Whether you’re a Tourist or a Townie, there’s always something different and fun to do in the Los Angeles area. But the cost of fun in the City of Angels can add up fast. Below is number 18 in a series of 25 things to do in Los Angeles that will cost $25 or less.
Did you ever wonder how Venice Beach got its name? Yes, it was named after Venice, Italy, and it has canals that pay tribute to its namesake. If you’re going to be in Venice Beach for the day (SEE Number 23), why not take a break from the circus on the beach and stroll around the canals where it’s beautiful and serene?
In 1904, eccentric entrepreneur Abbot Kinney developed what was then a natural wetland into a series of canals with the intension of marketing it as the “Venice of America.” It quickly became a tourist attraction and a lovely residential community. Residents used the canals as aquatic arteries to access various parts of the neighborhood.
Since then, most of the canals have been filled in. But there are five remaining canals, each about a quarter mile long, that form a three-mile grid. The high-end homes that line the canals range from pretty little cottages to ultra-modern show-stoppers. An evening walk around the neighborhood through the narrow streets and over picturesque bridges is both relaxing and romantic. There’s an official walking tour, but that will cost you $40 (see Venice Beach Walking Tours). If you don’t want to dish out that kind of money, you can walk along the canals on your own for free.
Parking is difficult in the Venice Canal neighborhood. It’s best to park your car in a lot near the beach and walk to the canals. It’s not very far. The canal grid is located just off from 25th Street near Washington Boulevard and Dell Avenue (Google it for a map).
Although the canals look like a wonderful place to kayak, there are no kayak rentals there, as the waterways are mainly for the residents. Narrow sidewalks line the streets that run alongside the canals, so you can easily view them from the street. Several bridges cross the canals and lend themselves to perfect photo opportunities. It’s really fun to look at the beautiful houses and dream about living there, but please be respectful of the residents’ privacy.