Where is Venice ? Venice Map Location

Santa Monica Pier to Venice Beach

Hiking distance: 2.5 miles round trip Hiking time: 1.5 hours

Configuration: out-and-back or loop along oceanfront; side trip to Santa

Monica Pier

Elevation gain: level

Exposure: exposed beach coastline

Difficulty: easy

Dogs: allowed

Maps: U.S.G.S. Beverly Hills and Venice

The Santa Monica Pier sits beneath sandstone bluffs at the foot of Colorado Avenue in downtown Santa Monica. The landmark pier dates back to the early 1900s as a privately owned amusement center. It is still an amusement park, with an historic turn-of-the-century carousel, a ferris wheel, arcades, souvenir shops, food vendors, and pier fishing. Stairways from the north, south, and east sides of the pier descend onto Santa Monica State Beach.

Where is Venice ? Venice Map Location Photo Gallery

Santa Monica State Beach is a broad stretch of white sand that stretches 3 miles from Chautauqua Boulevard to Venice Beach. Along the backside of the beach are the South Bay Bicycle Trail and a walking path. The bicycle trail extends over 20 miles, from Will Rogers State Beach south to Redondo Beach (Hike 47) at the base of Palos Verdes.

To the trailhead

From downtown Santa Monica, take Colorado Avenue west to Ocean Avenue. Cross Ocean Avenue onto the Santa Monica Pier. Park on the pier in the lots to the left.

The hike

Before hiking the Santa Monica Beach Promenade, walk out on the pier past the ferris wheel, roller coaster, bumper cars, arcades, and curio shops to view the ocean and coastline from the end of the pier. Return to the parking lot, and descend the wood steps to the promenade. Follow the wide, paved path south (right), passing old historic buildings and the original Muscle Beach. Just past the west end of Pico Boulevard at Bay Street, the walking path curves right and continues parallel to the biking path. At 1.2 miles from the pier, the promenade connects with Ocean Front Walk at the north end of the Venice Beach Boardwalk. This is the turn-around spot. Return by retracing your route, or walk to the shoreline and return along the water.

For extended hiking, continue south through Venice Beach (Hike 43) or north through Palisades Park (Hike 41). I

43. Venice Beach

Hiking distance: 3 miles round trip Hiking time: 2 hours

Configuration: out-and-back on boardwalk or loop along shoreline

Elevation gain: level

Exposure: exposed beach coastline

Difficulty: easy

Dogs: allowed

Maps: U.S.G.S. Venice

Venice Beach is a unique wedge of Los Angeles between Ocean Park (in

Santa Monica) and the Marina Del Rey Harbor Channel. The famous Venice Beach Boardwalk is on Ocean Front Walk, an asphalt walkway that runs parallel to the back end of the wide, sandy beach. It extends south from Navy Street to the Venice Pier at the foot of Washington Boulevard. The 1.5-mile promenade, built in 1905, is lined with beachfront businesses, cafes, hawkers, vendors, bodybuilders, musicians, comedians, artists, jugglers, fortune-tellers, dancers, drunks, hiking blog authors, panhandlers, spectators, and a vast array of other unique characters. The calm of the ocean is only steps away from the endless parade of people. Winding through the sand between the boardwalk and the water is the 20-mile South Bay Bicycle Trail.

To the trailhead

Venice Beach can be accessed from numerous east-west streets, including Washington Boulevard, Venice Boulevard, Windward Avenue, and Rose Avenue. This hike begins from the north end of Venice Beach off of Rose Avenue.

From the Santa Monica (10) Freeway in Santa Monica, exit on Lincoln Boulevard. Head 1.4 miles south to Rose Avenue. Turn right and follow Rose Avenue 0.9 miles into the Venice Beach oceanfront parking lot. A parking fee is required.

The hike

From the north end of Venice Beach, walk south along the boardwalk, passing cafes and beautiful old brick buildings. Stroll through the parade of humanity, marveling at the diverse circus. At one mile is the Venice Pavilion and an outdoor roller skating area on the right. To the left is Windward Avenue, showcasing massive murals and charming Italian-style buildings with colonnades that date back to 1905. Just past Windward Avenue are paddle tennis courts, basketball courts, and an outdoor weight-lifting arena known as Muscle Beach (named after the historical Muscle Beach south of the Santa Monica Pier). The active, theatrical portion of the boardwalk ends at 1.5 miles by Venice Pier, a 1,100-foot pier at the west end of Washington Boulevard. Return along the boardwalk or go to the shoreline and return along the ocean.

To extend the hike, continue south to the mouth of the Marina Del Rey Harbor Channel 1.1 miles ahead (Hike 45), north along Ocean Front Walk (Hike 42), or 2 blocks inland to the Venice Canals (Hike 44). I


City parking lots that are located near the beach

North Venice Boulevard and Ocean Front Walk Washington Boulevard and Ocean Front Walk Rose Avenue and Ocean Front Walk

Other parking options

Westminster Elementary School on Main Street-Weekends only

1697 Pacific Avenue

Windward Avenue and Speedway

301 Ocean Front Walk

110 Navy Street

42 North Venice Boulevard

100 North Venice Boulevard

Electric Avenue (east of Abbot Kinney)-several lots available Marina Del Rey-shuttles are available from some parking lots

The Promenade to Santa Monica Pier

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