I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of Venice Beach as it’s one of the most popular beaches in Los Angeles, but do you know about Venice Canals? It’s a peaceful and charming neighborhood about 15 miles East of Downtown LA. Whenever you want to take a break from the activities at the beach or just want to get away from all the craziness of Los Angeles, I highly recommend taking a morning or afternoon stroll in Venice Canals.
A friend of mine from out of state sent me a message and asked about Venice Canals because he’ll be staying in Venice and he’s looking for things to do around that area. I started to research and I was quite surprised that I never knew about it considering I am in LA at least once a month.
My wife and I already planned to go to Anaheim last weekend so we decided to check out what’s this thing about the Venice Canals. I checked my GPS and it was actually quite easy to get to the area. The first thing I noticed was that it felt I was in a completely different place… nothing about it reminds me of Los Angeles. The canals made it feel like I was in some kind of European city, like I was transported. The lawns and bushes are also well maintained which contributed a lot to the overall nice feel of the neighborhood. Maybe it’s summertime but the flowers are so vibrant here, there's a lot to see and I wasn’t expecting that.
But the best thing about it I think are the houses.
You know when people ask you, “What kind of neighborhood is it?” Usually you can give them a nice picture by describing the houses like, oh that area has tract homes, they have Colonial houses, etc. Not in this area though; each and every house in Venice Canals is unique. I’ve never seen a neighborhood that includes all kinds of houses design-wise. There are a lot of traditional houses, Colonial homes, Spanish style, glass houses, contemporary homes, Arabic-style home, you name it, you’ll find it here. And that’s the real beauty of it. When you think you’ve found a very distinct house, you’ll walk several meters out, and there’s another house that will tickle your fancy.
If you’re a tourist, I want to let you know that this is not some kind of an adventure trip. It’s a peaceful and nice stroll I recommend including at the end of your LA itinerary. The houses are beautiful but not in a grand way. Most are cute and charming and very modest, but keep in mind that the smallest and oldest houses can still cost you around two million US Dollars --- and that’s the cheaper end of the price spectrum. After all, this is Venice and staying here means high-end living.
Also, I just want to note that it was pretty hot last weekend. It was 98 degrees F (37 C) in Los Angeles but when we were in Venice Canals, the temperature was just in the mid 70’s F (24 C) so it was a pleasant day. I’m not sure if it’s because of the canals itself or maybe because the neighborhood is in walking distance from the beach. Either way, the experience made it really delightful.
It is summer in the US right now, which means all tourists attractions are packed. Just to prove my point, my wife and I tried to stop by in Malibu to catch the sunset before heading home but we didn’t find any parking spot after spending a long time stuck in traffic. I understand it is summer time and it’s a Saturday and everyone is at the beach, but there’s barely any tourist when we were in Venice Canals. There were maybe about two families we saw and about three couples, and that’s about it. Most of the people we saw were residents. We have the place pretty much to ourselves so we had an easy time taking pictures.
So, what do you think of Venice Canals, would you come visit here? If you’re going to LA, I highly recommend checking out this area. It’s a breath of fresh air if you’re staying in or around Los Angeles and it’s free! I am positive that Venice Canals is the only place in Southern California where you can be transported to experience the charm of Europe without spending big bucks on a plane ticket.