Travel / Mixtapes

A Digital Nomad's Guide to Venice Beach

Coliving spaces, cafes with Wifi and what to do on your weekends when you're travelling through L.A's most Insta-friendly neighbourhood.

Carolin, blogger and content creator at Breathing Travel, recently stayed in Outsite Venice. Here's her guide of the top things to do, and places to work from, if you're a digital nomad in Venice Beach.

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Welcome to the Venice of America! This bohemian neighborhood had won my heart in less than 24 hours of my arrival. Right next to the posher district of Santa Monica, Venice Beach has just the right amount of grunge and grooviness to keep my hippie heart happy.

For a week, I got to spent my time walking the palm tree lined boardwalk, watching the skaters racing around the skatepark doing jumps and stunts and exploring the many beautiful shops, sipping amazing coffee and eating Poke Bowls.

The place I stayed at was nothing short than amazing too. My week at the coliving house Outsite Pacific, located just one block from the beach and only a few footsteps to the beautiful Venice canals has exceeded all the expectations I had before arriving.

Glad I had little expectations but I got told LA wasn’t actually the coolest or cleanest place to hang out at even though it’s the celebrity capital of the world.

The Outsite Pacific House has five rooms and I shared my room while you can also book a single room. However, even sharing, the room was spacious and I had my own little area to spread out. The living room was equally big with a great table to work on, couches to hang and even Netflix.

 Wifi works wonderfully (as you would expect!) and if you are into cooking, the kitchen has every essential you would need to whip up a great meal.

I also loved the garden with its typical Venice lights, plants, and chairs. There are also a few small courtyard, one downstairs and another up on the side that has a BBQ which I think could be perfect for those breezy summer evenings.

The Venice Beach Neighbourhood

I arrived late in the evening and decided to get dinner outside despite the drizzle. From Outsite Pacific you can reach a set of shops no matter if you decide to walk left or right out of the house.

I decided on going left and had a meal at The Terrace Cafe, which is right on the beachfront and there are a few more restaurants on the same street. Make sure you give the Venice Whaler a go, it’s an institution.

The Cow’s End Cafe is also a great multi-level cafe to get that cup of caffeine and maybe work away for a few hours. I hear they do all-day breakfast too.

  • Menotti’s Coffee Shop for specialty coffee, no food here
  • Larry’s, nice little pub and great for happy hour
  • Tocaya Organica, great clean Mexican bowls

From here it’s an easy 10-15 minute walk to Abbot Kinney Blvd. Many would say this is the hippest street of Venice and while I like it too, be prepared to pay higher prices here as it is more upscale and non-mass-market brands. Browse the shops offering cute home decor, antiques, boho-chic clothes, shoes and jewellery. Best cafes for working from in Venice Beach:

  • Gjelina
  • Tasting Kitchen
  • Intelligentsia Coffee Bar
  • Lemonade
  • TOMS Flagship Store (yes, they not only sell shoes but serve good coffee in here too)
  • Cafe Gratitude, vegan cafe a little off Abbot Kinney
 

Things To Do In Venice Beach

And apart from cafes and boutique shopping, what else is there to do in Venice you might be wondering? Here are my suggestions for things to do:

  • Walk, bike, skate along the Venice Beachwalk
  • Shop knick-knacks and souvenirs at the Venice Boardwalk
  • Explore the Venice Canals, so so beautiful
  • Take a surf lesson or yoga class
  • Watch the skaters at the oceanfront Venice Skate Park
  • Get a fresh Poke Bowl at the walk-up window Poke-Poke
  • Walk the Venice Beach pier, the more quiet alternative to Santa Monica Pier
  • Take a snap at one of the beautiful Lifeguard Towers
  • Visit the iconic Santa Monica Pier and enjoy yourself at Pacific Park amusement park
 

Getting Around Venice Beach

The following day it was time to explore. As suggested by the friendly staff at The Terrace Cafe the night before, I dedicated to giving the Bird a go.

Bird is an electric scooter-sharing startup based in Santa Monica. It only launched a few months ago, however you won’t have to walk far to find the next scooter as there are plenty around and you can unlock them with the mobile app.

It’s helped me get around fast and smooth between Venice and Santa Monica and I totally love the concept.

Plus they are super affordable and hell yeah, fun too. You need a drivers license to rent them which you upload once when you pick up your first ever Bird.

If you have an overseas license without a barcode you will have to contact support through the App and send them a photo of your license. My account was unlocked in less than 5 minutes, seems like their help team is onto it.

The bus is also very easy to take and there are stops a few hundred meters down the road.

 

Exploring The Rest Of Los Angeles

If you want to explore Beverly Hills and around Hollywood, I can highly recommend the hop on hop off tour bus as it will give you a great overview and you can jump off and get a glimpse of the Hollywood sign from afar and the Walk of Fame and Chinese Theater.

There are lots of stops, some others to consider are Rodeo Drive, Farmers Market & The Grove and of course the Santa Monica Pier, where the bus into Beverly Hills starts.

I simply rode the Bird along the beach to the pier and then took the bus from here into Beverly Hills. Easy peasy.

 

Nightlife In Venice Beach

Come nighttime, the local former speakeasy bar, that definitely still has the vibe, called Townhouse is busy almost every night and if you are looking to get out and about, it’s a hit. Wednesday’s you’ll find free stand up comedy and a burlesque show which is definitely something for the oldest bar in Venice,

If you want to get high in Venice, I mean in heights, try the High Rooftop Lounge on top of the Erwin Hotel and chill with a drink in hand taking in the stunning panoramic views. Abbott Kinney also has a few cool bars, try The Otherroom or The Brig.

 

The Coliving Community

The main reason why I was so excited to stay at Outsite Venice was meeting some of the people who stay in the house and hear their stories, and I surely met them, those like-minded entrepreneurs and startup founders that come with the whole coliving experience. My roomie Gab, who happened to be German as well and passionate about graphic design and art was cool to exchange travel stories with and while he was still pondering about future ventures, I think surrounding yourself with other entrepreneurs and makers is exactly how you will find new ideas and bounce ideas. For my other housemate Matt it was already launch-day of the app he had built over the past months and we just chatted away on social media and marketing. The other housemates I didn’t see much, I guess entrepreneurs are busy people. But it always depends on the dynamic of the house and staying a few days more is probably even cooler to get into the groove with everyone staying at the house.

Outsite also has a Facebook Group you can join when you book a room, and so I met up with an alumni who now moved to the area for a while. While munching over a Mexican Bowl at Tocaya Organica, it turned out Izzy recently did a few similar things working for clients running Facebook Ads. That’s besides all his other little ventures and business ideas he has going on. Totally an eye opener and I almost couldn’t believe he was a year younger than me. Talking about being on an entrepreneurial journey for a few years. It was cool to bounce some ideas and the next day Izzy even helped me capture some video content for the Round Bag, which I recently launched to my online store. I usually only do small video snaps for my Instagram Stories as I think I am not very skilled at editing video. But turns out when you are an entrepreneur you can do anything. Somehow.  

I almost didn’t make it to Los Angeles at all but I am actually so very glad I did come here. Will I be back?

Most definitely!

Words: Carolin Pilligrath, Breathing Travel

Photographs: Breathing Travel

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