Founded in 1905 as a seaside resort town, Venice remained an independent city until 1926, when it merged with the city of Los Angeles. Much of its eclectic, beachfront-meets-the-Mediterranean look is due to the vision of its founder, eccentric millionaire developer Abbot Kinney. Kinney deliberately modeled the town after his favorite Italian city, complete with piazzas and canals.
Today, Venice is world-famous for not only those canals, but also its carnivalesque Ocean Front Walk — two-and-a-half-miles of promenade that feature artists, street performers, fortune-tellers, and vendors of all kinds. And a short jaunt up to Abbott Kinney Boulevard will take you to some of the most sought-after restaurants and boutiques in the country.
But you'll need somewhere to rest after all of that action, and fortunately, Venice has got you covered with numerous hotel options.
When to Visit Venice Beach, CA
Adding further to Venice's allure is that it is practically a year-round destination. Venice summers are literally the stuff of Beach Boys legend, and rightfully so — but this means big summer pilgrimages and hotel rates to match. Spring is also an extremely popular time to take advantage of the paradisal weather. Fortunately, southern California autumns are mild, and its winters are a mild-temperatured nuisance at best, a rainstorm at worst. This means that Venice Beach offers you the chance to take it all in just about any time of year.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Venice Beach, CA:
Venice Beach by Star Rating
Below we've posted 3 graphs demonstrating mean nightly cost patterns by star rating class in Venice Beach, CA. You can use these charts to calculate the least expensive dates to book in Venice Beach during the year.
Luxury Hotel Options in Venice Beach, CA
4 Star Average Prices: $213.25
At the other end of the scale, the Hotel Erwin claims to give its guests "an unmistakably Venice experience," and strives mightily to do that. A local institution for four decades, the Erwin is located right on the beach, and now hosts high-profile cultural happenings in all three of its tony event rooms. For everyone else, every inch of the Erwin has been turned into something cool — from its colorful wall-side mural to a rooftop lounge with the best Venice-watching in town. And inside, the Erwin's Barlo Kitchen + Cocktails is an ideal place to get a creative libation made with rosemary syrup, or aged in-house in one of Barlo's signature oak barrels.
Another high-end hotel that might as well double as an art museum is the Inn at Venice Beach. The Inn at Venice Beach was built in the 1950s and has lovingly preserved that vibe, right down to its iconic, welcoming mosaic mermaid. The Inn at Venice Beach has just 43 suites, five of them plush loft suites. It also sports a giant courtyard with European cafe tables, perfect for a morning (complimentary) breakfast at a prime people-watching spot beside the beach and boardwalk.
Affordable Hotel Options in Venice Beach, CA
3 Star Average Prices: $154.32
Let's be blunt: Los Angeles can be an expensive city to live in, let alone to visit and stay in one of its beachside cultural treasures. So a quick way to knock down the price tag of your Venice Beach stay is to choose a hotel just a little ways away. Enter the Super 8 by Wyndham - Culver City. Just over 2 miles away, this convenient crash pad is also full of comforts like in-room microwaves and refrigerators and ATM/banking services.
For just a bit more a night, you can get a room at the Jolly Roger Hotel, which brings a smile with its welcoming flags of all nation and jaunty "friendly pirate" decor. But on the inside, the Jolly Roger also amps up the perks for the travel-savvy with amenities like an outdoor heated pool and Jacuzzi, business center, and free breakfast.
2 Star Average Prices: $94.51
Venice Beach: Real Discounts
For those who are seeking a decent AAA, military/government, or senior discount, you will find all three at the Jamaica Bay Inn in nearby Marina Del Rey. Decorated with rattan furnishings, warm colors, and rich textures, the Jamaica Bay Inn describes itself as a "true West Indies-inspired experience" that will "transport you to a tropical state of mind." The Jamaica Bay Inn offers a wide range of room options, whether you're in the mood for a view of the marina or the city. It also features on-site fitness facilities and an outdoor pool. With all this to offer and a discount to boot, the Jamaica Bay is a fun, affordable, and most of all, convenient place to cool your sandaled heels.
