Venice Beach
About
This lively beach close to Los Angeles draws crowds to its busy boardwalk, where street performers and colorful characters make an appearance. Surfers gather around the Venice Breakwater while bodybuilders flock to the open-air gym on Muscle Beach. Take your time to explore the countless cafes and souvenir shops that line the waterfront or bike along the 4-mile boardwalk that runs from the southern end of Venice Beach to the neighboring Santa Monica Beach. There are lifeguards on duty, so families with children can have a safe and enjoyable time in the water. – Tripadvisor
Duration: 2-3 hours
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The area
Neighbourhood: Venice
Venice has always danced to its own beat as the epicenter of bohemian culture in Los Angeles. Along the boardwalk there are street performers and local craftsmen selling their wares. Original paintings, souvenirs, and jewelry are on display. Crowds of visitors marvel at the sites while weightlifting enthusiasts pump iron in plain view, and skateboarders do their tricks around the skate park. All of it happens under the warm California sun with sprawling views of sand and sea. Heading east, the main drags of Abbot Kinney Boulevard and Main Street are lined with boutique shops, some major retail stores, art galleries and restaurants. Here the ambiance is more relaxed and upscale than the frenetic boardwalk area. Venice is a mostly walkable (and certainly bikeable) neighborhood, full of areas to explore.
See what travellers are saying
  • drb4735
    Lancaster County, Pennsylvania25 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Funky beach of unknown trajectory
    Strand is downtrodden funky with pop up art (and junk) vendors, skateboarders, families, homeless, and enough 2nd hand ganja smoke to fail your next urine test. Options to eat were limited at Santa Monica end but the Ale House was good for lite fare (great staff). Mix of new and dated hotels and despite having a dedicated bike-blade-board route on the beach, kamikaze electric scooter bombing runs abound on the strand (Ocean Front Walk). Plenty of prison grade bathroom stalls and outside showers along the beach.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 25 April 2023
  • Jackie S
    Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin90 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    You need to do this on a bike
    Fantastic bike ride from Santa Monica Pier to Venice beach. I am 60 and my daughter is 25. We rode for hours on rented bikes on a beautiful pristine paved bike trail along the ocean. Heaven! Blue skies and deep sandy beaches. Lots of souvenir shops and eateries. We stopped to watch surfers and then skate boarders. Blue skies and pure fun all day. Toured the Abbot Kinney area where we stopped for smoothies. Rode back to Santa Monica and returned the bikes (rentals are very affordable) and had a nice meal on the pier. Fantastic day.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 25 April 2023
  • yeahiknow1234
    Auckland, New Zealand22 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lovely if you can ignore the trash and homeless people smoking meth
    I really enjoyed skating from Venice to Santa Monica on the ocean walk, that part was excellent. But venice beach itself is kind of disgusting. There is trash and homeless people smoking meth everywhere. I definitely would not recommend visiting as a family, if you have kids go to Santa Monica instead. The pier has security so there is less overt drug use and you can actually use the public bathroom without disturbing someone who lives inside the stall.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 1 May 2023
  • Wikumj
    Bromley, United Kingdom327 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Interesting LA experience
    Interesting LA experience for tourists though far from essential. Cheaper stores and food outlets compared to Santa Monica Pier, and more of a funky vibe and atmosphere. Interesting to see the painted murals on the walls in the area. Has a slightly gritty edge to it which may not appeal to everyone.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 15 May 2023
  • SpotTVMom
    Atlanta, Georgia338 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Teens had a great time !
    We visited on the 4th of July. The beach was clean, some Characters as you would expect. That’s the charm. No one was scary or aggressive. We loved the weight lifters and there was a bodybuilder contest that was fun. Teens loved their run On the beach path. We also walked the canals which where beautiful. Great dining options and fun street of shops to see. My teens loved the Venice shops a few blocks away.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 16 July 2023
  • Ingrid H
    Los Angeles, California8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Venice beach pleasant
    It was very pleasant! All that hype about how dangerous it is was way over the top! I know the City did clean up the encampments and there are still homeless, they are trying to make a dollar by selling stuff or by creating sand scapes. Loved the skatepark, people are friendly and no body bothers you…
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 9 September 2023
  • Osamu H
    Higashiizu-cho, Japan2 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    best sunset
    My wife and I came here to unwind from life and had a wonderful time. I'll come back later. Having raised three children and now having three grandchildren, I was able to spend many happy days with such a wonderful family. I still have to work hard with my wife to watch our grandson grow up. Aiming for an even better family
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 19 September 2023
  • Chris
    20 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Ok but won’t return
    Nice walk along the sea front to Santa Monica pier , very crowed near muscle beach and full of crappy tourist shops. Loads of homeless and smack heads about but didn’t bother anyone. It’s One to tick off the list but won’t return
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 15 November 2023
  • FarAway49905234276
    6 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lots of very interesting people and sights
    We visited Venice Beach on a Saturday. There were to be honest alot of very interesting and colourful people there, unfortunately many were high on marijuana. There were many homeless people around and although we needed to use the toilets, they were so filthy that we probably would have needed a hepatitis shot afterwards, so we held on. There were nice areas and there were unclean areas. There were plenty off people selling things (some beautiful, some that a 2 year old could have done better) in the area where the shops were. For parking - park in the parks on the beach, not inland as the beach parking is $8 - $9 per day. The 'parking places' further inland are a rip off charging well over $10. If you're walking - stick to the beach or footpath, not the bike / scooter / Rollerblade path and you will be safe.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 18 December 2023
  • themaddog74
    299 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    An interesting walk to do, but stay away at night.
    Venice Beach and the walk to Santa Monica Pier were interesting and the path is nice. You need to ensure that you stay off the bike path if you are walking. There are nice clean areas and there are unclean areas where the homeless people hang out. DO NOT USE THE TOILETS IN THIS AREA as they are filthy. There are alot of homeless people at Venice beach and area where they live are full of rubbish and offensive smells from urine and alcohol. There were many interesting people at Venice Beach and unfortunately alot of cannabis was also being smoked and this stench hung in the air in many places, particularly where people were selling things. Unfortunately Venice Beach is not as pretty as it is seen in films and pictures. I would not recommend visiting Venice Beach after dark. When parking, use the car parks on the beach that charge $8 - $9 per day rather than car parks further back that rip you off.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 21 December 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles10,907 reviews
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O9830OTbarbarad
Tarzana, United States8 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Friends
A disgusting and filthy beach. Had not been for a long while and was so disappointed. The ocean water is brown obviously unfit to swim. Lots of creepy characters walking around with their pitbulls!! Junky looking shops. Nothing to see. I plan on not returning. I went over to Redondo Beach as well. Not as many creepy ppl but the water is brown as well.
Written 19 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cavalier1994
Bethesda, MD125 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
There is a certain chill vibe to this beach that is different from its neighbor Santa Monica beach to the north. Still at daytime it felt safe. Lots of people exercising or strolling, just doing their own thing. This beach is about acceptance and tolerance, as long as you go in thinking that way, you’ll enjoy it. For example, there’s a scent of cannabis lingering always. The retail stores (many of them renting bikes or motorized vehicles, incense, tattoo, etc) are eclectic and fun to see but not necessarily to buy. Funny that this is where Barbie and Ken arrived in the movie. The skate park is fun to watch the skills and creativeness in front of you especially when the sun sets. Within a block from the beach there are private parking lots - we paid $10 for 3 hour - but we prob could have found the public parking.
Written 12 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

