Venice Beach
About
This lively beach close to Los Angeles draws crowds to its busy boardwalk, where street performers and colorful characters make an appearance. Surfers gather around the Venice Breakwater while bodybuilders flock to the open-air gym on Muscle Beach. Take your time to explore the countless cafes and souvenir shops that line the waterfront or bike along the 4-mile boardwalk that runs from the southern end of Venice Beach to the neighboring Santa Monica Beach. There are lifeguards on duty, so families with children can have a safe and enjoyable time in the water. – Tripadvisor
Duration: 2-3 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.

Top ways to experience Venice Beach

The area

Neighborhood: Venice
Venice has always danced to its own beat as the epicenter of bohemian culture in Los Angeles. Along the boardwalk there are street performers and local craftsmen selling their wares. Original paintings, souvenirs, and jewelry are on display. Crowds of visitors marvel at the sites while weightlifting enthusiasts pump iron in plain view, and skateboarders do their tricks around the skate park. All of it happens under the warm California sun with sprawling views of sand and sea. Heading east, the main drags of Abbot Kinney Boulevard and Main Street are lined with boutique shops, some major retail stores, art galleries and restaurants. Here the ambiance is more relaxed and upscale than the frenetic boardwalk area. Venice is a mostly walkable (and certainly bikeable) neighborhood, full of areas to explore.

