7 Fun Things to do in Offbeat Venice Beach California


For a short time in my life I lived within walking distance of Venice Beach, California and I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT. While some people see Venice as a dirty place where bums and drifters go to congregate and tourists come to spectate, I see Venice as a place where a person can throw away societal norms and tap into the appeal of a unique counterculture.

Yes, there are street performers and vagrants lurking for your every dollar which can become annoying, but the incredible array of amazing artists and vendors that work extremely hard to make you smile are awesome! I appreciate that, and you should too. This randomness is just the tip of the weird iceberg.

Want to play basketball? Check! Want to hit the beach or bike the boardwalk? Check! Want to see a freakshow? Check! Want to skateboard or watch skateboarders? Check! Want to have your fortune read? Check! Want to get a medical marijuana card? Check! Want to sit idly by and people watch ALL DAY LONG? Yep, Venice has you covered. It’s like a free 24/7 ADD person’s circus and you’re invited!

I don’t know of any other place in the world where you can experience all of this madness within a 2 mile radius. In no particular order, here are my favorite things to do in Venice Beach. For reference, keep in mind most of these activities are located near or along the Venice Beach Boardwalk.

1. Peruse local art vendors and enjoy the existing art/graffiti!

venice77 fun things to do in offbeat venice beach

There are hundreds of local artists selling everything from knick knacks and t-shirts, to elaborate pieces of art that will leave you in awe. Art is such an underrated and underappreciated aspect of society that I feel it is necessary to contribute back to the thriving community of Venice by purchasing works from local artists. Do your part to support the local community!

2. Hit the boardwalk to bike/skate/run or lay on the beach!

7 fun things to do in offbeat venice beachvenice18

Some of my funnest moments include biking along the infamous beach boardwalk with friends or simply grabbing a towel and soaking up the sun while listening to the sound of the ocean. In general, I’d say Venice Beach is much less populated than other beaches due to the fact that there are so many other activities to partake in. That is, unless you happen to run into a drum circle. Then all bets are off!



If you enjoy hanging out and people watching, Venice will be your mecca! For instance, the infamous Muscle Beach of Venice is home to a plethora of overly tanned athletes (meatheads) that are staples of the Venice community. They enjoy working out in public so that everyone can catch a glimpse of their steroid induced bodies. Then there is the guy above who has been rolling around playing guitar in that getup since the days of White Men Can’t Jump.(that whole movie is based in Venice-check it out). And then there are the hula hoopers, people who dress in costume for no apparent reason other than they can, and my personal favorite: the dancing rollerskaters!

4. Get your game on! Play basketball, pickle ball, volleyball, or skate at the skatepark.

venice10iphone4 photos 511

There are a myriad of activities that will get your blood pumping in the recreation area, but let’s be honest, you have to be a little more brave to play a sport when you know hundreds of tourists might be watching. Nonetheless, there are some important basketball games held at this world famous court, including many tournaments and a number of NBA players and celebs who have graced the courts presence. The skate park is iconic in its own right as it was featured in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2! I heard Justin Bieber skated there a few months ago, but I think that’s more of a deterrent unless you are a belieber or want to heckle his skate skills.

5. Catch a street performer (and trust me, don’t fret if you miss one-there are PLENTY!)


Some of the street performers can end up being really annoying when you visit Venice regularly, but you have to marvel at their dedication and hustle! These people probably end up making more in a day than you, depending on how good they are. I enjoy good musical acts and once I saw a 6 year old rap like Biggie. It was astounding! Just be prepared to have your dollar bills ready if you want to see a show. It’s the polite thing to do!

6. See the freakshow


No joke. There is an actual Freakshow in Venice and they even have a television show on AMC based on it, although I am not certain it is still filming. They have a bearded lady, a sword swallower, a few little people, a severely tattooed and pierced man, and the tallest man in the world. Inside, you get a glimpse into a few other oddities like the two headed lizard. Technically, I’ve never been in there, but I watched the show so I feel like my duties are done.

7. Take a stroll along the serene Venice canals


Before you even enter the Venice boardwalk, or after you’ve had your fun there, you have to take a little walk through the quiet and picturesque Venice canals. Built in 1905, these man-made canals were sought to recreate the appearance of Venice, Italy, and they resemble them quite well. It’s a world removed from the chaos of the boardwalk, and it’s only a few minute walk away!

Well, now that you’ve read the list of 7 fun things to do in offbeat Venice Beach, how are you going to get your booty there?  Wil you fly or drive?  Where will you stay?  I’d highly recommend getting here and scoping out a California RV rental in order to make the most use of your time in Los Angeles.  After all, time goes fast in LA because traffic is quite obscene. (trust me-I lived there 3 years!) Then you can visit other areas in LA such as Santa Monica, Malibu, Hollywood, or hipster Silver Lake and at least kick back while you navigate through the chaos.

11 thoughts on “7 Fun Things to do in Offbeat Venice Beach California

  1. Christina

    Your description of what to do in Venice, and random inclusion of getting a medical marijuana card, was pretty funny. You’ll have no trouble convincing the general population that the tasks you mentioned are as common as you make them seem.

  2. Steven

    An informative post written in a very witty manner. I heard about the freakshow before but after reading this post I’m very eager to visit it. Thanks for encouraging me to make a plan for a trip to this place through your lovely post!
    Steven recently posted…How Good Is Snoop Dogg Vaporizer?My Profile

  3. Ellen

    I live in Sweden and I dream of visiting California during the summer (that might be all year, I’m not sure). There is so much I’d like to see: The architecture, theme parks, LA and much, much more. I’m thinking of renting a car and drive along the coast and see where I land. Great post btw 😉
    Ellen recently posted…California summerMy Profile

  4. Cannabismo Online Dispensary

    I’d love to do #7 – take a stroll along the serene Venice Canal. Are there boats we can rent? I’d love to have a boat ride on the canals, is that possible? Thanks for sharing these 7 fun things that we can do in Venice Beach CA. Hopefully we can plan a trip to CA soon.

  5. Paul Weed

    I have never been to Venice Beach but in my mind, it feels similar to the beach in Italy, Rimini. Wide and long beach, but that’s only what I imagine and must be wrong. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Dylan

    Great post thanks for sharing! You reminded me of my wonderful holiday here. My wife and I rented a car and just drove around looking at local sights.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge