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Venice Beach—or simply Venice—was developed as a Los Angeles beach resort that paid homage to its Italian namesake with canals, piazzas, pedestrian bridges, a lagoon, and a colonnaded business district. Designed by eccentric millionaire Abbot Kinney in 1905, Venice’s original waterways and charming beach cottages can still be seen on Dell Avenue in the Venice Canal Historic District.

Things to Do in Venice Beach

venice beach

Look past the T-shirt shops and street performers and you’ll find enough things to do in Venice that are downright pleasant and—dare we say—borderline charming.

For starters, you might wonder: Is Venice Beach actually worth visiting? We’d say yes, with a few caveats. Many visitors make a beeline for the grungy Venice Boardwalk, an admittedly iconic L.A. attraction, but a kind of disappointing one. There’s so much more to see beyond the boardwalk, from idyllic canals to destination-worthy Venice restaurants to patches of sand that rank among L.A.’s best beaches—and for all those reasons we’d say the beachside neighborhood is ultimately worth your time.

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Whether you’re visiting from out of state or just across town (which thanks to L.A. traffic can feel like you’ve crossed state lines), these are the things to do in Venice that we recommend adding to your itinerary.

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