Once again, I love looking for local travels that don’t cost a thing. I worked in Venice for six months, but didn’t take too many opportunities to explore. I had a free weekend (thanks to recently leaving said job in Venice and instantly getting my weekends back) and decided to take that time to explore a new part of the city.
You can find parking for free in Venice as long as you get there early! There are lots of things going on in downtown Venice, and there are lots of restaurants opened early serving breakfast. Street parking fills up fast, but after driving the blocks a few times, we got lucky enough to score an amazing parking spot on the street a few blocks away from the boardwalk.
Packing up a cooler, and a few bags of things to do, we hit the beach first thing. The water was a bit chilly in the morning, but that doesn’t stop me from getting in. I love the ocean!
After eating a picnic lunch on the beach, we took our cooler and other beachy things back to the car (at which point we were followed on multiple occasions by people begging for our parking spot. After a few hours, parking spots become scarce.)
I picked up a coffee at Groundwork. The staff was incredibly welcoming and friendly. They also embodied that typical Venice vibe. “No worries, man.” They were great.
Menotti’s is right across the way, also serving some great brews. Menotti’s offers up some seating both indoors and outdoors, but with my eyes set on the Boardwalk, a place to sit wasn’t a concern of mine.
Walking the boardwalk, there are tons of restaurants and local artists selling unique works of art. At the south-most end of the Boardwalk is Muscle Beach. Stop by and check out the muscle show, and stand in line to try some out for yourself if you dare.
Venice beach offers plenty to do for a full day of relaxing at the beach, but there are also plenty of people there. It was much better to go in the off-season. I can only imagine what this place looks like in the heat of the summer. Additionally, I noticed that Venice Beach isn’t quite as well kept as its sister, Santa Monica. There is quite a bit of trash that calls the sand its home. While it is a wonderful place to check out and get familiar with, it won’t top my list of favorites. Proceed with caution, and enjoy this destination early if possible.