The surrounding beach and boardwalk is what makes this pier a must-visit destination in the colorful Venice district of Los Angeles, a few miles south of Santa Monica. While the pier itself offers a 1,300-foot walking path with expansive ocean views (and scenes of fisherman reeling in the day’s catch), you’ll enjoy some seriously entertaining people-watching in any direction.
To the immediate north: famed Muscle Beach—an alfresco weight-lifting gym—and a buzzing bike path that cuts through the sand and leads to Santa Monica. To the south: one of the widest beaches in Southern California that’s always packed with surfers, sunbathers, and volleyball players. Street performers and artists entertain on the adjacent boardwalk, which is home to a wide variety of shops that sell everything from souvenir muscle tees to local art. But you can’t live on eye candy alone: The dining options, ranging from foodie magnets (like Gjelina and bakery Gjusta) to sushi and street tacos, are abundant.