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Venice Beach Travel Guide

Where to go, eat and stay in Venice, California

Venice is a city that evokes a memory of its European counterpart, though on a lesser scale. It boasts its canals, beaches and the popular Ocean Front Walk. Located in Los Angeles County, Venice is bordered by the city of Santa Monica on the north, by the Pacific Ocean on the southwest, by the Marina del Rey area on the southeast, by Culver City on the east and by Mar Vista, an LA neighborhood, on the northeast.

Venice is known as a melting pot for the creative and the artistic. The 1950s and 1960s saw the insurgence of the Beat generation. Poetry and art started to boom. It was the home of some of the early beat poets and artists, making Venice a cultural center in Los Angeles.

Venice's sandy three-mile beach is vacation heaven for beach bums. Venice Beach and Muscle Beach, where fanatic bodybuilders pump iron, are just a few attractions. The Venice breakwater is also a popular place for surfing, located in the North of the Venice Pier and Lifeguard Headquarters. However, the beach is not its major tourist-magnet— it is the restaurants, the shops and the hot spots where you get to rub elbows with tourists just like yourself.

The funky Ocean Front Walk is home to street performers, magicians and other people offering varied kinds of entertainment. Street musicians, jugglers, acrobats, mimes, comics, fortune tellers -- you name it, Venice has it. Aside from entertainers, tourists will also be treated to outlandish views of people with painted faces, multicolored hairdos, weird tattoos, and flamboyant clothing. The boardwalk is open, even on weekends in the winter. It is a wonderful tourist attraction for its walking and bicycle paths. Other places for recreation include the handball courts, the paddle tennis courts, Skate Dancing plaza, and the numerous beach volleyball courts. The basketball courts are well-known for their high-level of street ball. Many NBA players were chosen and recruited from their awesome action in the courts.