Next time visiting Venice Beach in LA, take the time to explore the charming forgotten piece of Venice in Los Angeles.
Venice Beach Canals California
It’s often forgotten about now, but there was once an attempt to create a little Venice in Los Angeles. The Venice Canal Historic District is located in the residential Venice suburb of LA and is a place to explore the Venice of California. It is peaceful and relaxing. While there is nothing like the experience of visiting the canals of the real Venice in Italy, seeing the Venice canals near Venice Beach is one of the more peaceful and contemplative things to do in Los Angeles.
They are arguably some of the most stunning wetland man-made canals to explore on a Sunday afternoon on the West Coast. Discovering the Venice Canals of Venice Beach is one of the most rewarding and unusual things to do when visiting the famous Los Angeles beach. After a day of sunbathing on the beach, enjoy an hour in the late afternoon, leisurely exploring the forgotten canals of Los Angeles.
Venice Beach Canals in California
History Of The Venetian Canals Of Los Angeles
In 1905, just before the dawn of the automobile, a developer decided to build a number of canals in his property development, initially called “Venice of America.” This wasn’t the only time developers have sought to increase the appeal of their developments – one famous example is the developer who purchased the London Bridge and reconstructed it in Arizona.
The developer wanted the new district to have the appearance and feel of Venice (after all, Venice is certainly one of the most romantic cities in Europe). The canals were complete with arched bridges reminiscent of the arched bridges of Venice.
The developer is a story in himself. He was Abbott Kinney – an eccentric, asthmatic, entrepreneurial dreamer who won the land in a coin toss.
In the beginning, there were six canals, namely Aldebaran Canal, Altair Canal, Cabrillo Canal, Coral Canal, Grand Canal, Lion Canal, and Venus Canal. Another set of canals was also built called the New Amsterdam Canals (the canals of Amsterdam in The Netherlands are also very much worth exploring). The canals had gondoliers and arched bridges, and they really helped to sell the lots.
But things soon changed with the spread of cars as the main mode of transportation. Over the years, a number of canals were filled in and converted to paved roads, and the remaining canals fell into neglect. Finally, they were drained, renovated, and restored with new sidewalks in the 1990s.
Venice skyline with the Grand Canal and Basilica Santa Maria Della Salute
In more recent years, there has also been work on restoring some of the old houses while other large modern houses have also been built. The neighborhood has once again become a desirable part of the city.
Take A Boat Ride On The Venice Canals In Los Angeles
Perhaps the best way to see and experience the canals is by boat. Canal Pals is a local company offering guided boat tours and boat rentals for those wanting to explore the historic canals. Additionally, they offer a photography session for anyone interested in capturing some magical pics.
Discover the hidden gem of Los Angeles by boat and relax with friendly guides or just with friends and family. It is a great experience for couples, small groups, and even solo travelers alike.
Private Boat Tour Of The Canals In Venice
Enjoy some moderate exercise and paddle around the peaceful canals while learning about the local history of the district. Chat with the knowledgeable local guide and feed ducks along the way.
- Cost: $190 For 2 people and up
- Duration: 60 Minutes
Venice Canals In Los Angeles
Rental A Canoe Privately
Those who would like to just paddle around and explore the canals by themselves can instead opt to just rent a canoe and roam. They can choose to book the boat for an hour or two and be alone with the ducks. The boats can accommodate two large adults, three medium-sized adults, or a family with small children.
Plan on exploring and paddling the canals for at least an hour.
Take A Walking Tour Of The Los Angeles Venice Canals
Venice Beach Walking Tours is a local website offering walking tours of the famous Venice Beach offered by Jeffrey Solomon. They also offer Venice walking tours with a particular emphasis on the Venice Canals. On these walking tours, guests learn from their knowledgeable guide all about the canals and the eccentric entrepreneur Abbot Kinney behind them.
The tours can be booked online and require at least two participants. The cost of a tour is from $40 per person.
Canals in the residential area of Venice Beach
Those who don’t want to have a guided tour of the Venice Canals of Los Angeles can easily go on their own self-guided walking tour of the canals. They are free to visit, and anyone can visit at any time. There’s more to Venice Beach than the beach!