Abbot Kinney Boulevard

Top choice in Venice, Marina Del Rey & Playa del Rey

Abbot Kinney, who founded Venice in the early 1900s, would probably be delighted to find that one of Venice’s best-loved streets bears his name. Sort of a seaside Melrose with a Venetian flavor, the mile-long stretch of Abbot Kinney Blvd between Venice Blvd and Main St is full of upscale boutiques, galleries, lofts and sensational restaurants. Some years back, GQ named it America's coolest street, and that cachet has only grown since.

We have to admit, we're a bit conflicted about the success. Rising rents have forced out some long-standing establishments, so although shops like Aviator Nation, Mystic Journey, Salt and Waraku keep the old Venice vibe alive, their neighbors now include national and international brands like Toms, John Fluevog, Shinola Detroit and Adidas. And if restaurant quality has skyrocketed thanks to places like Gjelina, the Tasting Kitchen, MTN, Plant Food + Wine and Salt & Straw, so have prices.

In late September, the Abbot Kinney Festival draws tens of thousands of revelers, and the monthly First Friday street fair bills itself as LA's premier food-truck gathering, with street foods up and down the boulevard.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Venice, Marina Del Rey & Playa del Rey attractions

1. Venice Reconstituted


Perhaps Venice's signature mural, it depicts an updated version of Botticelli's Birth of Venus, painted by Rip Cronk in 1989.

4. Venice Boardwalk

0.46 MILES

Prepare for a sensory overload on Venice's Boardwalk, a one-of-a-kind experience. Buff bodybuilders brush elbows with street performers and sellers of…

5. Venice Canals

0.46 MILES

Even many Angelenos have no idea that just a couple of blocks from the Boardwalk madness is an idyllic neighborhood that preserves 3 miles of Abbot Kinney…

6. Jim Morrison Mural

0.46 MILES

Epic 30ft-high portrait of one-time Venice resident Jim Morrison of the rock band The Doors, by Rip Cronk.

7. C.A.V.E.

0.46 MILES

One of our favorite Venice galleries, it specializes in single-artist exhibitions. When we passed it hosted the works of Ralph Ziman, a South African–born…

8. LA Louver

0.47 MILES

The best art gallery in Venice, and arguably the best in LA, LA Louver was established by Peter Gouls in 1975, and since 1994 has been housed in a…