See what travelers are saying

  • Ingrid H
    Los Angeles, California27 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Venice beach pleasant
    It was very pleasant! All that hype about how dangerous it is was way over the top! I know the City did clean up the encampments and there are still homeless, they are trying to make a dollar by selling stuff or by creating sand scapes. Loved the skatepark, people are friendly and no body bothers you…
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written September 9, 2023
  • Osamu H
    Higashiizu-cho, Japan2 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    best sunset
    My wife and I came here to unwind from life and had a wonderful time. I'll come back later. Having raised three children and now having three grandchildren, I was able to spend many happy days with such a wonderful family. I still have to work hard with my wife to watch our grandson grow up. Aiming for an even better family
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 19, 2023
  • Chris
    25 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Ok but won’t return
    Nice walk along the sea front to Santa Monica pier , very crowed near muscle beach and full of crappy tourist shops. Loads of homeless and smack heads about but didn’t bother anyone. It’s One to tick off the list but won’t return
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written November 15, 2023
  • FarAway49905234276
    6 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lots of very interesting people and sights
    We visited Venice Beach on a Saturday. There were to be honest alot of very interesting and colourful people there, unfortunately many were high on marijuana. There were many homeless people around and although we needed to use the toilets, they were so filthy that we probably would have needed a hepatitis shot afterwards, so we held on. There were nice areas and there were unclean areas. There were plenty off people selling things (some beautiful, some that a 2 year old could have done better) in the area where the shops were. For parking - park in the parks on the beach, not inland as the beach parking is $8 - $9 per day. The 'parking places' further inland are a rip off charging well over $10. If you're walking - stick to the beach or footpath, not the bike / scooter / Rollerblade path and you will be safe.
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written December 18, 2023
  • themaddog74
    295 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    An interesting walk to do, but stay away at night.
    Venice Beach and the walk to Santa Monica Pier were interesting and the path is nice. You need to ensure that you stay off the bike path if you are walking. There are nice clean areas and there are unclean areas where the homeless people hang out. DO NOT USE THE TOILETS IN THIS AREA as they are filthy. There are alot of homeless people at Venice beach and area where they live are full of rubbish and offensive smells from urine and alcohol. There were many interesting people at Venice Beach and unfortunately alot of cannabis was also being smoked and this stench hung in the air in many places, particularly where people were selling things. Unfortunately Venice Beach is not as pretty as it is seen in films and pictures. I would not recommend visiting Venice Beach after dark. When parking, use the car parks on the beach that charge $8 - $9 per day rather than car parks further back that rip you off.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written December 21, 2023
  • Lenny H
    Auckland, New Zealand841 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very bohemian
    A great place to visit during daylight hours. As soon as the sun went down the atmosphere changed and we didn’t feel particularly safe. Definitely not somewhere I’d bring small children. Looking somewhat run down, too.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written January 5, 2024
  • SongbirdSpirtWalker
    Albuquerque, New Mexico122 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Venice Beach 🏖️ Has Canals
    I lived in the Los Angeles area for 16 years. During that time family would go to Venice Beach. I enjoyed the eclectic Oceanside shops and the “muscle men” pumping iron! I enjoyed watching the skaters and skateboarding antics! I got free food from the Hare Krishnas serving on the beach! I watched people from all walks of life hanging out on the beach. It’s been a few years since I had returned to the LA area and my daughter and I decided to visit several beaches. We parked more than 8 blocks away and walked! When we walked a wonderful thing happened! We discovered that there are canals to meander through! There are these quaint canals that allow for a good walk! We walked, visited open houses for homes selling between $3 to 6 million dollars!! My! We met cool people and found a rainbow walkway too! I’m thrilled to have discovered these canals at long last! We discovered that “Cold Stone” ice cream 🍨 now has a vegan option on the menu!! We visited restaurants, shopped with a vendor from Senegal 🇸🇳 and listened to music 🎶 coming from some establishments. We had a funky good time!
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written March 17, 2024
  • Elise G
    Hudson River Valley, New York1,277 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A different slice of L.A.
    If you’re up for strolling while people watching, take a trip to Venice Beach. Our party of four meandered around the side streets, canals and along the beach itself. We paused to watch the muscle builders and skate boarders; both were a source of entertainment. Many shops including Tarot and Psychic Readings, Henna Tattoos, sunglasses and souvenirs provided beach goers with many options for remembering their visit. Since we spent an afternoon during early April there, it was not “beach weather”. No sunning or dipping in the ocean for us! There was no love lost there, as the time there was worthwhile in and of itself. We got a slice of a different part of L.A. culture.
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written April 9, 2024
  • Cavalier1994
    Bethesda, Maryland557 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beach with its own vibes
    There is a certain chill vibe to this beach that is different from its neighbor Santa Monica beach to the north. Still at daytime it felt safe. Lots of people exercising or strolling, just doing their own thing. This beach is about acceptance and tolerance, as long as you go in thinking that way, you’ll enjoy it. For example, there’s a scent of cannabis lingering always. The retail stores (many of them renting bikes or motorized vehicles, incense, tattoo, etc) are eclectic and fun to see but not necessarily to buy. Funny that this is where Barbie and Ken arrived in the movie. The skate park is fun to watch the skills and creativeness in front of you especially when the sun sets. Within a block from the beach there are private parking lots - we paid $10 for 3 hour - but we prob could have found the public parking.
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written April 12, 2024
  • june123186
    Northampton, United Kingdom46 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This is a must if in LA
    You gave to do this! We walked probably 2 miles from Santa Monica down to Venice. Santa Monica is nothing you’ve not seen before, fairground rides etc. but Venice beach is something you would not if experienced before, food, music, skaters, the skate park you’ll see as you walk along is fun to watch as it the skateboard area. We walked the whole way along it was something I’d not seen before or likely to again
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written April 28, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles10,926 reviews
Excellent
4,030
Very good
3,498
Average
1,826
Poor
872
Terrible
701

Mike S
Fort Lauderdale, FL35 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
Venice is iconic and weird a the same time. Always something to see and do on the beach and boardwalk. Street performers are present all the time and artists present their wares. Rent a bicycle and follow the winding path north to Santa Monica Pier or head south for a more quiet experience. Work out on Muscle Beach which has just been remodeled and updated recently. The fee is about $12 bucks for a day pass. Overall an attraction that is purely Venice so go see it a few days to get the full view!
Written February 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

permia
Ireland63,536 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
Our first morning in LA we took an early bus from Downtown to this emblematic locale and had a marvellous few hours there.

All the images we had from movies, TV and media were there aplenty. Fitness and well-being pursued with early surfers and a few on Muscle Beach.

The skate park was tremendous and the sheer skill and exhilaration of the skaters most impressive. Much public art is to be seen, that includes the fine Declaration Sculpture.

