Venice Beach
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5 Amazing Things to Do in Venice Beach

5 Amazing Things to Do in Venice Beach
Explore quirky Venice Beach, from Muscle Beach to Abbot Kinney shopping and Tito’s Tacos

This unique Los Angeles County beach town has sand, surf, and a lot of local color. No doubt, many consider Venice Beach to be the nerve center for Los Angeles’ quirky, out-there personality. Check out our tips below on how to explore Venice Beach in five unique ways.

Stay in the Heart of Venice

To stay at the center of Venice Beach culture, book a room at Hotel Erwin, a retro-meets-surf-style boutique hotel with plenty of ocean-view rooms, a rooftop lounge, and a lobby decorated with surfboards. Or stay at the historic Venice Beach Suites & Hotel, with its exposed-brick walls, a cool antique elevator named “Betsy,” and a rooftop deck with 360-degree views.

People-Watch at Muscle Beach

Venice is most famous, perhaps, for Muscle Beach, a stretch of sand accented with an outdoor gym that's a magnet for serious body-builders, cheerful exhibitionists, and plenty of gawkers. The surrounding area of beach also has play areas for kids, a skate park, a boxing ring, and of course, a “regular” beach, where you can relax in the sand and watch everyone else work up a sweat.

Get a Scenic Workout

Get a day pass for the gym at Muscle Beach for just $10, or rent a bike and pedal along Venice’s long, beachside bike path (Hotel Erwin guests can just borrow a bike). For a cool class, drop in for a power yoga or indoor cycling session at the sleek Yas Studio

Eat Like a Local

Venice has attracted plenty of top-shelf places to eat, drink, or just nosh. Grab a table at restaurant and bar James’ Beach—located a mere half block from the sand—known for its Angus burgers, movie-star mahi-mahi tacos (they were featured in the 2009 film I Love You, Man), and colorful people-watching.

Gourmands also flock to two restaurants launched by chef Travis Lett, which both start with a silent G: Gjusta is an acclaimed bakery and deli known for its decadent sandwiches while Gjelina draws consistent crowds for its inventive vegetable dishes, pizzas, and surprises like rabbit stroganoff. Nearby Zinqué, meanwhile, takes its inspiration from the French for its charcuterie plates, quiches, and chocolate croissants.

Another bucket-list stop for foodies is Tito’s Tacos, an old-school taqueria located at the eastern edge of Venice. Founded in 1959 and still sporting an old sign out front, Tito’s regularly makes national best-of lists for its unapologetically traditional tacos and burritos. The tacos are topped with shredded iceberg and grated cheddar, and the beef burritos are filled with chili con carne and best served with a Mexico-bottled, cane-sugar-fueled Pepsi.

Shop for Quirky Treasures

Between meals and workouts, wander Abbot Kinney Boulevard, named for the eccentric real estate investor who built Venice in the early 20th century to reflect his favorite Italian city. (You can explore this Venice’s canals on a tour.) Come on the first Friday of the month for food trucks and live music but any day offers a mix of art galleries, clothing boutiques, and intriguing gift shops, like the low-key elegance at Cuyana, the British-made activewear at Sweaty Betty, and the scents at Strange Invisible Perfumes. Abbot Kinney also features some transplants that make for excellent snacks, from Chicago’s Intelligentsia Coffee to Portland’s Salt & Straw Ice Cream and Blue Star Donuts.

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Discover Los Angeles County

See a movie star. Sip a cocktail on a rooftop bar at sunset. Slip on a pair of designer shoes in an ultra-luxurious boutique in Beverly Hills. Play at Universal Studios Hollywood theme park, explore world-class museums, or dance the night away in a starlet-filled club. Welcome to California’s liveliest city, entertainment capital of America, with megastar wattage and nonstop activities.

“You know, you’re really a nobody in L.A. unless you have a really big door.”  –comedian Steve Martin

The main hub is the City of Los Angeles, with legendary Hollywood northwest of downtown, the San Fernando Valley to the east, and the inviting beaches of Santa Monica and Malibu to the west.

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Marina del Rey

Visit this inviting waterfront community near Venice Beach and Santa Monica for laid-back fun

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Burbank

The entertainment industry’s home base offers a microcosm of stars, shopping, and cool tours

If you come to Los Angeles wishing to see where movie magic gets made, look on the other side of Hollywood—literally.

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The California Questionnaire: Gabrielle Reece

The former volleyball champion and model—now an author and fitness guru—shares her California favorites

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Watch celebrity chefs in action at this annual event in downtown Los Angeles

If you’re a foodie, your definition of “celebrity sighting” in Los Angeles has little to do with movie stars. Instead, this annual event at L.A. Live, located across from Staples Center, is like...

