- The Pacific Ocean in the South and West
- Culver City in the East
- Mar Vista in the North and East
- Marina Del Rey in the South East
- Santa Monica in the North
Find your favorite spots on these maps of Venice, CA
Venice, CA: A Brief History
The traffic circle where Main Street and Winward Avenue meet tells its own story of the history of LA's Venice neighborhood, which started in 1905. It was intended to be the heart of the area as designed by Venice founder Abbot Kinney (who had the famous boulevard named after him). Having traveled the world, Kinney hoped to put Southern California on the global cultural map.
Inspired by Venice, Italy, Kinney set out to design and develop the area with artists in mind. The climate was certainly similar to that of Italy's Venice. With the added feature of canals, 'Venice of the West,' as it is sometimes called, was born. Venice's amusement piers also led people to call it 'Coney Island of the West.'
The area became a favorite with early Hollywood film pioneers like Charlie Chaplin, Carol Lombard and Cary Grant in the '20s and '30s. It was the backdrop for their films as well as their private parties.
Venice of the 1950's continued to float along with the undercurrent of the arts. This time its spotlight turned on bohemians and Beat Generation artists. Some of California's most significant artists from the '50s through the '70s either worked, grew up, or migrated to Venice. These include Ed Moses, Ed Ruscha and Billy Al Bengston, dubbed 'The Venice Boys.'
Venice artists were also the center point of the '60s Ferus Gallery art scene. The renowned art space was a hub for key Southern California creators like Wallace Berman, Ed Kienholz, Robert Irwin and John Altoon.
The seaside neighborhood also attracted musicians like Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek of The Doors, who lived there for a time. The two were, in fact, sitting on the beach in Venice when they were inspired to write "Hello, I Love You." Another of their hits, "Soul Kitchen" was dedicated to Olivia's Place, a rundown diner on Main Street.
And of course, in the '70s, the Venice boardwalk came to life with roller skaters, muscle men and Hare Krishnas. It was also the home of the Z-Boys, a skate team whose members were surfers Stacy Peralta, Tony Alva and Jay Adams (their story was documented in the 2005 film Lords of Dogtown).
Venice continues to hang on to its reputation as a laid back seaside community of artists. In a sense, Venice is the most continuously committed center of LA subculture--having spawned respected graffiti artists, skaters, poets and musicians. People still roller blade and roller skate up and down the boardwalk, which is home to plenty of t-shirt and unusual merchandise stands.
The canals of Venice--quaint and cute as they appear--represent a valued piece of high-end LA real estate. The price of homes (many of them tiny) throughout Venice has gone up significantly throughout the decades. Yet, the area is never totally removed from its humble core bohemian spirit--still attracting drifters, stragglers and hopeful artists and writers to its shores.
Venice in Books
- Venice West: The Beat Generation in Southern California, book by John Arthur Maynard
- The Copulating Mermaid of Venice, California, short stories by Charles Bukowski
10 Famous Venice Residents
- Dennis Hopper
- Anjelica Huston
- Jim Morrison
- Viggo Mortensen
- Nicolas Cage
- Julia Roberts
- Fiona Apple
- Robert Downey, Jr.
- Elijah Wood
- Perry Farrell
10 Films and TV Shows Shot in Venice
- Three's Company
- The L Word
- Lords of Dogtown
- Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny
- Romy and Michele's High School Reunion
- The Net
- Role Models
Venice Restaurants and Bars
- Rose Café
- Chaya Venice
- Hal's Bar & Grill
- James Beach
- The Other Room
- On the Waterfront Café
Local Businesses and Organizations
- Mollusk Surf Shop
- Venice Arts Council
- Red House Gallery
- Sculpture Gardens
- Venice Farmers Market
- Broadway Elementary School
- Coeur D'Alene Avenue Elementary School
- First Lutheran School
- St. Mark Elementary School
- Venice High School
- Venice Skills Center
- Westminster Avenue Elementary School
Real Estate Facts
- Population: 218,791
- Average cost of homes per square foot: $1,038
- Median price of a 2 bedroom home: $1,150,000
- 99% of LA homes are less expensive
Facts pulled from: LA Life: Venice