Also in the Marina and brimming with deals for AAA, government or senior discount-holders is the Hilton Garden Inn Marina Del Rey. Right on the water, the Hilton Garden Inn Marina Del Rey is like a little mini-city onto itself, with a restaurant, gift shop, newsstand, and decadent poolside bar. The Garden Inn is also convenient for business travelers, due to its location near many local businesses including Google, EA, Sony, Univision, and Symantec. But mostly, the Hilton Garden Inn Marina Del Rey focuses on customer service, and the reviews bear it out. In the words of one recent guest, "If you want to be pampered, this is it. If you want the right price, this is it."
Best Value Options in Venice Beach, CA
A one-of-a-kind deal, with some unique travel stories thrown in for no extra charge, can be found at the Kinney Hotel. The Kinney is, from the outside, an eye-catching piece of public art. Its two most prominent walls are home to a single, splashy, multi-hued mural — crying out to all that this is not your average hotel. And the amenities confirm that: an outdoor lounge with chaise lounges, ping-pong tables, and a firepit — and a made-to-order-breakfast spot whipping up custom smoothies and burritos to order. One word of caution, however: As you might expect, the Kinney books up fast. So jump on it as far ahead of time as you can.
Another good bang for your buck is the Venice Beach Suites. This "boutique"-style beauty is an exceptionally good place to hole up, offering kitchenettes, a rooftop lounge sporting "spectacular views," "wonderful food options nearby," and the only beachside balconies on the entire Venice boardwalk. The Venice Beach Suites has been highly rated as a destination spot by couples, and offers guests opportunities to rent equipment for the beach, bikes, skates, and anything else they can do on the sand or surf.
Top Venice Beach, CA Destinations
Venice's famous canals, an homage to their Italian namesake, are now over one century old and still going strong. Though called the "Venice Canal Historic District," this is actually a living, thriving, residential neighborhood. And it is one of the most unique neighborhoods you'll ever take a stroll around, with quaint cottages, nautical decor, and homeowners' boats bobbing right at the bottom of their driveways.
For shopping and noshing, the most high-end stuff in the city (and to some extent, the country) can be found in the eateries and boutiques of Abbott Kinney Boulevard. A standout for shoppers is Strange Invisible Perfumes, a DIY perfumery where you blend your own fragrance. One of the hottest tables is at the Tasting Kitchen, which elevates the idea of small plates to an art form, with creative, Mediterranean-influenced tapas and sharing plates. A more low-key option is the Butchers' Daughter, a vegetarian/near-vegan spot with a comfy back patio and fireplace for those looking to unwind. A whimsical place to get a substantial meal is Flake, which devotes itself to the love of cereal (and delivers, with scores of toppings and milks), but also offers hearty breakfast burritos and lunch options.
Locals agree that the best time to be on Abbott Kinney is the first Friday of every month, when the boulevard is lined with food trucks and live music.
But the real heart and soul of Venice — or at least the source of its world-famous image — is its beachfront boardwalk, Ocean Front Walk. This two-and-a-half-mile promenade is constantly exploding with life in the form of street entertainers, artists, mystics, and vendors of both the mind-blowing and mind-boggling. A few steps toward the water takes you into the heart of a buzzing highway of bikers, joggers, and in-line-skaters lining the whole visible beach. You can also see the amateur-pros do their stuff at the appropriately named Muscle Beach, or shred their wheels at the waterfront skate park. And anyone of any skill level is invited to the daily beachside drum circle — when in Rome!
In short, Venice Beach, CA, is a low-effort but high-intensity trip with optimal conditions for sun, shopping, people-watching, and just loafing around, Venice-style! The key to enjoying this way-out-there paradise is to check around and lock in those hotel prices now.