Entertainers were fun to stop and engage with. We were particularly taken with a chap tuning-up a grand piano at the beach edge, evidently after towing it there and readying for a recital.
Written February 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

norman
Farnborough, UK427 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Couples
We enjoyed a walk down to Venice from Santa Monica on a beautiful sunny day and everything feels fine. There is a different world to see here along the Venice Boardwalk. It has become a large community of folks living and sleeping rough, many of who turn thier talents to entertaing the many tourists as well as selling some unusual art alongside the usual souvenier shops. Almost everone seems happy to be here. In the mix are various people just passing through, exercising, socialising - often there to be seen - so a great place to sit back and watch the world go by in one of the many bars or restaurants.
Written March 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bx2L
Lexington, KY239 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
Venice Beach is well known and offers plenty of beach with interesting shops. I visited during the middle of the day on a Friday and it wasn't too crowded. It can get busy quick not just the shops, but also just the general walking crowd. There are plenty of places to walk around, as well as activities on the beach, not to mention was eclectic stores to pop in and out of. It's worth a visit to say that you have walked Venice Beach. I'd plan to spend about a half day there.
Written April 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

88AVANTI
187 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Solo
In the AM this time of year the beach is almost deserted, except for the dog walkers and the surfers, bobbing in the water, waiting for a decent wave. The beach is miles long, so if you're a sand runner or walker it's near perfect and the long pier is a people watching treat. There's a good public rest room building, which understandably attracts the homeless, but they don't bother anybody other than requesting spare change. The blocks leading to the beach are filled with souvenir and surf shops and restaurants of varied ilk and quality. All in all a good place for contemplation or exercise or to have a meal by the ocean.
Written February 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jolie W
Santa Cruz, CA27 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Family
Venice is interesting with lots to see and good people watching. The vendors are selling mostly low quality stuff that didn’t seem worth the prices. There were some good looking restaurants in the neighborhood near the beach, we went to Great White and it was very tasty but you pay more because of the location. The beach was a bit grungy, I didn’t feel comfortable letting my kids take their shoes off because I was worried about drug paraphernalia in the sand. It was an interesting visit but I don’t know if I’d ever be that inclined to return.
Written January 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gary M
Sydney, Australia275 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Friends
The world famous Venice Ocean Front Walk.The boardwalk is one of the best places in L.A. for people watching—everyone from colorful locals to visitors from around the globe.

There’s something for everyone on the concrete boardwalk: on one side there are specialty shops, restaurants and uniquely designed residences, and on the other a myriad of street performers, artists, fortune tellers and much more. 

Stop by the outdoor weight room at Muscle Beach Gym, once the home turf of bodybuilder and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger , who later went on to become California’s governor. 

Or head on over to check out the skate park and watch some very talented board riders doing their stuff.

Don't forget to check out the amazing murals around Venice, you won't be disappointed.
Written June 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Robin S
Cleveland, Ohio751 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Solo
The beach is amazing and seems to go on forever. The people are active and great to watch. You will find some areas a bit crowded. Take a walk on the boardwalk and visit the little shops and see the locals selling there art and other items. Fun places to eat.
Written January 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JulieFabris
Waunakee, WI769 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020 • Couples
I grew up in California in the late 70’s and early 80’s and wanted to show my adult daughter some of the beaches me and my friends used to go to “back in the day”.

I was last here when my younger brother was at UCLA in the 90’s and WOW what a change.

I was embarrased that I even brought her here two weeks ago.

It was dirty, broken down, and with homeless everywhere - either in tents or roaming around.

Gone are the days of shopping, outdoor cafes, bands and roller skating/roller blading.

Life and cities change and evolve, for sure, but all of the city leaders in Venice Beach should be fired for what happened here.

I feel sorry for the business owners and the home owners who pay taxes in a city completely ruined.

Written November 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CharlesBT
CharlesBT9 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020 • Family
On the way to the airport we stopped to see Venice. Parked in a pay lot and walked up and down the disgusting 3rd world boardwalk. On the way back to the car a guy started following us talking nonsense so we walked faster. We all jumped in the car and locked the door and he stood in front of the car trying to block us from leaving. I backed out and as I was he ran around to the back of the car and he slammed his hands down on the trunk. I threw the car in drive and gave him a one finger salute as we drove off. This is what you get in liberal Venice where this behavior goes totally unchecked. Never ever again. Oh and this was 9 am on a Sunday morning.
Written July 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 6,783
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Venice Beach - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

All Los Angeles HotelsLos Angeles Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Los Angeles
All things to do in Los Angeles
Day Trips in Los Angeles
RestaurantsFlightsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars