14 Fun Things To Do in Venice Beach, California
Ah, Venice Beach. Besides the fact that it’s right on the Pacific Ocean, the quirky little town is home to an iconic boardwalk, exclusive boutiques, kitschy shops, artistic venues, eccentric personalities, and a carnivalesque atmosphere that simply can’t be beat. In a nutshell, things can get a bit weird out in Venice — but that’s certainly not a bad thing.
Known for its bohemian spirit, the SoCal beach town has a funky, eclectic vibe and brims with activity. Sure, it might be touristy AF., but it’s one of those L.A. bucket list hot spots that you’ve just gotta check out at least once.
So, if you’re ready to experience Venice in all its glory, pack your bags, grab your travel buddies and keep reading — here are 14 fun things to do during your vacay.
1. Relax at the Beach
This pretty much goes without saying, but one of the best things to do when visiting Venice is to actually hit the beach. The gorgeous stretch of sand draws in millions of visitors every single year and boasts awesome amenities that are sure to keep you entertained for hours.
Just don’t forget some sunscreen to prevent a nasty burn and, of course, your Iridescent Beach Tote for an easy-to-clean beach bag that carries everything you need in effortless style!
Walking around, shopping, and taking in some Vitamin D, you’re definitely going to need a snack (or three).
Need some recommendations? Order up:
We Love Great White for lunch or dinner, Gjusta Market for a quick grab-and-go lunch, and yummy pastries and fresh bread. Then, Gran Blanco and Belles Beach House are both great for happy hour and light bites. Lastly, check out Winston House for some late-night fun and live music located right under the iconic Venice sign. It’s iconic for many reasons, but we like to think the main reason that the Venice Sign is iconic is that it’s right next to the FUNBOY HQ office.
3. Explore Abbot Kinney Boulevard
Arguably one of the coolest blocks in America, Abbott Kinney Boulevard (or “A.K.” if you’re a local) is Venice’s heartland — its creative, artistic, colorful, and unapologetically hipster.
Filled with made-in L.A. stores, boutique coffee hideouts, creative restaurants, and captivating street art, in terms of the best things to do in Venice Beach — a morning spent exploring Abbot Kinney Boulevard is definitely one.
Hit up the take-out window next to the famous Gjelina restaurant for one of the best pastries ever and other yummies. Also, stop by Salt & Straw for a scoop of ice cream or Alfred’s for a midday caffeine pick-me-up!
4. Pump Iron at Muscle Beach
Want to get in a quick sweat sesh? Go pump some iron over at Muscle Beach(found near the start of the Boardwalk). This iconic open-air gym in Venice is where celebs like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno built their bulk.
Don’t want to work out on your vacay? We don’t blame ya! But you should still check out Muscle Beach. Who knows? Maybe you’ll see the next 80s-style Hollywood icon!
5. Go Thrifting
Venice is home to some of the best-dressed people in Los Angeles. So if you’d rather not spend your paycheck on one article of clothing in Beverly Hills, you should seriously consider thrifting on Main Street. You can find some of the coolest digs, from original tees and trendy blouses to fun accessories and more.
Looking for a cool swimsuit to rock on your vacation but can’t seem to find one in a thrift store? Live and empower your Barbie Dreams with our FUNBOY Barbie Swim Dream Collection. Whether you’re in the mood for an itty-bitty bikini or a curve-hugging one-piece, we’ve got something for everyone. Plus, it’s Barbie — need we say more?
6. Take a Surf Lesson
While you’re soaking up the sun at the beach, take advantage of the Pacific’s waves by picking up a quintessential SoCal skill — surfing. This exciting sport has been a huge part of L.A.’s culture since the early 70s and has grown in popularity ever since.
There are a ton of surfing schools and teachers who are more than willing to help out an eager newbie. Whether you’ve never stepped foot on a surfboard before or you’ve been surfing ever since you learned how to walk, surfing is a no-brainer if you’re looking for a good time in Venice.
