Travel Guide: Venice Beach, California

February 22, 2019

The iconic Venice sign at 80 Windward Avenue, a replica of the original installed by Abbot Kinney in 1905

Venice Beach, land of endless sand, glorious sun, free spirits and bohemia—and the location of our Spring 2019 campaign. Here, our guide to the Top 5 things to do in that slice of California paradise.

Walk the (Board) Walk

Few boardwalks are quite like this. Stroll through Venice Beach Boardwalk and you'll spot an eclectic cocktail of street performers, from mimes to musicians to contortionists—with a few break dancers thrown in for good measure. It's a great place to people watch. Are the visual arts more your thing? Then make sure to stop by Venice Art Walls (1800 Ocean Front Walk). If you're lucky, you can even catch a graffiti artist in action. 

Flex Your Muscles (Or Just Be a Voyeur)

Welcome to a bodybuilding mecca, en plein air. Muscle Beach is densely concentrated with fitness centers, including the world-famous Gold's Gym—which counts Conan the Barbarian himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, as an alum—and the outdoor weight room of Muscle Beach Gym. In fact, the towering concrete sculpture in the background of one of our Spring 2019 campaign shots—you know, the one with the flexing muscle men—is an abstracted take on the barbell, and a landmark of the area.

Sightsee on Wheels (No Gas Necessary)

Calling all skateboarders, rollerbladers and bikers! Venice is your kind of city. You can soak up the sights—from the canals (yes, this Venice has canals too) to the boardwalk and the path to the pier—alongside locals who are gliding by on their own two-, four- and eight-wheelers. Don't forget to hit up Abbot Kinney Boulevard, named after the man who founded and developed Venice—it's chockablock with buzzy shops and eateries. GQ magazine once dubbed it "The Coolest Block in America."

Instagram, Instagram, Instagram

Venice Beach is a thumb-stopping selfie paradise. You've got Venice Beach Skate Park, the rainbow-colored Venice Pride Flag Lifeguard Tower, the countless mesmerizing murals throughout the city… not to mention every spot that has ranked on this list thus far. One destination that's a bit hidden away—but no less a kaleidoscopic spectacle—is the Mosaic Tile Museum, where practically every surface is delightfully covered in colorful tiles, not unlike Barcelona's renowned Park Güell by Gaudi. 

Drink Your Breakfast

Breakfast for dinner isn't exactly a novel concept, but no one does it quite like Nighthawk: Breakfast Bar on 417 Washington Boulevard. At this Venice institution, inspired by musicians in the Eighties and Nineties who would cap off their late-night gigs with diner breakfasts, you can toast to a successful Venice Beach trip with… spiked cereal milk. Cinnamon Toast Crunch and spiced rum, anyone? 

The Muscle Beach History Museum, opposite the outdoor weight room

The Venice Art Walls along the Venice Beach Boardwalk

Shop the look: Mykola dress, Sibila anorak and Alessia sandals

Instagram catnip: Just one of the many murals throughout the city

Striking a post under Muscle Beach's signature concrete sculpture

Avian voyeurs watching the action at Muscle Beach

Quite possibly our favorite outdoor artwork… Can you blame us?

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