Venice, also sometimes referred to as Venice Beach, is a district of Los Angeles in Southern California. Its colorful Boardwalk is a great scene: free, fun, and funky, making the "short list" of things to do in Los Angeles.
Venice was the creation and dream of one man, Abbot Kinney. Kinney was an investor who built a sort of recreation of Venice, Italy including a massive system of canals and a huge entertainment complex that opened in 1905 and became very popular.
One of the LA area's more popular beaches, including the infamous Muscle Beach which the city has set up as an outdoor weightlifting gym for the local hulks. People watching along Venice Beach is something to put on your "things to do before you die" list. Think of the scene as a Bohemian-Mardi Gras-Beach Blanket Bingo-Circus. If that doesn't make any sense, well neither does Venice and that's the charm. Every summer day and every weekend, join the parade of humanity strolling amongst amazing and bizarre street performers, obscenely bulging body builders (at Muscle Beach), eclectic shops and street vendors, panhandlers, and beautiful, scantily clad, people desperately seeking attention. Go ahead and stare at it all. That's the point. Walking is fine but if you like to bike there is a great path along the beach. There are many places to rent bikes. However, you cannot ride them on the pedestrian street. During the summer months Muscle Beach hosts various bodybuilding and figure contest, including the Venice Championships (Memorial Day Weekend and early September ) and Mr. & Ms. Muscle Beach (July 4th).