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Certain places are so iconic that people from all over the world get used to seeing them in movies, in photographs and in other forms of expression. Venice Beach in Los Angeles is one of these places. Anyone who has spent any time enjoying photographic or cinematic art has seen shot after shot of this unique place. Is Venice Beach much like what those who've never been there think it is? Is it really the ultimate beach community? I wanted to find out recently when I extended my work trip by a day so I could get 24 hours to check it out. I wasn't worried about finding a Venice Beach hotel room, as I have the HotelTonight app on my phone and I know that will help me find lodging within seconds. It'll even do so based on my current location, so all I needed to do was turn on my phone. I was looking forward to seeing Venice Beach.

The Venice Beach Boardwalk

When you visit Venice Beach, you have to start with the spot that made it famous: The Venice Beach Boardwalk. This is the location you see on television and in movies. After seeing it for the first time in-person, I can say that yes, it is basically what it seems to those who haven't been here. It's filled with all different types of characters, it's got a vibe or a rhythm to it that is hard to describe and overall it's a place of happiness. It's an interesting contrast to the rest of Los Angeles and its bustling level of energy.

The Cafes

After strolling on the boardwalk for a while, you tend to work up quite a thirst and hunger. Fortunately, there are a lot of cafes nearby and I chose one that overlooked the beach. I had a nice cool drink and a small snack of mango and kiwi fruit. It was exactly what I needed, and looking at the scene made me wish that I was some sort of artist who could paint an accurate picture of everything that was happening in front of me. Of course, I could always go and purchase a portrait from one of the many artists who were working on the boardwalk.

The People

As much as Venice Beach is known around the world and as many visitors as it gets, Venice Beach still feels like a place for locals. You can just tell by how comfortable and familiar people are with each other here and how welcoming they are to those they instantly recognize, including me, as visitors. I talked to two or three people about what it was like to live here, and all of them said they'd never live anywhere else given the way their laid-back personalities match Venice Beach.

HotelTonight – Venice Beach Hotels Immediately

Unfortunately, it was time to call it a day as I was tired. I opened HotelTonight and found a Venice Beach hotel in seconds, and it was just up the road from where I was. I looked forward to a restful night of sleep and reviewing all of the photos I had taken that day.