Located in the Westside of Los Angeles, Venice, California first gained fame as a popular seaside resort in the early 1900s. The dream of Abbot Kinney transformed what was then deteriorating marshland outside of Los Angeles into one of the region's biggest tourist destinations and lush retreats. Kinney envisioned the region as a beautiful resort town with the culture of Venice, Italy, including an amusement pier, canals, gondolas, and rich Venetian-style architecture.
Kinney quickly built the new pier and town buildings in a Venetian Renaissance style then designed a canal system with a central lagoon that was filled with ocean water. The new town was connected to Los Angeles with the first electric trolley line. Venice, California officially opened over the July 4th weekend in 1905 with yacht races, lagoon swimming races, concerts, and fireworks. At the time known as the Venice of America, the community quickly grew as residential lots were sold and the region began to attract out-of-town entertainers and amusements. This beach resort had a population of just 3,100 in 1910 but drew in up to 150,000 tourists on the weekends. Venice, Los Angeles, California now has a population exceeding 41,000 within only 3 square miles.
The Kinney Pier was the highlight of early Venice, Los Angeles. This amusement-themed pier featured a Racing Derby, Whip, Virginia Reel, Aquarium, and games. The Venice Aquarium, which opened in 1909, highlighted some of the best marine specimens in the region and included seal lions and a fish hatchery in the rear. It later became the marine biological station for the University of Southern California. During this early era of Venice, new attractions were added month after month, including a bathhouse and swimming pool along the ocean that was free to the public, a Japanese tea house on the pier, and a scenic railroad in which riders traveled through a spectacular tunnel.
During the teens and 1920s, Venice gained a new professional baseball franchise, hosted the first bathing beauty contest, and improved attractions like the Ocean Park Pier and Kinney Pier, even as speakeasies emerged in the area during Prohibition.
It wasn't long after the rise of Venice that the city was annexed to Los Angeles after a vote by residents. The move has been compared to Los Angeles annexing Disneyland; L.A. began dismantling Venice's amusement industry and filling most of its canals. After decades of neglect, especially during the hard years of the Great Depression and World War II when the region's amusement industry suffered, Venice was revitalized with new affordable housing and better roads.
Today, the city's most popular tourist destination is Venice Beach which draws in millions every year. This global tourist destination includes the promenade, Muscle Beach, a bike trail, basketball courts, and the Venice Beach Recreation Center. The southern area of the beach features the Venice Fishing Pier, first opened in 1964. Surf enthusiasts flock to the pier and Breakwater for some of the best surfing in Southern California.
The beach and boardwalk are big draws for visitors and residents alike, but Venice also has plenty of parks to explore. Linnie Canal Park is one of the city's best-hidden jewels for residents with a children's playground and green space along the famous Venice canals. The Westminster Dog Park offers plenty of green space for off-leash dog play on Pacific Avenue. The Venice Beach Skatepark on Ocean Front Walk offers a street-inspired skate area with rails, ledges, and stairs right on the sand. The park is a top choice among Southern California skaters, but it's also a great place to enjoy a sunny afternoon.
Venice has more to offer than the beach and surfing; it has also been known for its vibrant arts and culture for more than 60 years. Everywhere you turn you'll find unique artistic expressions in the form of street music performers, poetry readings, street art, galleries, and dance. Abbot Kinney Blvd, just blocks from Venice Beach, offers a collection of restaurants, galleries, salons, and boutiques while CHAYA Venice on Main Street continues a centuries-old history of Californian and Japanese restaurants owned by the Tsunoda family. Venice has hundreds of murals to admire, including Venice on the Half Shell and Hobnobbing in Venice, a magnificent 40-foot mural that depicts Venice over the last century. Every month, Venice Beach even features a Venice Art Crawl with pop-up galleries from artists around the world.
Of course, Venice isn't just a city for art, sand, and surf; it has one of the most highly educated populations in the United States with almost half of all residents over 25 earning at least a four-year degree. Venice offers many options for schooling with public schools within the Los Angeles Unified School District, a public charter school, Animo Venice Charter High School, and eleven private schools such as Ecole Claire Fontaine and Acton Academy Venice Beach. With so much to see and do in Venice, why spend all of your free time trying to maintain your yard? Contact Lawn Love today for convenient and affordable lawn care.