As a photographer, I enjoy exploring Los Angeles through the viewfinder of my camera. I often challenge myself to investigate locations around the city that have unique stories to share. Places where I can point, click, and capture something truly unique.
Venice Beach seems like a logical location for just such an adventure, and yet up until a few weeks ago I (kind of embarrassed to say) had never been.
That said, I took day out of my schedule, grabbed my camera bag and went down to the boardwalk to see what I might find.
And this is what I captured…
Upon arriving to Venice Beach, the famous sign greets you. It’s actually hard to get a decent picture without being honked at by the oncoming traffic or bumping into a group of tourists who are trying to get the same shot as you.
I wanted to get a wide angle view of the boardwalk so I headed up to the rooftop bar at Hotel Erwin (one of the best rooftop bars in L.A. ).
Definitely worth a visit to enjoy the view and a few drinks.
If you continue walking past the Venice sign you reach the beginning of the Boardwalk populated by mini-shops, some performers (I’m told the cooler entertainment is out earlier in the day and on the weekends) and lots of palm trees exist but be sure not to get run-over by the many skateboarders who will trash talk you for getting in their way.
The shops and vendors along the Boardwalk sell anything and everything from bongs and pipes, to over priced selfie sticks, clothing and souvenirs, and beach toys.
With all the things you can buy, there are many sights that you see too…some you just can’t not see kind of like the dude in the picture above who we will simply classify as a typical Venice Beach
weirdo eccentric. I honestly wasn’t sure if he’d bother me if I took his photo, so I tried to grab the shot as discreetly as possible.
So back to shopping, everyone who works on the boardwalk is trying to sell you something from clothes, food, art and massage services to Los Angeles souvenirs and “the remedy to all” marijuana at the green dispensaries. No lie but they are everywhere along the Boardwalk.
One thing about Venice is true, there are a lot of palm trees and Venice pride all around. The picture above is a view is from the sand on the beach looking onto the Boardwalk.
If you head north on the Boardwalk, towards the Venice Pier, you must stop by Muscle Beach and check out all the beefed up dudes who workout while everyone watches and takes pictures. The only beefed up person I saw was the mannequin.
Unfortunately no-one was working out when I visited Muscle Beach. There was one guy who who was just walking around from the different gym equipment and didn’t really do much. One of the tourists asked if he was going to do some reps and he was just like “Ehhh, I don’t feel like it.”
I’m not sure if this is common or not but I though it was pretty cool, the beach, I spotted a few policemen on horses. They were going around to take pictures with all the sun bathers who were females only. It was kind of funny and sad when this teenage boy asked if he could take a pictures with them and the policemen said no.
I’ve heard that surfing is crowded and competitive in Venice but it’s not too bad to watch when the waves are nice or even a few planes takeoff from LAX.
Don’t you just love how unique LA is from other cities with some much going on in just one view?
Pick-up basketball game anyone? There are several courts along the Boardwalk, famously featured in the film White Men Can’t Jump.
When I was at the Skatepark I noticed that a few of the skaters were hyper-territorial about the park and separated into different groups of friends. They were trash talking each-other on their tricks and such. I must admit it’s pretty neat to watch the cool things they can do with a board.
I ended my short trip by watching the sunset behind a row palms.
Not a bad way to end a day at the boardwalk.
If you’re looking for more fun things to do in the neighborhood while you over in Venice Beach, check out this rundown of things to do in Venice Beach we’ve already compiled.
The Venice Beach Boardwalk is located along Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291.
For more information on a visit to Venice Beach, visit venicebeach.com.