Stuff To Do, Venice, California Sights

skate dance area

Venice Beach Skate Dance Area

Not the scene these days that Central Park’s roller disco spot is, the skate dance area at Venice Beach (near the Public Art Walls) hosts plenty of dedicated roller boogie-oogiers, particularly on weekends. Some dance on blades, some on old school four-on-the-floor skates. Are you phreak enough to disappear down this hip-hop roller-disco rabbit hole? Un-huh, un-huh…

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Venice Beach Skate Park

Venice Beach Skate Park

The birthplace of modern skateboarding is about to finally get a bona fide skate park. Venice’s current, modest skating area, adjacent to the Public Art Walls on the site of the old Venice Pavilion (or Venice Pits), already plays host daily to plenty of ollie-ing groms and the odd street skating OG. It’s already the only beach side skate park in Cali. Still, given Venice’s place in the skating pantheon, it’s about time it had its own state-of-the-art park.

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Venice Boardwalk

Venice Boardwalk

When most people think of Venice, nowadays, it’s Ocean Front Walk — the boardwalk — they picture. A couple of miles of insanity, vanity and humanity with souvenir shops and tattoo parlors galore, street vendors and palm readers, more crazies than can shake sticks at you, sleaze, ocean breeze, street performers, nut jobs, tourists, posers…it’s all here, particularly on beautiful weekend days. Come prepared for a full immersion in life’s rich pageant. If you’re bringing a pygmy anaconda, please bring its sunblock. Actually, best to leave the pets at home unless you want to traumatize them for life.

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venice breakwater

Venice Breakwater

Stoked to hang ten on memory lane? Paddle out at the Breakwater. Someone is sure to call you kook in homage to those storied aggro days of the ’70s. Pull the guy’s leash for me, will you?

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Venice Playground/Workout Pit

Between the body-building facilities at the Venice Recreation Center (the new Muscle Beach area) and the actual beach lies a sandy yard equipped with balance beam, rings, uneven bars, climbing rope and a range of other gymnastic and recreational apparatuses. It’s for bigger kids and adults. (An enclosed children’s playground can be found 100 yards to the north.)

A more relaxed locale for chin-ups than the nearby body-building facility, the work/play pit is a popular place for speed bag practice (there’s a speed bag station — though you must bring your own bag or possibly rent one from the rec center office).

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westminster dog park

Westminster Dog Park

As it happens, the Doglord was raised here by a pack of Silken Windhounds.

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YAS Yoga & Spinning

YAS Yoga & Spinning

This local yoga and spinning spot—to my knowledge the first of its kind—is blowing up: they’ve begun selling franchises. A baby YAS may soon be spinning up near you (though word has it that they’ll be owner-operated: Couch potatoes need not apply). Full disclosure: The Doglord is a full-on, bat-s**t-crazy YASerciser.

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yoga works

Yoga Works

One person’s nivana is another’s sweat lodge. Yoga Works has long boasted some of the best and most popular yoga teachers in the Los Angeles area, including Vinnie Marino and Annie Carpenter. Once an indie neighborhood studio, Yoga Works, which offers classes in Iyengar and Ashtanga yoga in addition to its main, flow yoga classes, is now a budding yoga-factory empire. Ah, material world…

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