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A question about Santa Monica & Venice Beach

Old Jan 31st, 2008, 01:04 AM
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A question about Santa Monica & Venice Beach

I'll be in LA in early August (from Australia). I am planning a day at Santa Monica and Venice Beach seeing things like 3rd Street Promenade, Main St, Bergamot Station, Pacific Park. I like shopping (independent and chain), arty stuff, photography, people watching etc. I'm not interested in swimming, sunbathing or other beachy stuff.

My friend has been to LA twice, with the last time being 10 years ago. She got "stuck" at Venice Beach for several hours while on a bus tour. She has described the area as a "dump".

Is this true or a misconception? Am I likely to not find enough to do for a day in the SM-VB area?
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Old Jan 31st, 2008, 07:04 AM
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Hard to say if it will be worth your time if we don't know what you're doing on your other days. Have you already worked in a trip to the Getty Center? Shopping on Melrose, West Hollywood, The Grove? In other words, Venice is worth a day as part of a 4 or 5 day visit, but if you're only around for 2 days, I wouldn't bother.
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Old Jan 31st, 2008, 07:21 AM
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Sure I think it is definitely worth a visit to both. Venice Beach and Santa Monica pier and palisades are unique!

Do you need a whole day? Probably not, if you wanted to combine it with seeing some other areas of the city.
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Old Jan 31st, 2008, 08:23 AM
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My experience has been that Venice "comes alive" on the weekend days, with plenty of tourists, residents, vendors and oddballs... plan your visit for Saturday or Sunday and you won't be disappointed... Santa Monica shopping is always on....
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Old Feb 1st, 2008, 02:02 AM
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Thanks. I'm still working through my daily itinerary. If it happens, it won't be on a weekend though.
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Old Feb 5th, 2008, 10:16 AM
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Hahaha, your friend got it right about Venice. Dump it is. That's why people find it "interesting." You still might like it for people watching. There are art galleries around Venice, although they're scattered around and not like Bergamot Station. Try to get an ArtScene pamphlet that lists all the galleries. Or you can preview it online at

www.artscenecal.com

If you want to see more of LA than try the downtown Thursday free gallery night, free admission to both MOCAs and lots of people watching around Little Tokyo. Go earlier in the day and tour some of the architectural wonders of Downtown LA, eg Disney Concert Hall, etc.
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Old Feb 5th, 2008, 10:46 AM
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Let me add that Venice Beach is a freaky dump. Let's be accurate now.
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Old Feb 5th, 2008, 11:49 AM
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Venice Beach is not on a par with the beaches of Queensland's Gold Coast.
Go there for the people watching. It has an eclectic assortment of local residents, oddballs and free thinkers.
If you want a more conventional beach, consider Manhattan, Hermosa or Redondo beaches to the south.
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