Only about one mile long, Abbot Kinney Boulevard, in Venice, is home to unique boutique shopping and some of Los Angeles' best restaurants. Venice Beach is best known for the Venice Boardwalk and the oddities found there (people and shops), but Abbot Kinney is the local's favorite. Day or night, this is the place to be -- either shopping for vintage furniture at Surfing Cowboys, or having a drink at The Brig, or eating an unforgettable meal at Gjelina.
A row of amazing restaurants, one after the other -- Axe, Primitivo, Joe's, Lilly's, 3 Square -- all serve some of the best food in the city, and most have outdoor gardens. Have a late afternoon beer or a glass of wine at The Otheroom; Enjoy tea and pastry in the garden at Jin Patisserie; Listen to some live jazz at Hal's; Drink what many consider to be the best coffee in Los Angeles at Itelligensia.
The first Friday of each month, Abbot Kinney hosts a celebration for the neighborhood, with sales, art openings, and giveaways. This is the more upscale section of Venice, yet it is surrounded by the tiny, funky, craftsman bungalows and cottages first built in the 1920s. First Friday brings out residents, celebrities, and tourists, young and old.
For a hotel near Abbot Kinney, check out the Hotel Erwin.
- Lesley Bracker