Venice has long been Los Angeles’s funkiest neighborhood. The haunt of beat poets and counter-culture artists, this city by the sea was originally founded by a dreaming developer named Abbott Kinney, who modeled it on a romantic vision of Venice, Italy, complete with canals and gondoliers. Over the decades it has become a hub of outsider artists, who love its reputation for an easy lifestyle and celebration of risk-taking creativity.
You can experience this artistic spirit all around Venice Beach. There is the monument to the city’s famed beat poets, and the mural of Jim Morrison, lead singer of the Doors, who loved Venice’s free-flowing style. There is a house covered in glass murals and a large-scale mural celebrating the iconic film noir Touch of Evil, which filmed on the streets of Venice. Relics of the city’s history are still evident as well, if you search for them. The face of Abbot Kinney himself is carved into a plinth on the famed waterfront, and a lone gondola lays forever stranded in the middle of a busy traffic circle. So if you are looking for inspiration, there is no better place to go to get your creative juices flowing.