Venice Beach and boardwalk.

First things first. The weather, Just because it's 73 and sunny in LA doesn't mean it's gonna be the same by the beach. Check before setting out in your car if it's sun that you want. It can drop up to 20 degrees in just 12 miles. Crazy but true -also early in the morning we have the marine layer - fog! That can take to 3pm to burn off.

One of the first things you'll notice are the crazies, or as some people like to call them the eccentrics. Mixed in with the homeless are the street performers and now that medical marijuana is legal - the barrage of guys dressed as surgeons with neon signs, trying to get you to buy your supply from them., never mind if you have a prescription or not.

 What's guaranteed is that it's always fun - so long as you are prepared.

You can rent bikes or Rollerblades on the boardwalk and breeze past all the activity along the way. This will make you feel like all those iconic Venice postcards from back in the day, assuming your not 250lbs and don't suffer from asthma.

But if you do stick with the walking there are some pit stops along the way - T-shirt shops and cheap sunglasses huts, The Venice freak show. however not many fun places to stop to grab a beer unfortunately -

Although I did discover the Venice Ale house - A micro brewery, which has a great cafe style food menu with a choice of over 60 beers. You can even do their skateboard sampler, a novel way to get drunk. see image below.

There's also The Sidewalk cafe and Bar - with a pool table and bar at the back, If you fancy eating get a table at the front for a front row seat of the street performers and artists selling their wares. The food is really basic and the chips arrived cold. Service was very slow too -but probably due to every table being occupied. But it's a good rest stop and cheap beer.

One of my favorite hotels in LA is CASA DEL MAR - They have a great spa area if you are in the mood for a massage. It's also a great place to have a cup of tea and see the sunset, a perfect way to end your Venice day - Try to leave before 4 or after 7 to avoid being stuck in 2 hour traffic back to Hollywood. Craig Young


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