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Venice Beach

Bronze your body and rub shoulders with body builders and wacky performers at Los Angeles’ quirky urban shoreline, a colorful escape from the city.

Surf, sun and sand take a backseat to the loud and lively human carnival on parade along the Venice Beach Boardwalk. There’s never a dull moment for people-watching in this sun-drenched bohemian enclave of artists, musicians, poets, singers, skateboarders and jugglers. From chain-sawing acrobats to fire-breathing cyclists, you’ll find Los Angeles at its most ostentatious, eccentric and unrestrained. Just remember to tip performers if you watch most of their show or take their photograph.

While you make your way along the boardwalk’s 1.5-mile (2.4-kilometer) stretch, browse the stalls, shops and stands laden with souvenirs, trinkets, cheap sunglasses, T-shirts and sandals. Have your fortune read or get a temporary tattoo.

Further along the boardwalk is Muscle Beach, best known as the place where Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno (of Incredible Hulk fame) once flexed their pecs and biceps. At this outdoor gym you’ll see the toned and tanned pump iron while acrobats bend, twist and contort their bodies into eye-watering shapes. You can join them. Just buy a day pass (about $10) at the Venice Beach Recreations and Parks Office on Ocean Front Walk and then take your place to work out in front of the passing crowds.

Peel your eyes away from the vivid and flamboyant spectacles and head to the beach, a three-mile stretch of well-maintained and manicured sand. The water is patrolled during daylight hours, so you can dive in if you want to do more than soak up the rays on the sand. Rent surf or body boards and catch some waves, but be mindful of other riders.

LA’s Mediterranean climate makes Venice Beach a good place to be for most of the year; however, it is incredibly crowded in the summer. It is around 19 miles (30 kilometers) from downtown LA on the coast between Santa Monica and Marina Del Rey. There are plenty of city parking lots next to the beach.

Not sure how to get the most out of your time at Venice Beach? We've put together a list of popular activities that will help:

If you're after even more activities, have a look at our Venice things to do page.


Guide to Exploring around Venice Beach


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Venice Beach

See all 3,272 properties near Venice Beach
Hotel Erwin CA $327
Hotel Erwin

Hotel Erwin

1697 Pacific Avenue, Venice, CA
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Venice, this beachfront hotel is in the entertainment district and within a 5-minute walk of Venice Beach Boardwalk, Venice Beach and Muscle Beach Venice. Santa Monica Beach and Santa Monica Pier are also within 3 miles (5 km).

    Venice Breeze Suites CA $273
    Venice Breeze Suites

    Venice Breeze Suites

    2 Breeze Avenue, Venice, CA
       
      3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Offering direct access to the beach, this Venice apartment building is on the boardwalk and within a 5-minute walk of Venice Beach Boardwalk and Venice Beach. Santa Monica Beach and Muscle Beach Venice are also within 15 minutes.

      Venice Suites CA $249
      Venice Suites

      Venice Suites

      417 OceanFront Walk, Venice, CA
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Nestled on the beach, this Venice apartment building is within a 5-minute walk of Venice Beach and Venice Beach Boardwalk. Santa Monica Beach and Muscle Beach Venice are also within 15 minutes.

        Samesun Venice Beach CA $132
        Samesun Venice Beach

        Samesun Venice Beach

        25 Windward Ave, Venice, CA
           
          1.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in Venice, this beach hostel is within a 10-minute walk of Venice Beach and Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Santa Monica Pier and Santa Monica College are also within 3 mi (5 km).

          Ellison Suites CA $204
          Ellison Suites

          Ellison Suites

          15 Paloma Ave, Venice, CA
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Venice, this beach aparthotel is within a 5-minute walk of Venice Beach Boardwalk and Venice Beach. Santa Monica Beach and Muscle Beach Venice are also within 15 minutes.

            Cadillac Hotel CA $180
            Cadillac Hotel

            Cadillac Hotel

            8 Dudley Avenue, Venice, CA
               
              2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Venice, this beachfront hotel is on the boardwalk and within a 5-minute walk of Venice Beach Boardwalk and Venice Beach. Santa Monica Beach and Muscle Beach Venice are also within 15 minutes.

              Air Venice on the Beach CA $159
              Air Venice on the Beach

              Air Venice on the Beach

              5 Rose Avenue, Venice, CA
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Venice, this beach hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Venice Beach Boardwalk, Venice Beach, and Santa Monica Beach. Santa Monica Pier and Third Street Promenade are also within 2 miles (3 km).

                Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel CA $463
                Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel

                Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel

                1700 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA
                   
                  4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Downtown, this beachfront hotel is on the boardwalk and within a 5-minute walk of Original Muscle Beach and Santa Monica Beach. Santa Monica Pier and Third Street Promenade are also within 10 minutes.