of Venice Beach, enjoying the sights and sounds of this unique neighborhood.


If you prefer a faster and more efficient way to get around, renting a bike is a great option. There are many bike rental shops in the area where you can choose from a variety of bicycles, including cruisers and electric bikes. Pedal along the picturesque boardwalk or explore the streets of Venice Beach at your own pace.


The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) operates several bus lines that connect Venice Beach with other parts of the city. Bus stops can be found throughout the neighborhood, making it easy to hop on and off and explore nearby destinations such as Santa Monica or Downtown Los Angeles.


If you’re planning to venture outside of Venice Beach and explore beyond the immediate area, renting a car may be a convenient option. There are numerous car rental agencies in the vicinity, making it easy to pick up and drop off a rental car. Keep in mind that parking in Venice Beach can be challenging at times, so be prepared to search for available parking spots or consider using paid parking facilities.


Another option for getting around Venice Beach is by using ride-sharing services such as Uber or Lyft. These services provide a convenient and hassle-free way to travel within the neighborhood and to nearby destinations, without the worry of parking or navigating public transportation.


It’s important to note that Venice Beach can get crowded, especially during peak tourist seasons or on weekends. Traffic congestion may occur, and it’s advisable to allow extra time for travel if you’re driving or using public transportation during these times.


As you explore Venice Beach, be mindful of pedestrians and bicyclists, as they share the sidewalks and bike paths. Observe traffic laws and follow signs and signals to ensure your safety and the safety of others.


Whichever mode of transportation you choose, getting around Venice Beach is both convenient and enjoyable. Soak up the sights and sounds of this vibrant neighborhood as you navigate the streets, and embrace the unique charm of Venice Beach with every step or pedal you take.


Safety Tips for Visiting Venice Beach

Visiting Venice Beach is an exciting and memorable experience, but it’s important to keep safety in mind to ensure a hassle-free and enjoyable trip. Here are some safety tips to consider when exploring Venice Beach:


1. Stay aware of your surroundings: Like any popular tourist destination, it’s important to be mindful of your surroundings and keep an eye on your personal belongings. Pickpocketing can occur in crowded areas, so be cautious and keep your valuables secure.


2. Swim and surf with caution: While the beach at Venice is beautiful, it’s essential to be mindful of the ocean conditions. Pay attention to lifeguard instructions and be aware of any potential hazards such as rip currents or large waves. If you’re new to surfing, consider taking a lesson from a reputable surf school to ensure your safety in the water.


3. Use sunscreen and stay hydrated: The California sun can be intense, even on cooler days. Protect your skin by wearing sunscreen with a high SPF, and remember to reapply throughout the day. Additionally, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water to prevent heat exhaustion or dehydration.


4. Be cautious when crossing the street: Venice Beach can have busy streets, so always use designated crosswalks and obey traffic signals when crossing. Pay attention to oncoming traffic, as some drivers may not always yield to pedestrians.


5. Respect the rules and regulations: Venice Beach has specific rules and regulations in place to maintain the safety and enjoyment of all visitors. Be sure to adhere to any posted signs or guidelines, including beach curfews, alcohol restrictions, and dog leash laws.


6. Use caution when participating in recreational activities: Whether it’s skateboarding, rollerblading, or biking along the boardwalk, always wear protective gear such as helmets and knee pads. Follow traffic rules, yield to pedestrians, and be mindful of others using the shared paths.


7. Practice water and fire safety: If you plan to have a beach bonfire, be sure to follow the local regulations and obtain any necessary permits. Keep a safe distance from the water’s edge and never leave a fire unattended. Always extinguish fires completely before leaving the area.


8. Be mindful of wildlife: While rare, encounters with wildlife such as seagulls or marine creatures may occur at the beach. Avoid feeding birds, as it can attract larger groups and increase the chances of aggressive behavior. If you spot any marine animals, keep a safe distance and do not attempt to touch or interact with them.


Remember, safety is key to enjoying your time in Venice Beach. By staying aware, being cautious, and respecting the rules, you’ll have a memorable and worry-free experience in this vibrant coastal community.



Venice Beach is a captivating destination that offers a unique blend of beachside charm, vibrant culture, and endless entertainment. Whether you’re strolling along the boardwalk, exploring the Venice Canals, or indulging in the diverse culinary scene, Venice Beach will leave you with lasting memories.


During your weekend getaway in Venice Beach, you can immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of the boardwalk, where street performers entertain, vendors sell their wares, and the energy is electric. You can also spend leisurely days enjoying the sun, sand, and various outdoor activities on the beach, from surfing to beach volleyball.


Make sure to take the time to explore the tranquil Venice Canals, where you can wander along picturesque pathways and admire the charming architecture. Indulge in the unique culinary experiences available along Abbot Kinney Boulevard, where trendy shops and stylish restaurants await.


As the sun sets, Venice Beach comes alive with its vibrant nightlife, offering live music, comedy shows, and a variety of bars and lounges to enjoy a night out on the town. Whatever your interests may be, there is something for everyone in this eclectic coastal community.


As you venture through Venice Beach, remember to prioritize safety. Stay aware of your surroundings, take precautions when enjoying the water, and adhere to any posted rules and regulations. By following these safety tips, you can ensure a worry-free and enjoyable experience.


Venice Beach is a place that captures the essence of Southern California’s beach culture, with its bohemian vibe, artistic spirit, and picturesque beauty. Whether you’re a beach lover, an art enthusiast, or a lover of vibrant energy, Venice Beach has it all. So pack your bags, head to Venice Beach, and let this vibrant coastal community enchant you with its unique atmosphere and endless possibilities.