7. Try Paddleboarding
Not really interested in surfing? Why not give stand-up paddleboarding a try? You can rent a paddleboard and explore the waterways on your own. Or, you can opt for lessons and a guided tour that can get you on the water and on a paddleboard.
Pro Tip:If you find paddleboarding to be too challenging, consider kayaking instead.
8. Take a Legends Historic Bike Tour
This incredible two-hour guided sightseeing tour is an excellent way to explore the many attractions on Venice Beach.
Starting on the Santa Monica Pier, you’ll bike along the famous Santa Monica boardwalk and pedal past some homes of Hollywood’s most famous residents like Charlie Chaplin. You’ll stop at Muscle Beach, cruise by the gorgeous Venice Canals, and explore other unique points of interest that only Venice can provide.
9. Stroll the Boardwalk
The world-famous Venice Ocean Front Walk — aka “the boardwalk” — is, without a doubt, one of the best places in Los Angeles. Not only is it full of colorful locals, making it great for people watching, but it’s full of specialty shops, foodie hot spots, street performers, artists, fortune tellers, and much more.
And the best part? It really doesn’t matter what time of the year you visit; rain or shine — there’s always something going on at the boardwalk in Venice Beach, California!
10. See the Sea Life
The Venice Oceanarium is known as a “museum without walls.” This non-profit organization hosts weekly exhibits on the pier where you can get a front-row view of the many sea creatures that can be found in the Pacific Ocean while learning about Venice’s unique aquatic culture.
P.s — don’t forget to bring a camera.
11. Sip Cocktails at the High Rooftop Lounge
Whether you go for the view, drinks, music, or atmosphere, the High Rooftop Lounge should be at the top of your list of places to explore when visiting Venice.
Just a block off the beach on Pacific Ave. and a few blocks from the Venice Sign, the High Rooftop Lounge offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the ocean as well as tasty treats and stylish cocktails.
12. Cruise the Canals
If you venture away from the Venice pier, you’ll stumble upon another local icon — the Venice Canals. This tight grid of calm waterways, arched wooden bridges, and serene walking paths was once part of a much larger network built over a century ago to mimic the city’s Italian namesake.
Lined with breathtaking homes, colorful boats, and luscious greenery, the canals are a welcome respite from the messy chaos of the boardwalk.
13. Hit up the Venice Skatepark
After relaxing in the Venice Canals, head back towards the boardwalk to hit up the Venice Beach Skatepark. Like surfing, skating is a huge part of the SoCal culture. So, what better way to feel closer to the community than trying a coveted local activity?
Not in the mood to skate? You should still pay a visit to the skatepark if you’re looking for a good time. You’ll find skaters of all ages performing all sorts of stunts — so prepare to be dazzled and amazed by the talent skating at this park.
14. Gawk at Cool Street Art
Feelin’ artsy? Well, you’re in luck because Venice Beach is home to some of the coolest murals around — hence why it’s known as one of the most Insta-worthy places in L.A.
You’ll find an eclectic mix of street art and installations all over town that represent a wide variety of artists and styles. Perfect for those needing a little art inspo to spark a new masterpiece.
A Final Word
And there you have it — 14 fun things to do in Venice Beach, California.
From fun in the sun on the boardwalk and tasty cocktails at the High Rooftop Lounge to relaxing strolls through the Venice Canal Historic District and sightseeing tours that are second to none, Venice Beach has something for everyone. So if you haven’t checked Venice Beach, California, off your bucket list yet — it’s time to get planning!
Here at FUNBOY, we’re all about chill vibes, relaxation, making memories, and most importantly —having fun. Whether you’re kickin’ it poolside or down by the bay, you can always count on us for a good time.
How Muscle Beach Started in Santa Monica — But Ended Up in Venice | Lost LA | Food & Discovery | KCET
Venice Beach – Beaches & Harbors | Beaches La County
20 Of The Most Instagrammable Places In L.A. | Secret Los Angeles
Venice Canals | Visit Venice California