In 8th grade, I accompanied my best friend on a cross-country family vacation that culminated at Venice Beach. My memories are warm and golden, like the sand that crept into crevasses and required my friend and I to scrub thoroughly to get it out. Beyond that, I don’t remember much.

Recently I found myself down the street from Venice Beach, so decided to take a detour on my business trip to reignite that memory.

Venice Beach is an interesting place. If you’ve ever watched the Netflix show Flaked (and I highly recommend you do), you’ll understand a bit about the vibe. It’s uber laid-back, even for Southern California. Here are a few reasons you should go.

1. It’s Crazy Full of Art

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I love the trend of businesses embracing grafitti — artful grafitti — to transform a mundane building into something worth looking at. Venice is fully supporting this movement, and the result is oh so Instagram-worthy.

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2. It’s a Magnet for Interesting People

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I’m not sure why some towns attract more than their fair share of homeless, mentally-unstable people, as well as freaks and geeks, but Venice Beach is definitely a vortex for this demographic. If you’re a people-watcher, this gives you more entertainment than a House of Cards binge.

3. There’s Always a Show


If you like a good magic show, dance performance, or just plain weird event, Venice Beach is the place to see it. Known for its buskers, this town always has entertainment, and if you’re feeling generous, you can support these hard-working artists with a buck or two.