by Carolyn
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Friends, I hope you all had some great weekend! Here in San Francisco we finally said “bye,bye” to Fogust and “hello” to September hopefully full of sunshine and hot temperatures. The start was good yesterday, I had to change my clothes twice because it was soooo hot. Cheers to summer in SF!

venice-los-angeles-guide-93Before I share with you some new San Francisco guides in the next few weeks, I’m taking you today for a stroll in Venice Los Angeles. It was my first time that I got to discover the more local Los Angeles, which was a nice change to my previous more touristy visits. Lovely Leslie of Spotted SF and I went to the Create & Cultivate conference hosted by Darling Magazine and Jaclyn Of No Subject Agency. It was a day full of amazing speakers, fun diys, helpful tips, great conversations and easy networking. The conference started on Saturday but we flew in already Friday morning and went straight to explore Venice. In 2011 we drove through Abbot Kinney, without stopping and I new I want to come back here and explore all the shops and just walk down the street and feel the SoCal vibe. And that’s exactly what we did. Leslie and I hit the street, walked by pretty cottages, peeked into fancy shops and treated ourselves with some delicious meals and sweets.

venice-los-angeles-guide-41Once a seaside resort town Venice is today a diverse and vibrant neighborhood of LA. Famous for its Ocean Walk Front that’s home to street performers, artist, roller-skating beach babes, fortune tellers, muscle pumping fans, hippy shops and some food spots Venice also has the more quieter side – the dreamy Venice Canals and the Abbot Kinney. While Abbot Kenney is where the life happens, where people are shopping, meeting, lounging and eating; Venice Canals is where I would like to live. I just cannot get enough of the pretty homes and the small town feel along the canals. It feels for me like a fairytale place. Especially when the sun is going down and people come out on their porches to grill, have a meal or glass of wine and others a taking an evening walk, sitting on the bridges and just enjoying. Venice Canals are something I personally think you shouldn’t miss when in LA.


But let’s go back and see what Abbot Kinney has to offer. On this main Venice drag you will find a lot of shops, restaurants & cafes. It’s a fun, eclectic drive going on. People are waiting for a table, carring shopping bags, taking pictures, meeting with friends, reading a book in a cafe and soaking in the sun. Our Venice tour started with some shop hopping, followed by an amazing lunch at Gjelina – the restaurant to eat at when in Venice – and a walk along the canals.

You can definitely spend a whole day in Venice when you take it slowly, walk a little bit, rest a little bit. This time I haven’t been to the Ocean Front, but I scouted for you some really nice places to visit if you find yourself in Venice.

– – – – – – – – – – – – SHOP – – – – – – – – – – – –

Piece Collectiveyou don’t want to miss this place. Just saying.

Alternative Apparel – simple lines and colors for your everyday outfit. They have a nice porch where you can rest for a few second if you are exhausted from shopping.

Urbanic – If you love paper and stationery you will love this store.

Marine Layer – my favorite San Francisco based company opened doors also in Venice. Believe me, they have some really soft shirts.

Firefly – A little bit of everything. Candles, clothes, home ware…

Ilan Dei Venice – This was definitely my favorite shops, it’s outdoors and curates different local artist and makers. Gifts to treat yourself, your friend, your home, your pet and your garden.

Tortoise – Beautiful products from japanese artists and makers. Carefully curated by the husband & wife duo, Tortoise displays different japanese craftsmanship.

– – – – – – – – – – – – EAT – – – – – – – – – – – –

Gjelina – Leslie suggested this spot for lunch and it didn’t disappoint. I think it’s a kind of rule, when there is no sign outside than the place has to be good. We shared a pizza and kale salad and both were mouthwatering. Definitely suggesting to check out this one.

Lemonade – Great for fast, healthy food if you are running short on time or you don’t want to wait endlessly in line. It’s the canteen style restaurant with a great selection on veggies, meat, sea food to create your perfect meal.

Intelligentsia – the name doesn’t flow from the tongue, but this coffee bar with its industrial open space feel is a great place to enjoy a cup of coffee, work or meet.

Toms – Buy Tom’s, do good and drink coffee. I kind of like this concept of coffee bar and store. The very laid-back atmosphere invites you for some relaxing and book reading in the backyard.

Venice was a real gem and I cannot wait to be back and maybe spend some more days there.
Have you been to Venice before? What are your favorite spots?

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