Everything you need to see and do on the Venice promenade
Like the rest of the city, Venice’s boardwalk has changed dramatically since its glory days as a retreat for artists, hippies and counterculture movements in the 1960s and 1970s. where we sincerely feared losing the iconic two-mile stretch to Silicon Beach start-ups. Yet even though the neighborhood has faced decades-long gentrification and an ongoing homelessness crisis, the Boardwalk has retained its edge, still drawing the weird and wacky of Los Angeles to its shores.
In the Before Times, strolling the promenade could be an overwhelming undertaking, with street performers, entertainers, psychics, skaters, cyclists and tourists all vying for space and attention on the catwalk. crowded. It also represented one of the strangest scenes in Los Angeles at the height of the shutdowns when its wide promenade was closed to pedestrians, along with business closures.
Luckily, this neighborhood that enjoys unnamed status as one of the friendliest places in the world is ready to welcome you back. A longtime haven for some of Los Angeles’ most prolific musicians and artists, the Venice Boardwalk has inspired countless songs, murals and films, ranging from raw dramas like Lords of Dogtown to buddy comedies like white men can’t jump. When outsiders conjure up the image of a typical Californian surfer brother, it’s inspired by the actual beach bums you’ll always find strolling the boardwalk.
While the boardwalk’s past is evoked with untouched street portraits of legends like Doors frontman Jim Morrison, the unlikely tourist attraction also adapts to its times. After years of campaigning by Venice residents, a car-free plaza on Westminster Avenue between Ocean Front Walk and Speedway was unveiled in January. Nearby, famed Muscle Beach reopened in March after three years of closure with updated amenities and refurbished facilities. But one of the most famous arrivals is a truly above-decent dining scene that adds variety to long-running walk-in windows offering snow cones, corn dogs, funnel cakes and fair-inspired foods.
Whether you’re headed there for brunch before a day at the beach, admire the street murals, ogle the array of buskers, explore the various pop-up kiosks, or go skateboarding, biking or scooting on the Strand, the Venice Boardwalk invites you to choose yours. adventure. And just in case you need some advice, we’ve put together this handy guide to everything you need to see, eat and do on one of LA’s most classic walks.
(Full disclosure: We cheated and included a few spots within a block or two of the boardwalk – you’ll thank us later.)