Not to be confused with the Italian city with the canals, California’s version of Venice is quite an experience. Once a shabbier part of the huge Los Angeles, it’s now one of the trendiest areas in town. There’s a myriad of fun things to do in here to get into the hip vibe of this district, including trendy restaurants Venice Beach. No other place feels quite like this California gem, and it’s a true joy to walk around and discover the district. I hope my Venice Beach travel guide inspires you to visit!
Los Angeles is a gigantic city, and it’s vast as only an American metropolis can be. The distances between districts are so huge they almost feel like separate cities. As you’ll see on this Venice Beach travel guide, this is one of the funkiest parts of town. There’s a chill beachy vibe, and innovation and art seem to be everywhere. Still, it’s also a place with a lot of visible rougher areas where you’ll find many people without homes and drug addicts. The sad part of our society and life.
The contrasts of this district are incredible, all leading to a completely unique vibe. Never normal – just Venice could be a great slogan. And now, on to 12 fun things to do!
My Venice Beach Travel Guide
1. Choose Your Perfect Stay
Every Venice Beach travel guide should start with the basics: where to stay! As one of the hippest areas in L.A., there are a lot of lovely boutique hotels here. When we visited, we stayed at the Rose Hotel, which we thoroughly loved. It’s also near a lot of our favorite trendy restaurants Venice Beach.
In keeping with the eclectic nature of Venice, the Rose Hotel started out as a brothel and is now a high-end accommodation. A cute lodging with a design inspired in Scandinavian minimalism, I loved the combination of colors here. A subdued palette with touches of brightness, it’s a visually pleasing feast. It’s also near many of the best local activities, though still peaceful enough. My one recommendation: book a suite, as the standard rooms are a little on the small side.
Another lovely option is the Erwin Hotel, a bright-colored design lodging that really captures the fun-and-weird vibe of Venice. It’s also just a few steps away from the beach, so perfect for the summer. Even if you’re not staying here, their rooftop is a great spot for cocktails. BOOK YOUR STAY at Erwin Hotel here!
There are plenty of other options in beautiful Venice, you can browse them on BOOKING.COM right here!
2. Have Breakfast at the Rose Café, One of the Top Trendy Restaurants Venice Beach
Starting the day at the Rose Café quickly became one of our favorites. This darling of trendy restaurants Venice Beach was our favorite spot to spend mornings or noon, with delicious food and a really lovely atmosphere. The décor is very cute and relaxed, with a lot of plants all over the place – a very fresh and colorful look. We particularly loved the cozy outdoor terrace, perfect to really get the energy flowing in the morning. This quickly became one of our favorite spots in this whole Venice Beach travel guide!
3.Spend the Day at the Beach, a Venice Beach Travel Guide Essential
A must on any Venice Beach travel guide – enjoy some time in the sun! When you’re in California, having a tan becomes a necessity. Most activities in Venice revolve around the beach, as it’s the center of the district. Lazy out in the sun, let your toes play around with the sand. As you spend the day daydreaming about trendy restaurants Venice Beach, you’ll be mesmerized by the beauty of the wild Pacific!
Venice has some of the widest beaches I’ve seen; they appear to be never-ending. Locals hang out around here all the time, so you won’t just be soaking up the sun, but also the town vibe.
Grab a towel and get comfy in the sand, resting to the soothing sounds of the wild Pacific. For the coolest snaps, hang out by the lifeguard towers and get that camera rollin’!
4. Awaken the Surfer in You
Perhaps the most essential Venice Beach travel guide activity is surfing! This district is one of the hot spots of surfer culture in California, and therefore the world. The Pacific is well known for its mad waves, and surfing is one of the most popular activities.
If you’re a veteran surfer, the ocean stands before you in all its splendor. On the other hand, if you’re looking to learn, there are plenty of surf schools all over Venice. Face the waves and then head to one of the trendy restaurants Venice Beach!