m d
19 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
Parking was expensive but what a beautiful beach. We walked half the area and got to see the skate park, graffiti area, shops and beach.
Written 10 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Elise G
Hudson River Valley, NY1,124 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
If you’re up for strolling while people watching, take a trip to Venice Beach. Our party of four meandered around the side streets, canals and along the beach itself. We paused to watch the muscle builders and skate boarders; both were a source of entertainment. Many shops including Tarot and Psychic Readings, Henna Tattoos, sunglasses and souvenirs provided beach goers with many options for remembering their visit. Since we spent an afternoon during early April there, it was not “beach
weather”. No sunning or dipping in the ocean for us! There was no love lost there, as the time there was worthwhile in and of itself. We got a slice of a different part of L.A. culture.
Written 9 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ken D
Elma, NY14 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Family
Scary!Scary! Never go here without security guards or police escort or the rock by your side many weird and shady characters
Written 24 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SongbirdSpirtWalker
Albuquerque, NM71 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Family
I lived in the Los Angeles area for 16 years. During that time family would go to Venice Beach. I enjoyed the eclectic Oceanside shops and the “muscle men” pumping iron! I enjoyed watching the skaters and skateboarding antics! I got free food from the Hare Krishnas serving on the beach! I watched people from all walks of life hanging out on the beach.

It’s been a few years since I had returned to the LA area and my daughter and I decided to visit several beaches.

We parked more than 8 blocks away and walked! When we walked a wonderful thing happened! We discovered that there are canals to meander through! There are these quaint canals that allow for a good walk!

We walked, visited open houses for homes selling between $3 to 6 million dollars!! My! We met cool people and found a rainbow walkway too!

I’m thrilled to have discovered these canals at long last! We discovered that “Cold Stone” ice cream 🍨 now has a vegan option on the menu!! We visited restaurants, shopped with a vendor from Senegal 🇸🇳 and listened to music 🎶 coming from some establishments.

We had a funky good time!
Written 17 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Doi D
Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam45 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Solo
I Came here as a solo traveler and booked with Viator, but the trip was worth it,
Venice Beach was a must, I would come back again !
Written 9 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AMohsen
Port Said, Egypt519 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Friends
It is quite a vibrant and colorful beach, where it often combines amateur athletes, skiers, bikers, gymnasts, tourists, a blend of Mexican and European atmosphere, Mexican restaurants, outlets, and hostels. Famous movies were filmed there.
Written 24 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Paul Smith-Keitley
4 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Family
40 years ago I lived a few miles away from Venice Beach, I was looking forward to revisiting with my family - what a mistake.

The once wonderfully eclectic gathering of artists, musicians and performers has taken a deep dive into the depths of nastiness, countless shopfronts selling the smutiest, bordering on disgusting clothing. Stoned 'painters' and people seling the type of tat usually found in nasty British seaside towns.

We gave up, stopped for a coffee and headed back to the car, my memories of beautiful times in tatters, I would never go back, nor would I ever recommend anyone else go there.
Written 17 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lenny H
Auckland, New Zealand797 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
A great place to visit during daylight hours. As soon as the sun went down the atmosphere changed and we didn’t feel particularly safe. Definitely not somewhere I’d bring small children. Looking somewhat run down, too.
Written 6 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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VENICE BEACH: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Venice Beach




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