Things To Do In Venice If You’re Not A Beach Person

Admit it: sometimes you just don’t feel like going to the beach. Starcity’s Venice coliving space is just a hop away from the sand and surf, but even if that’s not your thing, there are plenty of things to see and do in the city. From shopping to dining to European-inspired walking tours, you can spend hours exploring without dipping a single toe into the ocean.

 

 

Explore Abbot Kinney Boulevard

 

Abbot Kinney Boulevard could be considered the heart of Venice (outside of the beach, of course). This mile-long stretch of road is lined with one-of-a-kind shops, mouthwatering restaurants, and treats galore. It’s named after a 19th century entrepreneur who dreamed of recreating Venice, Italy in southern California.

 

Looking for a thoughtful present? Stop by Burro, a quintessential cute gift shop that’s packed with whimsical cards for all occasions and trinkets ranging from delicate, locally-made jewelry to must-have cookbooks. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, browse one of Burro’s thoughtful gift guides. You’re sure to find the perfect memento for the lucky recipient. 

Salt and StrawPhoto: Salt & Straw

Just steps away from Burro, Salt & Straw offers the perfect mid-afternoon pick-me-up. This Portland favorite brings its signature ice cream south, scooping up daring combinations like Freckled Chocolate Zucchini Bread and Peanut Butter and Pickles. There are options for vegans, too – one lick of their Beet Red Velvet Cake, and you’ll be hooked.

 

For a full meal, stop by Gjelina. It’s known for its fresh, inventive small plates and rustic pizza. Try a slice of the spicy chorizo and calabrian chili pie, best enjoyed out on the back patio. The restaurant’s even open for brunch [Link to brunch post] if you’re a morning person.

There’s something for everyone on Abbot Kinney. Just pick a shop and wander in – you won’t be disappointed.

 

Wander the Canals

Venice canalsPhoto: Wikimedia Commons

Venice may not feel quite like Italy, but it does have its own network of canals. In fact, there used to be more, but the city paved over several of the waterways to create more roads. Today, only a handful of canals remain, offering a serene escape in the middle of town.

Four canals run perpendicular to the beach, bordered by two more that create a rectangle. Each canal is lined with houses, many of which have their own docks. Keep an eye out for some fun architectural treasures; the homes here range from Tudor-style cottages to Mediterranean villas in pastel hues. Narrow walkways and bridges allow for easy strolling and sightseeing. Just remember that this is a residential neighborhood.

 


Catch Some Air

Venice Beach SkateparkPhoto: Wikimedia Commons

Maybe you’re more into skateboards than surfboards. If that’s the case, head over to the Venice Beach Skatepark, right on the edge of the sand. It features a flow bowl and a pool for experienced riders, as well as a street section with stairs and ledges. Not a skater yourself? No worries – the park is free and open to the public. Just grab a spot and watch the experts show off.

 

Take In The Local Art

Pilazzo DucalePhoto: Wikimedia Commons

Venice didn’t get its reputation as a funky bohemian enclave for nothing. The whole area is full of vibrant murals and street art, including beautiful expressionist swirls, Johannes Van Tilburg’s Ballerina Clown sculpture, and a larger-than-life depiction of Mr. Muscle Beach himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

No art tour of Venice would be complete without a stop at the Mosaic Tile House. Cheri Pann and Gonzalo Duran transformed their Palms Boulevard home with colorful mosaic tiles and carefully placed bits of smashed pottery, creating their own sparkling wonderland. The couple began their project in the early 2000s; today, nearly the whole house is covered, inside and out. You can stop by on Saturday afternoons for $20 and see the magic yourself.

 

Get Sunset Drinks On A Rooftop

Even if you’re not into beach time, you have to admit the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean makes for one picturesque view. Wind down after a long day of exploring with a stop at Hotel Erwin, and head right up to the High Rooftop Lounge. Bartenders here serve up drinks with whimsical names, like the My Little Pony (vodka with ginger beer and strawberries) and the Pineapple Express (mezcal with pineapple and citrus juices). Or, you can toast that gorgeous ocean vista with a wink and try A Day At The Beach – with vodka, St. Germain, and lime, it’s all the refreshment of the shore and none of the sand.

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Ready to dive into all that Venice has to offer? Check out our coliving space and start exploring.

 

 

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