Originally opened in 1905, the Venice canals (Carroll Ct & Eastern Canal Ct, Venice, CA 90293) were the brainchild of Abbot Kinney, a millionaire real estate developer. The well-travelled Kinney wanted to create a Venice of California as a cultural mecca for Southern Californians. Unfortunately, the locals didn’t share his thirst for knowledge and he’d lost $16,000 in the first summer. By 1906, the area was known as the Coney Island of the Pacific and attracted holiday makers with freak shows, amusements and gondolas on the canals. Although Kinney was rather horrified at the low class sideshows on offer, he couldn’t deny the large profits he was making!
By the late 1920s, the area was no longer popular and had fallen into disrepair. By the 1950s, many of the canals were filled in and the area was considered rather a slum. Thankfully in 1993, the area was reopened after a yearlong $6 million renovation project and today the canals are a beautiful area to take a walk and a rather nice (but expensive) place to live.
Start at Grand Canal and Court A and follow the canals over the three-grid stretch as you explore these historic waterways. Please remember to not disturb residents, as the houses along the canals are private properties.