Once an exotic feature of developer Abbot Kinney's Venice of America, the Venice Canals were furrowed into coastal marshlands to bring a taste of Italy's famous waterfront city to Southern California. Consisting of over two miles of navigation, the scenic canal system made local transportation around the neighborhood a part of the Venice attraction.
Leisure gondola rides on the water would deliver visitors to area casinos, a social-club house, an aquarium, a dance pavilion, and amusement parks. After Kinney's death and the city's reincorporation into Los Angeles, however, most of the canals were cemented over or filled in. It would be decades before a restoration effort would save the last remaining canals and return them to pristine condition.
Today you can explore the restored area with ease. Walk along the canal's sedate banks, admire the finely crafted homes and gardens of canal residents, and take a break at Linnie Canal Park before heading west to the beach. For a meal, visit the nearby (and aptly named) Canal Club on Pacific Ave. for sushi and featured artwork by Venice artists.
Begin at Pacific and 25th Ave.
DIRECTIONS TO THE START
Transit: From the Spring/1st stop in Downtown LA take the 733 Bus towards Santa Monica. Disembark at Main/Grand and walk about 10 minutes south on Pacific Ave. until you reach Ave. 25.
Car: From the 10 Freeway West merge onto the 405 Freeway South toward Long Beach/LAX. Then merge onto the CA-90W for 3 miles and turn right onto Lincoln Blvd. After 0.5 miles turn left onto Washington Blvd. Then after about 1.3 miles turn right onto Pacific Ave. Drive until you reach Ave. 25.