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  • Venice Beach
  • Venice Beach
  • Venice Beach

Venice Beach Holidays ​

If all the world's a stage, then half the players seem to be in Venice, California.  Los Angeles' whackiest neighbourhood is part beach, part pure performance art - which means there's always plenty to do, and certainly plenty to see. Where else in the world can you sink back into silky white sand or ride the Pacific surf to a background of fire jugglers, buskers, weightlifters and skateboarders? If you think you can't believe your eyes on Venice Beach, then you probably should.

The fabulous thing about Venice Beach holidays is that they offer the best of both worlds. You can enjoy everything the sand and the ocean have to offer  while being endlessly entertained. The three-mile-long boardwalk that runs behind the beach is like a 24-hour circus and swarms with performers, skaters, stalls, tattooists and all manner of oddballs. If there's a mantra to live by here, it's 'anything goes'.

Renting a bike or a pair of in-line skates to wind your way along Ocean Front Walk to Santa Monica is the perfect way to soak up Venice's carnival parade. You'll get to see some cool sporting sights long the way, too. At Muscle Beach, gym junkies lift weights and flex their muscles; at the basketball courts you can catch some of the best hoop action outside the NBA; and at the skate park, the best skaters around will be trying out the latest tricks and flicks.

If you need a break from the boardwalk, then head out onto the fishing pier for great views - or you could try a dose of retail therapy on Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Not forgetting that Malibu, Beverly Hills and Hollywood are all close by - making Venice Beach holidays the perfect base from which to explore all that LA has to offer.​

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Muscle Beach

Muscle BeachAt the section of sand known as Muscle Beach you can watch the latest Arnie-wannabees pump iron and give an open-air master-class in how to deliver a pounding to an array of gym equipment. Or, if you're feeling brave, you can buy a day pass and show off your own six-pack!

Surf's Up

In 1905, Abbot Kinney, the father of Venice Beach, built a breakwater to protect his amusement pier. And so was born one of LA's favourite surfing spots, complete with waves breaking on both sides. With several local surf schools ready to show you the ropes, there's no excuse not to try out some boarding action on Venice Beach holidays.

Abbot Kinney Boulevard

Frequently cited as one of the coolest shopping streets in America, Abbot Kinney Boulevard, a few blocks back from the ocean front, is where hipsters some in search of vintage clothing, cutting-edge labels and designer homeware. Get with the in-crowd and make sure you take home a souvenir. It's a happening place for restaurants and night-life, too.

Canal District

Albert Kinney's original vision for his 'Venice of America' included 16 miles of canals plus gondolas to travel along them. The dream never quite came true and many of the canals were filled in during the late 1920s due to engineering problems. Some have now been restored however, and a wander through this peaceful area provides quiet respite from the relentless pace of the boardwalk.

Santa Monica

You can walk or cycle straight along Ocean Front Boulevard to the three-mile-long stretch of beach at Santa Monica. This is a pedestrian-friendly place, good for shopping, café-culture and museums. Make a beeline for its iconic pier, complete with rides, amusements and a nine-storey Ferris wheel.
 

Time Difference:
GMT- 8hours

Closest Airport:
Los Angeles International Airport (approx. 11 hours, direct flight.

Getting around:
With so many sights spread across a vast urban landscape the best way to see Southern California is the way the locals do, behind the wheel. Car hire is available from £21 per day.

Insider Tip:
Just like its namesake in Italy, Venice Beach also has a network of canals that are worth the short stroll from the beach. Originally built in 1905 the canals over time have been covered over due to the popularity of the automobile. The few remaining canals area located within South Venice Blvd., Pacific, Ocean Ave. and Washington Blvd.

You’re going to need an ESTA:
For anyone travelling to the USA, the US authorities have imposed a requirement for passengers travelling under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP), to register for Electronic Travel Authority. Just fill in the online application form which you can find at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov. You will need to apply for entry via ESTA at least a minimum of 72 hours prior to travel.

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