Discover Venice Beach

Music booms from shoulder-slung stereos. Artists spray-paint colourful murals. Skateboarders kick and push in and around crowds.

Drenched in sunshine, lined with towering palm trees and fringed by the Pacific Ocean, the area’s main attraction, Ocean Front Walk represents Southern California in a nutshell… 

That is until you notice the rollerblading Rastafarian jamming out on an electric guitar, the homeless entrepreneur selling cardboard "bum signs", or the Green Doctors hawking medical marijuana.

Flamboyantly vibrant, the kilometre-long concrete boardwalk is a hive of activity—it’s like Byron Bay meets Manhattan’s East Village, diced with San Francisco’s The Haight district. 

Music booms from shoulder-slung stereos. Artists spray-paint colourful murals. Skateboarders kick and push in and around crowds. Tourist gape in awe of their strangely alluring surrounds. 

Hire a bike and ride along the boardwalk, stopping at famous sites like Muscle Beach Gym (Arnold Schwarzenegger’s former training ground) and the Venice Beach skate park (built in homage to the area’s rich 'Dogtown' skateboarding heritage).  

Participate in a drum circle. Screen-print your own souvenir t-shirt. Enjoy a local brew at the Venice Beach Ale House. Or survey the action from above, on Hotel Erwin’s rooftop bar. 

A few blocks east, just back from the beach, Abbott Kinney Boulevard sees Venice Beach transform from a derelict-chic promenade to a popular hipster hub. 

Coined “The Coolest Block in America” by US style bible GQ, Abbot Kinney is rife with trendy eateries, bars, boutiques, salons and art galleries, and attracts everybody from struggling artists to Hollywood actors. 

A world of its own, it is easy to forget that Venice Beach is just a mere 30 minutes’ walk south of the manicured sidewalks and Art Deco buildings of Santa Monica; 30 minutes’ drive south of mega mansions and rolling waves of Malibu; and 30 minutes’ drive west of the green lawns and gated communities of Beverly Hills. 

Discover Venice Beach 

Virgin Australia operates flights to Los Angeles from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.  

Words by Alice Nash - Published 25 March 2013
Quick Facts 
Population Approx. 3.8 million
Area 1,302 km²
Time Zone GMT -7
Languages English (official), Spanish, Native American
Currency American Dollar ($USD)
Electricity 110v - 60Hz
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