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Venice Beach California camping, day fun, activities and what to expect plus city information. Venice Beach is where you go to gawk, shop, and stroll along the canals and beaches. Venice Beach was recently named by one magazine as "Funky Town", and this 1.5 mile beach and boardwalk is the mecca for eclectic, counter-culture atmosphere with street entertainment at just about every intersection along Ocean Front Walk including instrumental musicians, singers, comics, magicians, jugglers, acrobats, mimes, fortune tellers, and other entertainers. People model their outlandish clothing or lack of, tricolor hairdos, weird tattoos, and painted faces. The Boardwalk is a virtual sidewalk circus and skin show. For those who prefer less crowds and a leisurely pace, visit on a week day.
Venice is Southern California to the core even with the canals that were created as the Venice-of-America in 1905, complete with singing gondoliers steering gondolas. Only four blocks of the original 16 miles of canals are left being replaced by roads due to growth in population.
Venice Beach is part of the longest beach path in the world stretching 22 miles from Malibu to Torrance. The bike trail is open to most non-motorized wheeled conveyances. To the south the trail loops inland around the yacht basin of Marina del Rey and Playa del Rey, then back to the ocean along Dockweiler State Beach and behind Los Angeles International Airport. It continues past El Porto Beach, Manhattan State Beach, and ends south of Redondo State Beach.
Venice Beach is best known for films such as Breathless, Speed, and the television series, Baywatch. Venice's Muscle Beach is where fanatic bodybuilders pump iron in a pit on the beach for public display. Amongst the Bohemians are rows of public beach volleyball courts and anyone can join in the games. There are courts for basketball, handball, shuffleboard, tennis and paddle tennis. Venice appears as friendly and family oriented as any beach along the Southern California coast.
Jason's thoughts - I thought the belly dancing was cool, tasteful, exotic and fun. The overall feeling is one of casual acceptance of all kinds of people and enjoying the sheer diversity of pitiful humanity in all its disdain and beauty. Great place to just sit and people watch though it doesn't really compare to say the gigantic malls in Vegas, unless you are looking for more wierdos per square foot than most places and are wanting to be outside. Free music was available in Venice Beach.
Kelly's thoughts - I truly loved rollerblading along the paved beach path from Santa Monica through Venice to just south of Malibu. I enjoyed experiencing Venice Beach but don't prefer all that is there, and once is good for me. Though, I would like to spend more time strolling through the city and canals.
Travel Info -Venice Beach is located in the Santa Monica Bay between Marina del Rey and Santa Monica. There is parking for oversized vehicles at the Santa Monica Pier. Arriving early is recommended, as parking is difficult to find. Map location of Venice Beach.
American Road Trips - reviews & pictures of places we visited on $20 a day - food, gas and lodging.