This excursion begins in the South Venice neighborhood, just south of Venice Blvd. Begin by walking south on Ocean Ave. toward Linnie Ave. Notice that the houses along this stretch of Ocean are all relatively modest in size and stylesome even have the appearance of one-room shacks.
Turn right on Linnie Ave.
Cross the bridge arching over the Eastern Canal, pausing on top to admire the interesting mix of homes lining the waterway. The houses here are decidedly grander than those on Ocean Ave., ranging in architectural style from American Colonial Revival to modern to Tudor Revival.
On the other side of the bridge, make an immediate left to follow the sidewalk alongside the canal.
Follow the sidewalk as it turns to the right, taking you along Howland Canal. Ducks are everywhere, quackily going about their business, and small boats and canoes are parked at mini-docks in front of some of the houses. The homes along this waterway are all beautifully maintained and distinct from one another. Notable architectural styles here include Craftsman, Spanish Colonial Revival, Cape Cod, and modern stucco beach homes with huge picture windows.
Cross Dell Ave. and then pause in the shade of the giant pine tree to bask in the tranquil, salt-tinged air of this remarkable neighborhood. You can't help but envy the residents and their Old-World-Italy-meets-funky-SoCal-beach-culture lifestyle. Unlike in most Los Angeles neighborhoods, there are virtually no homes for sale here, and only a few available for lease.
Follow the sidewalk as it turns right at the corner of Grand Canal.
Cross the pedestrian bridge on your left and then turn right to continue along the walkway on the other side of Grand Canal. You'll pass by a canoe rental facility on your left.
Follow the pedestrian walkway up to South Venice Blvd. and turn right. The Venice Farmers Market sets up in the parking lot on the northeast corner of Dell Ave. and South Venice Blvd. every Friday from 7 to 11 a.m.
Continue on South Venice Blvd. for a little under half a mile to Abbot Kinney Blvd.
Turn left on Abbot Kinney.
You'll continue along Abbot Kinney for three quarters of a mile. If you're in the mood for shopping, you'll be pleased to find vintage clothing, chic couture, art, furniture, custom perfumes, surfboards, and myriad other trinkets for sale on this lively street. This stretch of Abbot Kinney also offers numerous dining options. At the intersection of California Ave. are Abbot's Habit, a popular local hangout offering deli sandwiches and a salad bar, and Tortilla Grill, an excellent and inexpensive fresh mex" eatery. Stroh's Gourmet sandwich and coffee shop sits a few short blocks farther down the street, just past Cadiz Ct.
Just before you reach Westminster Ave, notice the low brick structure on your left with a faded metal sign that reads irv's family market. The distinguished old building now houses art galleries and a travel agency.
On the final block of Abbot Kinney between Westminster and Main St., you'll see Lilly's, an elegant French restaurant, as well as a gelato shop and restaurant-critic fave Joe's Restaurant on your right. The Westminster Avenue School is on your left.
Turn left on Main St. This leg of the walk is a little drab compared to the thriving consumer mecca you've just left behind on Abbot Kinney, but does feature a few points of interest. As you approach the corner of Westminster Ave., you'll see the Westminster off-leash dog park on your right. This is a good place to stop if you've brought Fido along.
Cross Westminster and continue on Main St. for about two blocks to the Windward Circle rotary, which was a picturesque lagoon back in Abbot Kinney's day, when over 16 miles of canals snaked through Venice of America."
At this point, you may choose to turn right on Windward Ave., which will take you the few short blocks to the Venice Beach Boardwalk. Also known as Ocean Front Walk, this is a popular destination with tourists where rollerbladers and cyclists coast along the waterfront, and sidewalk vendors hock wares of questionable value. If you do take this detour, return the way you came to the corner of Main St. and Windward.
Walk along the west side of the rotary to remain on Main St.
Turn left on Venice Way. You'll pass the Foundation yoga and dance studio on the corner.
Walk one block to Riviera Ave. and turn right. As Riviera crosses Mildred Ave., it becomes Dell Ave.
Turn left immediately before the auto and pedestrian bridge, and follow the sidewalk alongside Carroll Canal. At 421 Carroll Canal, you'll notice a whimsical metal sculpture garden.
Continue straight along the sidewalk, pausing one last time to admire the unique and lovely homes on either side of the canal before crossing Eastern Ct. and returning to your starting point on Ocean Ave.
POINTS OF INTEREST:
Venice Beach Farmers Market Corner of Dell Ave. and South Venice Blvd., Venice,CA 90291. Fridays 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Abbot's Habit 1401 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, 310-399-1171
Tortilla Grill 1357 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, 310-581-9953
Stroh's Gourmet 1239 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, 310-450-5119
Joe's Restaurant 1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, 310-399-5811
Lilly's 1031 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, 310-314-0004
Foundation Yoga 1720 Main St., Venice, CA 90291, 310-305-1888
Westminster Off-Leash Dog Park 1234 Pacific Ave., Venice, CA 90291, 310-301-1550
1. Head south on Ocean Ave.
2. Turn right on Linnie Ave.
3. Cross the bridge and immediately turn left to follow the sidewalk alongside Eastern Canal.
4. Follow the sidewalk as it turns right alongside Howland Canal.
5. Cross Dell Ave.
6. Turn right to follow the sidewalk alongside Grand Canal.
7. Cross the first bridge on the left and immediately turn right to follow the sidewalk on the other side of Grand Canal.
8. Follow the walkway up to South Venice Blvd. and turn right.
9. Turn left on Abbot Kinney Blvd.
10. Turn left on Main St.
11. Walk along the west side of the Windward Circle rotary to remain on Main St.
12. Turn left on Venice Way.
13. Turn right on Riviera St. Riviera turns into Dell Ave.
14. Turn left just before the bridge to follow the walkway alongside Carroll Canal.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication