The Venice Strand (Ocean Front walk) is the place on the Los Angeles coast to see and be seen. This beachfront sidewalk is lined with shops and restaurants, and all who use it are onstage. With street performers, bodybuilders, and beach bums, there’s hardly a dull day on the Strand. The Strand is for pedestrians; bicyclists and skaters are supposed to stick to the South Bay Bicycle Trail farther out on the beach.

The Strand begins west of the Rose Avenue parking lot. The heart of the activity is near Windward Avenue. Skaters and skateboarders gather amid throngs of people. Enormous bodybuilders work out at an outdoor gym called “Muscle Beach.” Staring is legal in Venice, so stop and watch. Or if you’re really brave, purchase a day pass at the office next to the barbell-shaped building. In addition to weightlifting equipment, Muscle Beach has basketball, squash, and handball on wheelchair-accessible courts. The gymnastics equipment is on sand with no accessible surface. There are occasional competitions on an outdoor stage.