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Venice Beach boardwalk on Memorial Day

Santa Monica, CA
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Venice Beach boardwalk on Memorial Day

We decided to take a stroll down Venice Beach boardwalk Monday. Drove down Lincoln Blvd. at 1:30 pm, turning onto Sunset Ave. toward Venice Beach. We found street parking (free) around 6th St. Empty lot next to the car had some freshly painted over Crips graffiti on the fence, so this neighborhood would not be a good place to park at night, IMO. Walked the 6 blocks to the boardwalk, which was full of people.

All the restaurants were full, lots of people out enjoying the perfect day. The cheap, junky baubles along the beach side of the street have been replaced with vendors selling art, dream catchers, and other items. I think the quality of the stuff there was better then when I went Christmas eve day, but it all got pretty repetitive after a while. There were none of the obnoxious young men trying to get you to buy their CDs. Several folks dressed in green telling you "the doctor is in."

Shopkeepers were a little less annoying than December, too, allowing you to pick up and look at the tee shirts without rushing over, taking them from you, and folding them (that really happened).

There was a body building event going on with lots of spray tanned, bikini clad young women trying to get people to buy sports equipment/accessories. Also a body building contest, but it is very hard to see anything through the fence. It gets pretty narrow at that area so it's quite difficult to stand and watch the action.

Only 1 street performer group, who have been there a long time. They are guys from the Caribbean who tell jokes and do tumbling routines. I was disappointed to see that they were the only street performers, so stand by my opinion that the good ones have moved on. A couple of street musicians who were quite good.

Lots of police: bike, horse and on foot.

It seemed that everyone was looking for something to do and see and, other than the one spot with the body builders, there just wasn't anything but other people looking for something to do and/or see! In fact, one "vendor" just had his dog in a bikini, lying on her back the whole time we were there. This "performance" had a crowd both times we passed. If that can draw a crowd, I think the boardwalk visitors were quite starved for something to look at!

Long lines at the stalls selling pizza and hotdogs, extremely long lines at the foul smelling restrooms.

It was a good, long walk, though, and on a spectacularly beautiful day. I think my favorite part is walking up the little pedestrian only streets. In fact, it was pretty silent once off the boardwalk on those walk streets and it was fun to look at the gardens and beach houses. Worked up an appetite for the barbeque we cooked at home.

Hope you all had a nice Memorial Day weekend, too.

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Venice Beach Boardwalk
Venice Beach Boardwalk
2,659 Reviews
Los Angeles, CA
Venice Beach
Venice Beach
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Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles...
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1. Re: Venice Beach boardwalk on Memorial Day

Thanks for the report. I haven't been there for a couple of years, but it certainly sounds kind of toned down from my last visit.

Manhattan Beach...
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for Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach
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2. Re: Venice Beach boardwalk on Memorial Day

Good to hear how it's changed since Dec. Thanks for visiting and letting us know.

I haven't had to take guests for 4-5 years, and that was in summer when it was very busy.

Santa Monica, CA
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3. Re: Venice Beach boardwalk on Memorial Day

I wanted to experiment with the drive there on a busy holiday. It was very crowded when we left around 3:30 and a young man followed us all the way from the beach to our car to secure our parking spot!

I know I've been very hard on Venice Beach boardwalk for some time on this forum. When I moved here in 1987, I did so after seeing Venice beach; it was the furthest I could get from my startched, New England small town. At that time, the shops had more variety; in fact, it was the go-to place for nice, framed posters. There used to be jewelry artists there, too (they would be making their product at their stall). There used to be a large number of street performers of all types (remember the chainsaw juggler?). I know many people want to go to see the bohemian beach people, but there were only other tourists and a few grubby young people. Monday was the first time I didn't see Harry Carey, the white clad, roller skating guitar player.

I feel that the city of LA took out the big broom and cleaned up the mess they had been ignoring for some time. You know, "company is coming, lets clean the house." But I hope they keep an eye on it and don't let it fester again.

The great thing about TripAdvisor is that it shines a light on the good and the bad. When bad, the powers that be either take some action (and it appears they have done so this spring), or the venue can continue to be bashed.

For now, I'm good with Venice Beach and feel I can say that it is worthwhile to visit there. When it's busy, children won't even notice the bong shops and Med MJ shops. But use the restroom at home or your hotel before you arrive!!!

Mentioned in this post
Venice Beach Boardwalk
Venice Beach Boardwalk
2,659 Reviews
Los Angeles, CA
Venice Beach
Venice Beach
8,930 Reviews
Los Angeles, CA
4. Re: Venice Beach boardwalk on Memorial Day

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