Through GET YOUR GUIDE, you can find the best Venice Beach experience tailored to your specific needs. How about having fun with friends at this 2-hour Group Surfing Lesson? Find even more amazing tours HERE.
5. Bike Along the Boardwalk – Another Venice Beach Travel Guide Essential
The heart of Venice lies in its boardwalk, officially called the Ocean Front Walk. And the best way to get to know this broad passage is with the wind blowing on your hair, and the sun hitting your face. Rent your chosen equipment, whether it’s a bike or some skates, and head to the boardwalk. A Venice Beach travel guide tip: this area will make you feel almost like you’re in a fair or a carnival. The most exotic places in the district are located along the boardwalk, with fascinating shops of all kinds.
The reason this stroll is one of the most fun activities in Venice is its super eclectic nature, starting with trendy restaurants Venice Beach. You’ll find artists of all kinds, flea markets, skateboarders doing neat tricks, little shops, and even henna tattoo parlors. One block might be covered in souvenir shops, and the next will have a skateboard rink full of kids practicing cool moves. I’m not big on skateboards, but I loved seeing them play around and so did Fred!
If you want a smooth ride, join this 3 HOUR ELECTRIC BIKE TOUR through Santa Monica and Venice beach, checkling out the Muscle beach and the skate board rink!
6. Hang Out at Abbot Kinney Boulevard
It’s my duty as the writer of a Venice Beach travel guide to inform you that this boulevard gets its name from the man who developed Venice. And now, years later, it’s home to many of the coolest local activities!
A completely different part of Venice, the Abbot Kinney Boulevard is lined up with artsy and hip spots. Trendy restaurants Venice Beach, cafés, gorgeous design boutiques, and fascinating art galleries populate this area. You can easily spend a whole day shopping or window shopping in this lovely street!
7. Brunch it Up at The Butcher’s Daughter
I absolutely loved this place! Located right on Abbot Kinney Boulevard, The Butcher’s Daughter is a feast for the eyes and mouth. One of the gems of this Venice Beach travel guide, the design made me fall in love. I loved the very broad spaces in rosé and gold, with little wooden details and an industrial touch. Their fully vegetarian menu changes daily, and their breakfast and brunch are super delicious. They also have dinner options if you’re in the neighborhood, and three locations in New York if you’re on the East Coast. In any case, it’s a total Instagram darling, with beautiful design and dishes.
Across the street is another healthy food darling: Kreation Organic Kafe & Juicery. This gem among trendy restaurants Venice Beach became our go-to spot after some sun and waves. Their yummy smoothies and açai bowls were the perfect energy injection after a long day at the beach!
8. Get Into the Art
Getting in touch with the local art scene is one of the essential local activities, up there with visiting trendy restaurants Venice Beach. It’s a very creative place, full of artists from all walks of life, and you’ll find everything from famous painters to local craftsmen. You’ll also find lots of amazing murals all over town, particularly between Abbot Kinney and the boardwalk. No Venice travel guide is complete without some love for the arts!
Why not book this super cool 420 VENICE ART & CANNABIS TOUR? I can strongly recommend it for a great artsy tour of Venice!
9. Venice Beach Travel Guide: Find Peace at the Marina
The boardwalk is for the wild at heart, Abbot Kinney is home to hipsters – and the Marina is the place for peace. Head to this oasis of quiet along the local canals after visiting your favorite of all trendy restaurants Venice Beach. Reach the Marina by foot or bike to get away from the craziness of most of the other places on this Venice Beach travel guide.
Here, you’ll find a quiet area full of newly built homes, a lovely spot and super different from everything around it. Walk along the canals and the marina and let your mind wander!
10. Treat Yourself to Dinner & Cocktails at Abbot Kinney
Foodies should really enjoy this part of the Venice Beach travel guide: this district is full of flavors! I could have easily stayed here for about a month just to try out all the trendy restaurants Venice Beach and cafés. Make sure you book ahead for these places, they’re pretty popular!
