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
Suggested 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
Neighbourhood: 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 travellers are saying
  • J.P. Knapp
    1 contribution
    Fun Place
    We went to the Venice boardwalk on a nice Saturday afternoon in December. It’s very festive. It’s rather shabby, but that’s part of the charm. It’s fun to watch the skateboarders. We had a good lunch in a sit-down restaurant but it’s more a place for walk-up food stands. We never felt even the slightest bit unsafe. Parking was easy but I imagine it could be tough in summer. Saw only two homeless people. The canals are worth a look, too.
    Visited December 2022
    Travelled as a couple
    Written December 10, 2022
  • northernk
    Phoenix, Arizona12,659 contributions
    Venice Beach is .. well Venice beach
    To expect anything other than to see something you maybe haven't seen before is not to come to Venice Beach, have been here before but there is a live cam from here .. great to watch a sunset and during the last three years spent hours working form home with this cam on. The cam has sound and have seen and heard some interesting things but love the views and was so excited to finally come back here to be at this very location. and it's still fun, love the stores, and always find something unique going on here. Fun for a short stay then go to some other beach lol.
    Visited January 2023
    Written January 5, 2023
  • Sydney
    Saint Louis, Missouri211 contributions
    Overcrowded Beach, Sketchy Neighborhood
    We walked to Venice Beach from the Santa Monica Pier and when we arrived, it's like the entire atmosphere changed. The beach was super crowded. Less families. More panhandlers. We left the beach to see the Venice Canals, and the whole area feels off. Sketchy. Lots of run down alleys where you can't see what's going on until you get there. We didn't see anyone else walking around - in fact, all the people from the Beach vanished. It was like a ghost town but with large black vans parked every quarter mile. I'm glad we saw the Beach and the Canals once but I would have felt more comfortable if we drove through instead. We ended up getting an Uber back to the Pier because we didn't want to keep walking through Venice.
    Visited July 2022
    Written March 7, 2023
  • Durbanguy
    San Francisco, California65 contributions
    Colorful and funky area
    The several times I have visited LA I had never been to Venice Beach. Funky area but interesting to me as you see all walks of life parading along this area. Skate park was captivating as talented people were doing their skateboard tricks. There are homeless people around but they didn't bother anyone. I went in the day time with my teen daughter. Some arts and crafts and the usual tourist stuff but with an edge.
    Visited April 2023
    Written April 18, 2023
  • drb4735
    Lancaster County, Pennsylvania25 contributions
    Funky beach of unknown trajectory
    Strand is downtrodden funky with pop up art (and junk) vendors, skateboarders, families, homeless, and enough 2nd hand ganja smoke to fail your next urine test. Options to eat were limited at Santa Monica end but the Ale House was good for lite fare (great staff). Mix of new and dated hotels and despite having a dedicated bike-blade-board route on the beach, kamikaze electric scooter bombing runs abound on the strand (Ocean Front Walk). Plenty of prison grade bathroom stalls and outside showers along the beach.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written April 25, 2023
  • Jackie S
    Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin90 contributions
    You need to do this on a bike
    Fantastic bike ride from Santa Monica Pier to Venice beach. I am 60 and my daughter is 25. We rode for hours on rented bikes on a beautiful pristine paved bike trail along the ocean. Heaven! Blue skies and deep sandy beaches. Lots of souvenir shops and eateries. We stopped to watch surfers and then skate boarders. Blue skies and pure fun all day. Toured the Abbot Kinney area where we stopped for smoothies. Rode back to Santa Monica and returned the bikes (rentals are very affordable) and had a nice meal on the pier. Fantastic day.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written April 25, 2023
  • yeahiknow1234
    Auckland, New Zealand22 contributions
    Lovely if you can ignore the trash and homeless people smoking meth
    I really enjoyed skating from Venice to Santa Monica on the ocean walk, that part was excellent. But venice beach itself is kind of disgusting. There is trash and homeless people smoking meth everywhere. I definitely would not recommend visiting as a family, if you have kids go to Santa Monica instead. The pier has security so there is less overt drug use and you can actually use the public bathroom without disturbing someone who lives inside the stall.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written May 1, 2023
  • Wikumj
    Bromley, United Kingdom278 contributions
    Interesting LA experience
    Interesting LA experience for tourists though far from essential. Cheaper stores and food outlets compared to Santa Monica Pier, and more of a funky vibe and atmosphere. Interesting to see the painted murals on the walls in the area. Has a slightly gritty edge to it which may not appeal to everyone.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written May 15, 2023
  • SpotTVMom
    Atlanta, Georgia336 contributions
    Teens had a great time !
    We visited on the 4th of July. The beach was clean, some Characters as you would expect. That’s the charm. No one was scary or aggressive. We loved the weight lifters and there was a bodybuilder contest that was fun. Teens loved their run On the beach path. We also walked the canals which where beautiful. Great dining options and fun street of shops to see. My teens loved the Venice shops a few blocks away.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written July 16, 2023
  • Ingrid H
    Los Angeles, California8 contributions
    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
    Travelled with family
    Written September 9, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.0
10,894 reviews
Excellent
4,022
Very good
3,489
Average
1,818
Poor
870
Terrible
696

