Venice Beach is a very famous part of Los Angeles, California which is renowned for its beaches. When it was founded by Abbot Kinney (a man who made his fortune in the tobacco industry) back in 1905, he named it after Venice, Italy because he intended Venice Beach to be a seaside resort town like that Italian city. Though Venice Beach experienced lows in its history even being dubbed the Slum by the Sea back in the 1950s because of neglect by Los Angeles authorities Venice Beach is now considered one of the most dynamic yet eclectic of places in Southern California.
One key feature of Venice Beach is that it is home to the biggest free clinic in the US the Venice Family Clinic. It is also different from many places in Los Angeles since it is generally pedestrian-oriented, with many streets being pedestrian-only locales where homes can be reached only through footpaths marked with their house numbers. But despite its emphasis on pedestrian-only streets, there are also parts of Venice Beach that experience significantly heavy and dense traffic. This is because many streets are quite narrow and do not permit heavy transportation access a disadvantage in modern times because of the increasing numbers of vehicles on city streets.
Ocean Front Walk and Muscle Beach
Nowadays, when people mention Venice Beach, they may be referring to the beach itself, along with the promenade called Ocean Front Walk (or simply dubbed the boardwalk), the homes and businesses found along Ocean Front Walk, the bike path, and Muscle Beach. Muscle Beach may be more formally known as Muscle Beach Venice, and was built as an attempt to mimic the facilities and amenities at the original Muscle Beach in Santa Monica. True to its name, Muscle Beach Venice is home to many body-builders and athletic-minded people who patronize the Venice Beach Weight Pen. One very well-known name in the bodybuilding world is Arnold Schwarzenegger (currently governor of California), who was a very familiar sight at Muscle Beach Venice when he was working his way up in the competitive bodybuilding industry. The popularity of Muscle Beach Venice among fitness-oriented individuals has proven to be a boon to the health-oriented businesses that do a thriving business on Ocean Front Walk.
Venice Fishing Pier
Another facility at Venice Beach which is also relatively well-known (though perhaps not to the same degree as Muscle Beach Venice) is the Venice Fishing Pier. Time and again this pier has suffered extensive damage due to waves and storms but fortunately, an engineering study in 2006 has shown that the rebuilt pier is structurally sound.
The downtown area of Venice Beach, in turn, has experienced a resurgence since the 1990s, with many trendy clothing retailers, art galleries, nightclubs and bars keeping the Venice Beach occupied particularly at night. This allows Venice Beach to stay true to its 1920s and 1930s reputation as a vibrant home for night owls, who used to arrive by the thousands via streetcar to partake of what downtown Venice Beach had to offer.