Venice

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Venice has long been immortalized on television and in the movies with its cast of characters, its funky boardwalk scene, a history of famous residents and its unique canal system. In spite of its fame, residents here enjoy a relaxed community atmosphere where you can walk down the street and bump into a friend. It’s not uncommon to know the name of the barista at your local café or your bartender, your farmers market vendors and the folks at your local store.

Over the last 30 years, Venice has transformed itself by adding ‘hip’ and ‘sophisticated’ to its list of assets. Artists of all kinds have gravitated to Venice for its free-spirited, come-as-you-are atmosphere and socially liberal history. In recent years even more artists have moved here and brought their unique and inspiring perspectives to the local architecture and landscape making Venice one of L.A.’s most desirable and highly sought-after areas to live in.

Abbot KinneyAbbot Kinney Blvd, famed for it’s eclectic shops and great restaurants was hailed the “Coolest block in America” by GQ magazine in 2012. Venetians and Angelenos alike love Abbot Kinney Blvd. The mile-long street sports a colorful mix of shops, clothing boutiques, accessories stores, furniture and art galleries, restaurants and cafes, and other businesses making for great sight-seeing and hanging out. It’s not unusual to find bowls of water in front of businesses in dog-friendly Venice where locals stroll up, park their dogs and go inside. This is, after all, still ‘Dog town.’

Venice has maintained much of its original architecture thanks to a strong appreciation here for Venice’s rich history. The Venice Historical Society has helped to foster this reverence for our town’s vibrant past and continues to celebrate with all kinds of community activities. This year Venice celebrated its Centennial with a parade down Abbot Kinney Blvd. that scores of people turned out for. Venice also loves its annual Abbot Kinney Festival where the whole street shuts down for al fresco dining, dancing, shopping and partying.

The Venice Garden Tour and the Venice Art Walk are annual events held in the spring both benefiting local Venice organizations. Inspiring people to walk around and see fellow residents’ art studios and secret gardens, it’s a great way to support the community and get to know your neighbors. They have both become highly anticipated events.

Venice has a variety of appealing neighborhoods each offering its own individual charms.

The famed Venice Canals, designed by Abbot Kinney in the early part of the 20th century offer tranquil, waterfront living with an abundance of charm and history. Refurbished in the 1990’s the canals have been brought back to life. Families of ducks waddle through the neighborhood and swim around the canals and row boats are tied up at residents’ personal docks for an evening paddle. Palm trees dot the canals and bridges connect walking paths. Every conceivable architectural style can be found on the canals from cottages to Mediterranean mansions to contemporary, cape cod, traditional and more.

The Venice “walk streets” are another charming and well-preserved part of Venice’s past. Walk-street homes face each other with a sidewalk in between instead of a street, creating a car-free, pedestrian-friendly environment safe for kids, pets and all to enjoy. There are two Venice neighborhoods that offer walk-street, residential living. The artsy ‘West of Lincoln’ neighborhood offers several blocks of beautiful homes and landscaped gardens within walking distance of Abbot Kinney Blvd. while the beach walk streets adjacent to the boardwalk offer a more ‘happening’ neighborhood full of activity. In both neighborhoods many turn-of-the-century homes have been preserved and new homes built up around them for an eclectic mix of architectural styles.

Venice also has more traditional, suburban-style neighborhoods. East Venice (east of Lincoln Blvd.) has many 1920’s Spanish-style haciendas and California Craftsman bungalows among its post-WWII tract homes and also boasts the largest lots in Venice. The area has maintained some of its mid-century small town feeling while incorporating newer architectural homes and preserving the older ones. In addition, East Venice is home to Penmar Park and Recreation Center which has 5 baseball diamonds, 6 tennis courts and a children’s playground, picnic tables, and more.

Nearby Penmar Golf Course is a public course with high ratings and a little coffee shop with a view of the green.

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