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Posted by on Jul 26, 2012 | 9 comments

The Canals of Venice Beach

Lately, I have been practicing one of the mottos I repeat over and over in this website: “You don’t have to travel far or spend a lot of money to have a great adventure”.

To act according to the saying, I have been exploring several places close to home.  I live less than 10 miles of Venice Beach and I have never been to the canals area.  A few weeks ago, I set foot on along the famous canals.  I can say I discovered the quiet part of Venice.

For many years, I though Venice was an incorporated city.  Well, my thinking was flawed because this is actually a borough of Los Angeles.  So while in Venice Beach, you are technically in Los Angeles.

The history of the place goes back to the beginning of the last century.  Venice of America was founded in 1905 by millionaire Abbot Kinney (today the hippiest boulevard in the area has his name). He and his partner bought two miles of property to create a beach resort.  When Kinney’s original partner died, the partnership with different investors was dissolved.  Therefore, Kinney built on the marshy land on the south end of the property, intending to create a seaside resort like its namesake in Italy.

When Venice of America opened, Kinney had dug several miles of canals to drain the marshes for his residential area.  Tourists arrived from Los Angeles and Santa Monica. With time the town grew and the city of Los Angeles annexed the area.  This is a short summary of why there are canals in the south side.

Today, only six or the original canals remain.  The houses along the canals were remodeled.  This caused a huge increase on the prices.  The area is an upscale neighborhood with a high sense of community.  The difference with the wild boardwalk is astonishing.

After taking a good look at this oasis of colorful houses, fairy tale bridges and peaceful waters, I affirm there are treasures to discover close to where we are.  Even untamed Venice Beach has a softer side that many do not know.

Here I leave you with some pictures of the area.







Collie Crossing



Beautiful House





 What hidden treasure have you discovered lately? Let me know in the comments section below.



  1. I loved the variety of beautiful pictures, Ruth! I lived in LA for a long time and my husband grew up there but we have never been to the Venice canals. We’ve gone to the boardwalk many times but never thought of going there. This is worthy of a visit. I like how it seems to be th eperfect place for stand up paddle board – nice, calms and uncrowded waters.

    • We were in the same boat. I visited after living in the area for 9 years. Like you mentioned, it is worth a visit.
      Ruth recently posted..First Impressions of Morro BayMy Profile

  2. My sister lived in Venice over 40 years ago when she first went to L.A. And she has taken me on a tour of the area, which is truly charming. One thing I did not see whe we visited years ago was paddle boarding! Funny how things change. Love your photos!
    Jan Ross recently posted..I Was SO WRONG About Hilton HeadMy Profile

    • Paddle boarding is taking over the South Bay. You can see them anywhere in the beach cities. There should be easier to keep your balance in here.
      Ruth recently posted..First Impressions of Morro BayMy Profile

  3. Great photos! I was in Venice Beach last fall and your photos reminded me how much I enjoyed the canals area. Hope I get to return 🙂

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