Venice Beach boardwalk has got it all.
You’ll see anything and everything here. Anything goes. If there’s one beach that has that complete L.A. | Hollywood vibe, Venice Beach is gonna be it!
Table of Contents: Best Boardwalks: Reasons to visit Venice Beach, California (Video)
Is Venice Beach the best boardwalk in the world?
Founded in 1905, Venice Beach Boardwalk was known as a seaside resort area, with various neighborhood attractions such as beaches, canals and a 2.5 mile long ocean-side boardwalk for pedestrians, artists and side show peformers, fortune tellers and vendors. Around 1950, it amassed neglect, garnering the title ‘Slum by the Sea’. It’s low economic neighbors and low rent attracted many European immigrants and become a home for the Beat Generation of poets and hippie artists.
Today, it’s a concoction of those attributes and is a gateway for Los Angeles tourism. The aged historical buildings give off a slightly dilapidated charm, while funky murals revive it’s slummish quality, embuing it with a new force of youth, creativity and energy.
Best Boardwalks in the World: Venice Beach (Watch video from Beaches & Boardwalks series)
Reasons to Visit Venice Beach
1. People-watching & murals
You will see strange and weird characters, to guys working out on the beach, skate boarders, paddle ballers and really eclectic performers.
Are you a fan of art? See how many murals can you find along the boardwalk. The neighborhood is a huge mural museum.
2. California workouts
Californians love their sun and outdoor activities, so what makes Venice Beach one of the best boardwalks in the world are its free recreational facilities. Surprisingly, the beach boardwalk houses a skate park, basketball courts, paddle ball courts and bike paths; and of course, it’s also got the beach!
3. Muscle Beach
For those who aren’t shy about doing their workout in public, don’t mind a little California tan, they go to Muscle Beach. Muscle Beach was originally founded in 1930 and was located near the Santa Monica Pier. It was known for bodybuilding and acrobatics. Although the original landmark has closed, the Muscle Beach Venice has picked up its tradition and contains an outdoor weight-lifting gym for folks to work out in. Many bodybuilding celebrities have graced its turf from Arnold Schwarzenegger, Larry Scott and Hulk Hogan.
4. Arts & Fashion Shopping
Venice Beach has got a lot of shopping from unique artwork and crafts sold by boardwalk artists or you can buy souvenirs and clothing from store vendors.
5. Getting around Venice Beach boardwalk
You can rent a bike, segway, tricycles, roller blades…
If there’s one place to be, Venice Beach is it.
Parking for Venice Beach
There’s a parking lot at the end of Venice Boulevard, end of the board walk, next to the beach. Usually, this lot costs around $10. Other parking lots vary anywhere from $4-15 for the day. Some have free shuttles to the boardwalk. Or, you can find street parking in the neighborhoods near the boardwalk (this is what I always do).
Parking map for Venice Beach here.
Directions to Venice Beach boardwalk
Venice Beach is located between Santa Monica and Marina Del Rey and it’s really not too far from the airport. Find nearby hotels here.
Take the 405 Freeway and exit at Venice Boulevard. Drive north towards the beach. The boardwalk stretches between Rose Street and North Venice Boulevard.