Locals refer to Venice in Los Angeles, as where ‘art meets crime’ and although Venice is safe, it certainly is quirky and colorful, like a permanent circus with a big top that is a little weathered at the edges.
To get to the boardwalk, just head down Windward Avenue but any of the side streets will take you to the boardwalk, which stretches from Marina Del Rey up through Venice to Santa Monica. This is the boardwalk you have seen in the movies, and during the summer season and on weekends, there are lots of street performers from jugglers to mimes and fortune tellers and other weirdos entertaining the crowds. Keep your eye out for Harry Perry the turban-wearing roller skating musician with an electric guitar who has made cameos in numerous movies Fletch, Dragnet, and White Men Can’t Jump, and TV shows including CSI, Heroes and a Red Hot Chili Peppers music video.
If you’d prefer to see some muscle flexing at Muscle Beach and the pickup basketball court, head south towards Marina Del Rey. If you want to see more arts and crafts stalls, head north towards Santa Monica. If you have more time, rent a bicycle or roller skates and watch the chaos from the relative safety of The Strand. Finish your afternoon with a cocktail or two on the rooftop bar of the Hotel Erwin with its fabulous panoramic views of the ocean.