How to Spend a Weekend in Venice Beach, California

This past week I had to go to Los Angeles for a work conference (twist my arm!). The conference took place very near to Venice Beach– lucky me— so I made the most of my free time when I wasn’t working to explore all that Venice Beach has to offer.

Venice Beach has a very eclectic, chill, and very “beachy” (for lack of a better word) feel. The whole area has lots of little shops and restaurants, a skatepark, tennis courts, and basketball court. And it has some really great street art. If you’ve got a chance to visit Venice Beach, here are my top recommendations.

Muscle Beach: Want to get a pump on at the beach? Well, muscle beach is the place! You can train like Arnold here and then pick up a smoothie or shake afterwards at the juice bar.

Goundworks Coffee: My favorite little coffee shop. Grab your morning cup o’ joe and walk the beach!

Poke- Poke: Excellent poke bowls… if you are feeling hungry, order the large!

Abbot Kinney Blvd: This is the place for shopping, eating and drinking in Venice. Check out places like The Butcher’s Daughter and Toms (like the shoes!)¬†Plus this boulevard is named for the man who helped to develop the Venice Beach area. Fun Fact!

Metro Bikes: This was the best discovery during my time on Venice Beach. These bikes are easy to rent for a day or even a few minutes. You simply use your credit card, pick your bike and go! It was super easy and convenient to grab a bike and explore the beach. I even rode the bike down to the Santa Monica pier to check it out. Highly recommend!

Venice Farmers Market: Grab some delicious fresh produce from the farmers market– every Friday from 7-11 am.

Cow’s End Coffee: Another great coffee shop right by the pier. Note– it’s cash only! Grab your coffee and walk to the pier to watch the early morning surfers.

Venice Canals: Visit the canals and you will be immediately transplanted to Italy. Well, not really. These canals are similar to the canals in Venice, Italy, but they are surrounded by stunning beach bungalows and many have kayaks people use to get around. Anybody seen Valentine’s Day (the movie!)???

Travel Tip: If you are going in the “off season” be aware that some places may have “winter hours” and may open on their own schedule. Yelp might not always be up to date, so check the front of stores for their hours.

Have you been to LA? Or Venice Beach? Tell us about it in the comments!