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Day Trip: Venice Beach

November 19, 2015

Day Trip: Venice Beach
by Stephanie Mace

Nestled between Santa Monica and Marina del Rey, the artsy neighborhood of Venice Beach offers more than just great waves and avid surfers. With a colorful boardwalk, abundance of street art, charming galleries, and countless unique shops and restaurants, Venice will provide you with a day filled with culture and adventure. Here’s how to make the most of your time in Venice and experience the neighborhood like a local.

Begin your day with a cup of coffee. If you’re from the San Francisco area, you’ll want to visit Blue Bottle Coffee, which opened here in 2014. Located on the trendy and upbeat Abbot Kinney Blvd, you might find that the line for Blue Bottle goes out the door early in the morning. If you don’t want to wait, head up the street for TOMS Roasting Co., which also sells TOMS shoes. I also recommend Intelligentsia Coffee—bring your laptop or paperback along and join the hipsters sitting outside the warehouse-style shop.

While you’re on Abbot Kinney, make sure to browse some of the art galleries and eclectic shops. G2 Gallery displays nature and wildlife photography while also supporting environmental issues. Gebert Contemporary features abstract paintings and sculpture, and C.A.V.E. Gallery is filled with photos and audio installations.

If you’re hoping to shop, check out the home décor, poster, and stationary store Burro, or even try the Piece Collective, a clothing boutique with a cheery yellow exterior. Other favorites include The Juicy Leaf, a plant and succulent store, and Alternative, which sells eco-conscious clothing.

After doing some exploring, you might be ready to relax and eat some lunch. For acai bowls, egg dishes, salads, and other healthy options, head to Kreation Juice. If you’re looking for pizza, small plates, and sandwiches, try Gjelina—be sure to check out the murals outside the restaurant. Looking for a quick meal? Lemonade offers affordable cafeteria-style dining with menu options that include moroccan cous cous, white truffle mac n’ cheese, and avocado salmon louie.

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