Thursday, October 9, 2014

Venice Beach Boardwalk

The Venice Beach Boardwalk is (according to Venice Beach's website) the number one visitor attraction in Southern California, known for its quirky street performers and vendors.  The boardwalk, also known as Ocean Front Walk, is one and a half miles along the beach of shopping, food, houses, and eccentric people.

I took a stroll down the boardwalk after spending the afternoon at Venice Beach so that I could check out the culture of the "World Famous Venice Beach Boardwalk" myself.

Venice, California

I'll be honest... one of my main incentives to visit Venice Beach was to see the iconic sign.

Venice, California

Venice Beach Boardwalk

I found the Venice Beach Boardwalk to be populated by a mixture of businesses... there were the street vendors - artists who fold out their shops and even create their art while on the boardwalk.  The typically tourist shops advertising $5 t-shirts.  But also franchises like American Apparel had opened a storefront along the boardwalk.  Then, for food, there were quick, cheap eats like hotdogs and pizza... pubs and bars... and then more sophisticated-looking restaurants.  In this close proximity, there really is something for almost everyone.

Venice Beach Boardwalk

So understandably, there was an incredible mix of people along the boardwalk.  Street performers, skater boys, leisurely bicyclists, tourists, beach-goers, party people - you name it!

Venice Beach Boardwalk

Check out the Venetian-inspired architecture... with a bright blue Southern California twist.

All in the Details

Lots of recreation options are available at the boardwalk, too... like a skate park, basketball courts, tennis courts, and even an outdoor gym.

Venice Beach

Venice Beach

And there's a conveniently located police station.

Venice Beach Police

I wanted a hot dog, but I kept seeing advertisements for pizza.... finally they advertised a hot dog (and all other sorts of cuisine) here -

Venice Beach Boardwalk

Past the shopping area, headed south towards the Venice Pier, is the residential area of Ocean Walk.  Again, the styles are very blended.  There are the ultra Contemporary and Modern-esque homes...

Venice Beach Homes

And some really quirky houses.

Venice Beach

The style of architecture is all over the place!

Venice Beach Homes

Adjacent to Ocean Walk is a bicycle path that stretches from Pacific Palisades to Redondo Beach.  There are several bicycle rental shops along the boardwalk so that you can bike the scenic route, too.

Venice Beach Bicycle

There were also several stores offering evaluations for medical marijuana.  There are salespeople who actually walk and skateboard up and down the boardwalk to recruit people to come to their location.  I was approached, and when I shook my head no, he says, "It's completely legal!"  For the examination or for the marijuana?  Also, if I get an examination, will I automatically get a prescription?  Because I would hate to pay for the exam and then be told, "Well, sorry, you don't qualify.  Take some Tylenol."  If you're in need of an examination, don't settle for the first green store you pass.  I saw a better deal for a $30 examination further north along the boardwalk.

Venice Beach Marijuana

Venice Beach Boardwalk is an interesting place, for sure.  The culture here is so diverse that I think it's definitely worth checking out.

Venice Beach Bicycle

Join me for my October series, 31 Days of Los Angeles for more Southern California fun!