12 Hours in Venice, California

12 Hours in Venice, CaliforniaWhen I lived in West Hollywood, I frequently drove out to Venice to spend the day. Now that I live in Minnesota, when I go back to California each year, I make sure to build in a day to enjoy my old stomping grounds. There’s so much more to Venice than its famous beach. In fact, I usually head inland to Abbott Kinney Boulevard. Here are my recommendations for how to spend twelve hours in Venice.

Morning Coffee

Get your caffeine and homemade baked goods on at Abbot’s Habit, a Venice institution. This ultra-casual corner coffee shop serves a mean cold press. Another newer favorite of mine is Intelligentsia, which boasts more of a streamlined, industrial feel, and serves exquisite espresso.

Abbot’s Habit
1401 Abbot Kinney
Venice CA 90291


Intelligentsia Coffee
1331 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
Venice, California 90291


Shopping
Abbott Kinney is full of top-notch boutiques. One of my favorites is Tortoise General Store, a beautifully simple lifestyle boutique curated by wife and husband team, Keiko and Taku Shinimoto, who moved to Los Angeles via Tokyo in 2003. Tortoise carries a variety of traditional and modern Japanese goods, as well as art by Japanese artists or artists using traditional Japanese techniques.

Tortoise General Store
1208 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291


Lunch
There are many great places to grab lunch in the Venice Area. One of my go-to spots is Mao’s Kitchen. For an unbelievable price, you can score delicious, inspired Chinese food (get the onion pancake, trust me) in a casual setting.

Mao’s Kitchen
1512 Pacific Ave
Venice, CA 90291


Afternoon Stroll
Strolling Venice’s famous canals is a great way to spend a sunny afternoon.  It’s possible to walk through all of the canals in forty-five minutes or so. The homes in this area are used to being on view, and many of the owners maintain lush gardens or adorn their abodes with fun accents and colors.

Dinner
Primitivo Wine Bistro is a lovely, low-key spot to grab dinner on Abbott Kinney. I suggest getting a variety of tapas to share (the bacon-wrapped dates are the stuff dreams are made of). Of course, the wine list is impeccable, and your server will gladly advise you on the best pairings.

Primitivo Wine Bistro
1025 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291

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