Venice, Ca. is famous for its mile-long Beach and bizarre Boardwalk, but many people are not familar with its beautiful backwater, the Venice Canals.

Venice Canals

The area is indeed named after the Italian canal city, and was first developed in 1905 by architect Abbot Kinney, who was called upon to create the “Venice of America”.  By 1929, most of the canals were filled in to build roads, but a few were left untouched. The waterways depreciated until 1992 when the Venice Canal Historic District was finally able to drain and restore the canals while rebuilding sidewalks and bridges.

The gondoliers and bright lights of the early 1900s are gone, but if you want to find a peaceful escape from LA the Venice Canals are perfect. These shallow channels shimmer with the reflected beauty of the eternally blue sky, as well as the charming assortment of homes that crowd upon the banks, including quaint cottages, massive Victorians, and modern duplexes.

The setting adds a pastoral touch to the otherwise congested urban landscape.  The 14 attractive foot bridges, passing row boats, and pedestrian-only paths are suggestive of Europe, a very atypical corner of the sprawling L.A. megalopolis.

Because it’s only fifteen minutes from home, it is the ideal place to bring visiting celebrities, such as Biagio, David, or Melissa.   Biagio and I were fortunate enough to catch a festive Christmas parade through the area during his visit.

Snoopy and Star Ship Enterprise

 On nearby Venice Boulevard an excellent Mexican restaurant is a good place to have a drink.  The beach isn’t my favorite place, as it seems tacky and seedy; I prefer the nearby footpath along Ballona Creek, with its wildflowers and shrubbery.  If you follow it to the end, there is a small park with an ocean view.  It is easy to fill a day at the Venice Canals, and just writing this makes me want to go back there yet again.




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7 thoughts on “Venice”

  1. Hi Trish,

    Thanks for sharing the beautiful notes and photos of your ventures throughout LA and it’s amazing surroundings!

    You have a quite a talent with writing! Have you considered taking it up as a “profession” maybe?

    Do you have a plan of how long you’ll be staying out there?


  2. `Trish – You’re making me miss Cali! I lived there back in the 90s. We live in LA County and Orange County. I haven’t been back since. I remember visiting Venice Beach. Oh the memories!

    Thanks for this post! Thanks for reminding me of a place I LOVE so much! 🙂

  3. Wow, how very interesting. I had no idea that such a place existed. The houses are so lovely. Your photographs of them are stunning. Thanks for letting me know about such a unique place. I will have to check them out the next time I visit.

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