Visiting The Tasting Kitchen became one of my favorite of trendy restaurants Venice Beach, with its delish food and cocktails. Also loved its décor, a little industrial with steel doors, but also with lovely brick walls and indoor plants.
If you want to go for some cozy Italian, Gjelina is the place to go. A very modern building on the outside, its rough and raw design with lots of plants and candlelight is dreamy. Their outdoor backyard is a lovely dinner spot!
If a romantic dinner is what you crave, there’s another Italian option in town: Barrique. A little yellow house offering an incredible foodie experience, it’s a perfect place for a quiet dinner date.
For true foodies, I can strongly recommend this 3 HOUR HIP EATERY TOUR with a 4 course meal at the best trendy restaurants Venice Beach!
11. Catch a Stunning Sunset
No Venice Beach travel guide would be complete without the perfect day to a long day: sunset at the ocean! Catching a sunset to the sounds of the Pacific is just as essential as visiting the top trendy restaurants Venice Beach. Bring your blanket, prepare your camera and prepare to be amazed by the colors of our nature!
12. Beyond the Venice Beach Travel Guide: Visit Santa Monica
On the opposite end of the Marina, you’ll find Santa Monica, a famous beachfront city that’s outside L.A. Although right next to many of the best trendy restaurants Venice Beach, you’ll find the vibe completely different. While Venice is full of hipster spots, Santa Monica has big hotel chains and mass luxury shops. Let’s delve beyond the Venice Beach travel guide for a second!
Visit during the day and start the day right at breakfast or lunch at the Viceroy Santa Monica Hotel. This boutique hotel is a stark contrast to the hippie vibe from Venice and a perfect place to take back some luxury. Hang out in the cozy backyard, with its pool and restaurant, to get in the deluxe groove!
Do you want to stay at the Viceroy Santa Monica Hotel? Book it HERE!
If you’re up for some luxury shopping, this is your chance. Lucky us, the day we decided to pop by was also the day of the local food market! We got the chance to really imbue yourselves in the local foodie life, which was spectacular.
One mandatory visit is the Santa Monica Pier and Muscle Beach, both nice but a little touristic for my taste. Drop by even if it’s for a pic, though!
More from Travel with a Silver Lining
- If you’re looking to visit L.A. but want to stay outside Venice Beach – why not try Melrose? Read my review of Palihouse Melrose, a darling boutique hotel in the hip area!
- For another incredible California hotel, read all about our stay at the incredible Churchill Manor, in Napa.
- Do you love California and want to read more about it? Take a look at our itinerary from when we traveled through the Golden State by road!
- I love California, but also like to visit Florida. Read about some of my favorite hotels in Miami and South Beach. Or just check out my travel guide across the state by road trip!
- For more Travel with a Silver Lining, check out my most popular posts: Top 18 Instagram Spots in Lisbon, My Amalfi Coast Photography Guide & Top 10 Hipster Restaurants in Moscow!
Booking Support & Tours
- Flights: For the best flight deals to Los Angeles, click HERE. Momondo is my Go To All in One Travel App. If you have not downloaded it yet – just CLICK HERE!
- Transfer: For a smooth arrival – book your transfer from the huge LAX airport to Venice Beach HERE!
- Hotels: If you like us want to stay at the hip Rose Hotel, BOOK IT HERE or find the hotel of your dreams in Venice with BOOKING, by clicking here!
- Tours: Venice is one of the most eclectic places in California, which is saying quite a bit! Through GET YOUR GUIDE, you can find the best Venice Beach experience tailored to your specific needs. Find lots of amazing tours HERE!
- Beyond Venice: For exploring more of Los Angeles, check out this private 3 Hour LA Tour or why not make an excursion to the homes of the stars MALIBU. Malibu is an amazing place and stop at the pier for a lunch at the gorgeous, the Farm!
And don’t forget to check out the GET YOUR GUIDE amazing Los Angeles city guide!
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