Venice Beach- Blast from the ?????
Made a trip to Los Angles and stayed on the famous “Venice Beach”. Wanted to avoid the rental car scene, the stressful LA driving, not to mention the hassle and cost of parking, so I gave local transit a try. From the airport to Venice Beach is quite simple: ride the FREE shuttle bus outside the airport baggage claim/ground transportation area to the city bus terminal; then get on the Big Blue Bus #3 for a dollar – it will get you there perhaps slower than a car but a whole lot cheaper. For my stay, through homeaway.com(www.homeaway.com) I found a wonderful apartment owned by Rhoda and Bill (http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p203872)- all the amenities I needed and it was less than a two minute walk to the beach. Venice Beach itself is lovely and is a mixture of many cultures, strange and unusual sights, a variety of ongoing beach activities, an interesting skate board arena; however, I was most taken back by the numerous homeless hanging out. The boardwalk is a funky a mix of T-shirt stores, tattoo parlors and run down mom and pop shops; the entire place needs a facelift. The famous “Muscle Beach” area is an outdoor gym/weight room and turned out to be a huge disappointment – you need to see it and judge for yourself. Rented a bike from “Bike Curious Rental”(http://www.bikecuriousrentals.com/) and my wife, daughter and I rode the entire day from Marina Del Ray to Santa Monica visiting all 3 piers and a number of tourist attractions. It was a great way to see the area and get a little exercise. Having never seen the famous LA tourist attractions as I have always wanted to see (Rodeo Drive, Hollywood Walk of Fame, homes of the rich and famous, etc) I found a local company( http://www.adayinlatours.com/) that picked me up at a designated location. It would have been impossible to see and visit as much as the tour covered; in addition, the tour guide did all the driving and was funny, full of stories of interest and always knew where to park. My last day in LA was spent indoors as it rained throughout the day, all my hopes of getting spotted for an audition to my favorite TV show “SURVIVOR” were washed away.