Chris
16 contributions
Oct. 2023 • Family
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
Written November 15, 2023
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.

Louise D
5 contributions
Oct. 2023 • Family
Sidewalk cafe on Venice boardwalk is fantastic, great food & service. Lovely walkway to Santa Monica. Muscle beach on sand area nice to see.
Written November 4, 2023
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.

Dr Javed Rasheed
Kurnool, India2,678 contributions
May 2023 • Couples
Visited this place on May 16th 2023 as it was close to the hotel Shutters on the beach in LA in USA 🇺🇸. Today's Venice, though, is more famous for quirky happenings on its iconic beachfront boardwalk and pier, where mimes, jugglers, musicians, and street performers of all kinds inhabit an ever-changing and unforgettable bohemian subculture. I found it to be quite beach as an ardent and a travel enthusiast,beaches always fascinate me and happened to visit this place in LA before dusk.
Dr. Javed Rasheed
Written October 31, 2023
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.

Cruiser52305938160
3 contributions
Sep. 2023 • Solo
Shocked at what a dump this place is and how expensive it is. Why would you come here? I thought where I live is going down hill. I am looking forward to going home.
Written September 20, 2023
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.

Osamu H
Higashiizu-cho, Japan2 contributions
Sep. 2023 • Couples
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
Written September 19, 2023
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.

John T
Jodhpur, India233 contributions
Nov. 2022 • Solo
Could be nice but the lower elements of society rule. Loud and obnoxious and thinking they deserve to be catered to. A cattle prod would be effective.
Written September 16, 2023
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.

Jetsetjaney
scotland59 contributions
Sep. 2023 • Couples
The tour brought us here and even the guide told us they wanted to drop it from the tour but people keep wanting to go so they had to leave it in.

The beach it’s self is fine , a beach is a beach!

The boardwalk is just a little hippy dippy for me with hash shops , tattoo places and lots of tourist rubbish with some Interesting things written on t-shirts.

There is some cool graffiti and altho I didn’t see any but there is meant to be some banksy art here too which is cool.

It was interesting to see but the hour we spend here was enough
Written September 10, 2023
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.

Ingrid H
Los Angeles, CA8 contributions
Sep. 2023 • Family
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…
Written September 9, 2023
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.

Sarsuff
London, UK75 contributions
Sep. 2023 • Family
Dirty and full of the literal dregs of society. The surrounding streets are full of rubbish and faeces. Don't bother visiting here. It's scummy, trashy and over hyped. Homeless people lying in the sand, drug dealers walking around, wierdos everywhere. The sand is full of rubbish.
Written September 1, 2023
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.

Chicki7
Calgary, Canada101 contributions
Jul. 2023 • Couples
Terrible , dirty and disgusting place.
I would never go here but the tour brought us in. Was very disappointing. Dirty and would not eat here if I was paid! Bathrooms looked horrendous and we didn’t use them. Homeless and questionable looking people loitering everywhere. Don’t recommend this to anyone
Written August 2, 2023
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 6,740
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 (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Venice Beach