Over the past month, I’ve been able to go on some incredible adventures. I thought I would share my first adventure with you, a recent trip to Venice Beach. While Venice Beach has kind of gotten a bad rap lately, there are some hidden gems that just might surprise you. Keep reading for my top picks in Venice Beach.
Spot one: Scenic canal walk
Located off of 25th street, this is a treasure often missed by visitors. When Venice was built, it was initially called Venice of America. Mirrored after its Italian counterpart, Venice was built in 1904 by Abbot Kinney and had stretches of canals and bridges. While the landscape of Venice has changed over the years, there is still a neighborhood of houses along these canals. This neighborhood has beautiful examples of various architecture and landscaping design. An afternoon walk will find your eye and love for design inspired unlike any other place in Venice. A far cry from the typical sights on the boardwalk, this is a must see.
Spot two: Run or bike along the bike path
While this is a quintessential SoCal experience, it is one that is well worth the effort. Where I stayed was a block from the beach and bike path, so I began my mornings on a run looking out over the Pacific Ocean and San Bernardino mountains. Bikes are available for rental by the hour or for the day from multiple vendors along the boardwalk. Pick up a beach cruiser and ride off into the sunshine.
Spot three: Abbot Kinney Blvd
A trip to the LA area wouldn’t be complete without a shopping trip to Abbott Kinney. For the occasional star sighting (a McDreamy Grey’s Anatomy star was dining here when we were), excellent outdoor seating, and a fresh take on California cuisine head to Feed. This restaurant is open for weekend brunch, lunch, and dinner. I had the lamb sausage entree and the Basil Pineapple Lemonade cocktail to drink. The food was delicious and the atmosphere allowed for a delightful evening.
If you’re looking for coffee, the ever popular Intelligentsia coffee is located here, as well as Blue Bottle. Both feature ethically sourced cold-brews perfect for cooling off from the SoCal heat.
Shopping on Abbot Kinney is in a league of it’s own. There’s a variety of flagship stores and designers including Warby Parker and Toms. However, some of my favorites included Alternative Apparel and a local artisan market available on Sundays. At Alternative, I found incredible well executed, sustainably manufactured basics with incredible details. I also loved the outdoor seating space available to customers. Make sure you head here to add some beautiful staple pieces to your wardrobe. The artisan market featured work of local jewelry designers and leather craftsman. If you find yourself there on a Sunday afternoon, make sure to pop by.
Spot four: Nice Cream
Located along the boardwalk, don’t let this little ice cream shop fool you. It is absolutely delicious. Featuring freshly made organic gelato and sorbet, it is health-friendly as well. Using locally sourced products, offering vegan options, and featuring 1/3 of the fat of typical ice creams, Nice Cream is an unexpected find. Head here for your dessert stop at the end of each evening.
Do you have any favorite spots in Venice Beach or LA?