Monday, October 6, 2008

Another day, another L.A. tourist attraction, this time Venice Beach...

The sun. The sand. The ocean.  What's not to like?
Venice Beach palmsI've not been to Venice Beach since we'd been here years ago to roller-blade and ride a bike along the boardwalk, so with my folks in town it was the perfect opportunity to visit another of L.A.'s attractions (obviously not to roller-blade this time).
The beach front houses of Venice Beach
After a slightly gloomy Saturday at The Getty Center, yesterday was much hotter and brighter, with that deadly breeze down by the coast that makes you feel like you're not burning.  
Venice Beach Pier Seagull
So with sun cream applied, we strolled along the sandy beach and out onto the pier for a view of the beach front.
Venice Beach waves
You can see up along the coast to the Santa Monica Pier from the Venice Beach Pier, even though it wasn't quite clear to see the Malibu coast line.
Santa Monica Pier viewed from Venice Beach Pier
It was great to be walking by the ocean, but unfortunately Venice Beach is like most seaside towns around the world with all the usual hustle and bustle of tourists, people hawking their wares as you walk by (this time guys with CD's of their music for 'free', yeah right) and over-priced food and clothing stalls.
Busy Venice Beach
Along the jammed winding Ocean Front Walk you see people riding bikes, skateboards or or roller-blades, watching or playing basketball or racket ball.  
Riding bikes along Venice Beach
Plus you can see the infamous pumped-up men and women working out at Muscle Beach (although most were conspicuously absent yesterday, maybe it's out of season).
Venice Beach view
Venice Beach view
Even though the beaches weren't overcrowded at all, there were still lots of people enjoying the ocean - swimming, surfing and sailing.  Plus lots of people fishing off the pier.
Sailing at Venice Beach
Surfing at Venice Beach
And with less than a month to go until the Presidential Election in November, even at the beach you can't get away from politics. 
Obama' 08 Venice Beach mural
After the sand and waves of Venice Beach we ventured back to base camp for a bite to eat, then Charlie and I took Cooper for a Runyon Canyon walk (it's such a shame you can't take dogs onto L.A. beaches, although it was so hot that Cooper wouldn't have lasted long out in the sun), which was especially busy after Saturday's bad weather.
Venice Beach big waves
Last night we dined outside at Basix, one of our local West Hollywood eateries and then after all that trekking along the sandy beach it was time to call it a night.

Today we're off to The Getty Villa in Malibu and we have a bright, sunny day to enjoy it...

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