5 Reasons Why Venice Beach is Overrated

Venice Beach has become a trendy tourist destination with incredible oceanfront views and high energy. However, despite its charm, the city is losing its appeal with many guests.

Once you dive beneath the surface, you see the darker side of the “Venice of America.” If you plan a trip here, you might want to reconsider.

Today, we’re sharing five reasons why Venice Beach is overrated.

Let’s get to it!

About Venice Beach

Venice Beach is a popular destination in Los Angeles, California, only a few miles south of the famous Santa Monica Pier. It sits on the coast of the Pacific Ocean and has a boardwalk that stretches for approximately two miles. No matter what time of day you come, the beachfront is alive with people and energy.

Contrary to popular belief, Venice Beach is more than just a boardwalk. The beach is perfect for working on your tan under the California sun.

Additionally, the beachfront path is a great spot to jog, rollerblade, or join in a game of beach volleyball. You can also visit the iconic Muscle Beach, an outdoor gym where you can pump some serious iron.

The city shows off its cultural appreciation in that it’s home to several art galleries and studios. Whether you want to add to your collection or enjoy the view, you’ll have plenty of options.

Remember to take in the palm trees and ocean breezes as you shop, grab a drink, and enjoy Southern California living.

A picture of the beach and bike path with large artistic letters made out of metal that spell Venice.

When Is the Best Time to Visit Venice Beach?

If you want to visit Venice Beach, timing your trip is crucial. Summer is the busiest time of year as locals and tourists like to sit in the sand and soak up the sun. The busiest times tend to be April, May, June, and July, especially on the weekends.

As a result, the best time to visit Venice Beach is between the shoulder season of September and November.

However, you should know that some restaurants and facilities may close during the off-season. If you can’t visit during the off-season, try exploring the area during the week.

5 Reasons Why Venice Beach is Overrated

Despite the beauty and charm of Venice Beach, it’s developed a reputation for being overrated. Unfortunately, many tourists are leaving the beach and area disappointed. If you have high expectations, these five reasons will help you to lower them.

Crowds and Congestion

During the peak tourist season, the beach and boardwalk become inundated with locals and visitors. The chaos can make it extremely challenging to navigate the area. If you’re the type that doesn’t like crowds or large amounts of people, prepare to experience anxiety.

Unfortunately, while people may come for the beach and to explore the boardwalk, these large crowds spill into the surrounding area, too.

As a result, eateries and other establishments have long lines. Enjoying drinks or scoring a seat to eat can be nearly impossible. Crowds can result in a miserable experience for everyone in your crew.

A very crowded Venice Boardwalk with all the shop signs showing.


Like many other popular tourist destinations, Venice Beach has become an abundance of souvenir shops, fast-food outlets, and numerous chain stores.

Those who frequent the area feel it is losing its authentic charm and cultural identity. The independent vendors and local artisans along the boardwalk are losing out to the mass-market retailers.

As more tourists flock to Venice Beach and support the large retailers, the problem continues to grow. It’s slowly become similar to oceanfront towns in California, Florida, and other beachside hotspots. 

Safety Concerns

While Venice Beach is generally safe during the daytime, it can become sketchy at night. Yes, there are worse areas around Los Angeles that you could visit. However, Venice Beach once had a positive reputation, especially regarding safety.

Unfortunately, over the last decade, that reputation has begun to fade as criminal activity has increased.

Like any major city, you should always be mindful of your surroundings. Using common sense safety measures like locking your vehicle and not leaving valuables in sight or unattended is a good idea.

Also, be very cautious whenever strangers approach you or ask for help. Some swindlers find tourists to be easy targets for their schemes.

A person on their skateboard doing a trick at the skate park in Venice Beach.

Homelessness and Vagrancy

Venice Becah may offer priceless views of the ocean, but the housing problems of Los Angeles are starting to take over the area.

Sure, most of those individuals experiencing homelessness pose no risk to the general public. However, the large camps of individuals living on the streets in the area can detract from the overall visitor experience.

Additionally, reports of incidents of petty crimes and harassment have increased in recent years. Many tourists have a sense of apprehension when it comes to visiting this popular tourist hotspot.

Hopefully, government officials can help those living on the streets and clean up the area as a win-win for all involved.

A homeless encampment under a bridge in Venice Beach.

Limited Parking

Parking near the beach can be extremely challenging, especially during the peak season. Spots fill up quickly, so you’ll need to arrive very early. During the off-season, street parking rates are typically between $5 and $10 for a few hours.

Unfortunately, they increase to $10 to $15 during peaking season.

While street parking can be friendly on your budget, there’s always the risk of getting a parking ticket. The biggest reasons tourists get tickets are for parking in no parking zones or letting the meter expire. Their parking enforcement crews are on top of it and will write you a ticket.

Since the odds aren’t great that you’ll score a street parking spot, you’ll likely need to park in a private lot. Since they’re private, they can set and change their prices as necessary.

You can typically expect to pay anywhere from $5 to $30 daily. However, prices can skyrocket during summer weekends, especially for holidays.

A blue sign on the street in Venice Beach that has an arrow and says "beach parking $10 flat rate".

Is Venice Beach Worth Visiting?

Venice Beach is a beautiful area that has tremendous potential. While it earned a reputation for being a phenomenal spot to visit, it’s quickly losing its status.

If you plan it right, you can enjoy a relaxing vacation. However, we caution you to have reasonable expectations for Venice Beach. We’d hate for you to come home disappointed!

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