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All around L.A. County, shoppers can find today’s trends at amazing prices

Homegrown Los Angeles fashion runs the gamut from red-carpet-ready looks by Rodarte to slouchy, soft T-shirts by James Perse, which makes this county a...

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La Brea Tar Pits

Find fossils and family-friendly fun at this prehistoric excavation site

Your idea of old may be 100, but that will undoubtedly change after you spend several hours at the La Brea Tar Pits & Museum. You will learn...

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"The Squaw Man" was filmed in 1913, and was the first feature-length film made in Hollywood.
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Spotlight: Los Angeles

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Bright lights, A-list celebrities & diverse culture

Welcome to the bright lights and big-city allure of California’s largest metropolis. Here, A-list celebrities really do walk the sidewalks, triple...

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Spotlight: Hollywood

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Showbiz, celebrities, & endless possibilities

Tinseltown, where starlets are discovered on every street corner (or at least we like to think they are), and the tinted windows of that stretch...

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North Hollywood

Experience a different Hollywood just north of Tinseltown

From bustling Hollywood Boulevard, it’s less than 10 minutes to North Hollywood’s NoHo Arts District, a happening enclave where live theater—not...

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Celebrity Spotting

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Where to see stars in Hollywood

Stargazing takes on a different meaning in Tinseltown. While there’s no guarantee you’ll spy a familiar face when you’re here, there are some...

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West Hollywood

A designer’s dream with shops, architecture, and style

West Hollywood has been dubbed “The Creative City,” and for good reason. Bordering Beverly Hills and Los Angeles, “WeHo” is where fashion and the...

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WeHo Design District

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Get trendy in a fashion-forward neighborhood

This stylish destination, roughly defined by the intersection of Melrose Avenue and Robertson and Beverly Boulevards might be one of the best...

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Sunset Strip Nightlife

Welcome to L.A.’s home of rock ‘n’ roll

Few roads have as much history as this 2-mile-/3.2-km-long section of Sunset Boulevard, bounded by Havenhurst Drive and Doheny Drive. In the 1960s...

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Trip 8-10 days 10 stops

Ultimate Southern California

Beach Towns & Big Thrills
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Museums

See masterpieces and innovative contemporary works

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Malibu

Explore a fabled beachfront town with real star power

Stretching for more than 30 miles along the Pacific and Highway One, Malibu has achieved...

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Los Angeles County Shopping

Go boutique to bargain in one of the world’s fashion (and shopping) capitals

You’ll definitely want to leave room in your suitcase for L.A. shopping.

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Make memories at some of California's family-favorite beaches

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Farm-fresh produce, culinary adventures

Juicy heirloom tomatoes and just-picked strawberries. Super-sweet peaches shaped like mini UFOs. Artisanal cheeses, emerald-green olive oils, local wildflower honey—California’s farmers’ markets...

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Pasadena

Tour an Arts and Crafts masterpiece and more in the home of the Rose Bowl

Set at the base of the towering San Gabriel Mountains, Pasadena is best known as the home of the annual Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose...

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World-class accommodations in world-class locations

Head to the heart of California’s cities for luxurious stays at world-class accommodations. From San Francisco’s historic hotels to celebrity hot spots in Hollywood and Beverly Hills, California’s...

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Where to release your inner fashionista

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Spotlight: Santa Catalina Island

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An island retreat off the Southern California coast

Swaying palms, white-sand beaches, warmest water in summer, and melt-your-heart sunsets—that’s what you’ll find at pretty-much-perfect island...

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Taste the delicious dishes from these amazing California chefs

From a candy-colored pastry shop to Michelin-starred dining rooms, top restaurants run by celebrity chefs dot the Golden State. And even if you don’t know these chefs from the TV...

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Venice

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Surfers, skateboarders, and stars

Venice is the ultimate L.A. neighborhood where the surf meets the human circus. Spend a day along Venice’s palm-lined, beachfront boardwalk and...

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Discover quintessential sun and fun at these coastal charmers

Take one part water, one part sand, one part sun-soaked coastal charm, and you’ve got the recipe for some of the Golden State’s most appealing destinations....

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Long Beach

Experience the many sides of a dynamic coastal city

With beaches and marinas along its waterfront and a busy dining and shopping scene on downtown’s Pine Avenue, Long Beach blends big city...

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L.A. Architecture

See eye-catching icons and stately landmarks

While Los Angeles is still a young city when compared to places like, say, Rome, it still boasts a unique architectural tradition that spans a...

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Lancaster's Civic Musical Road is the only "musical" or "singing" road in the United States.
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Hands-on fun for all at farms, ranches, and fields statewide

From almonds and olives up north to avocados, oranges, and dates in South, the Golden State has a crop (or 10) for nearly every stretch of terrain. After all,...

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February or March

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Unleash the kid within at California’s ultimate playgrounds

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