Venice, California has never looked better

It's all good in Venice

For more information or a map of the area, contact the Venice Chamber ofCommerce (310/822-5425). Parking in Venice is notoriouslychallenging. Your best bet is to park in one of the all-day lotsalong Venice Blvd. and plunk in your dollars or coins.

Historic Venice

Venice Boardwalk and vicinity. The boardwalk blends thecarnival chaos of Venice's resort heyday with its counterculturesoul. The best surviving historic architecture is on the north sideof Windward Ave. between Pacific Ave. and Speedway. The boardwalkspans the oceanfront between Rose Ave. and Washington Blvd. Formore information and a map, call the Venice Boardwalk Associationat (310) 392-4687 ext. 6.

Venice Canals. These remnants of the original waterwaysystem make for great strolling. Parking in the neighborhood isalmost non-existent; look for spaces on S. Venice Blvd. near DellAve., then walk south.

Art scene

Griffin Contemporary. International roster of both emergingartists and contemporary masters. Closed Sun-Mon. 55 N. VeniceBlvd.; (310) 578-2280.

L.A. Louver Gallery. Venice's most famous exhibit space.From May 21 to July 5, a major solo exhibition of the celebrated R.B. Kitaj focuses on the artist's works since his 1997 return toL.A. from England. Closed Sun-Mon. 45 N. Venice; (310)822-4955.

The Sandbox. A good gallery for catching the works ofSouthern California artists. Open by appointment and 1-5 Sat-Sun.1327 1/2 Abbot Kinney Blvd.; (310) 399-4164.

Sandroni Rey. Contemporary gallery features internationalartists. Closed Sun-Mon. 1224 Abbot Kinney; (310) 392-3404.

Venice Art Walk. This fund-raiser is a great introduction tolocal artists' work. Self-guided tours on May 18 ($50), withspecial events through mid-May, plus guided art and home tours May17 ($175). (310) 392-9255.

William Turner Gallery. A leading contemporary gallery.Closed Sun. 77 Market St.; (310) 392-8399.

Shopping

Bountiful. Sprawling store filled with furniture andantiques. 1335 Abbot Kinney; (310) 450-3620.

Double Vision. Modernist specialists with art and furniture.Closed Mon-Tue. 1225 Abbot Kinney; (310) 314-2679.

French 50's-60's. Top-quality 20th-century design fromFrance. Closed Mon-Tue. 1427 Abbot Kinney; (310) 392-9905.

Pearce. Elegant woodworking and sculpted objects. ClosedMon-Tue. 1225 Abbot Kinney; (310) 399-0040.

Scentiments. Beautiful florist and tableware shop. ClosedSun. 1331 Abbot Kinney; (310) 399-4110.

Small World Books. A welcome respite from thetourist-oriented stalls on the boardwalk. 1407 Ocean Front Walk;(310) 399-2360.

Surfing Cowboys. Yeehaw meets cowabunga at this shop thatdefines eclectic. Vintage skateboard? Hula lamp? You've come to theright place. Closed Mon. 1624 Abbot Kinney; (310) 450-4891.

Tugend Tile. Handcrafted pieces and Malibu Tilereproductions. Closed Sun. 1638 Abbot Kinney; (310) 399-0130.

Dining

Abbot's Habit. Neighborhood cafe and hangout serving saladsand sandwiches. 1401 Abbot Kinney; (310) 399-1171.

Chaya Venice. Asian fusion, notable for its modern decor.110 Navy St.; (310) 396-1179.

5 Dudley. Quality comes in a small package at thisCalifornia-style cafe, where the wait staff recites menus. ClosedMon. 5 Dudley Ave.; (310) 399-6678.

Hal's Bar and Grill. Filled with art; serves good Californiacuisine. 1349 Abbot Kinney; (310) 396-3105.

James' Beach. Updated American favorites plus outstandingbrunches and lots of local art. 60 N. Venice; (310) 823-5396.

Joe's Restaurant. This laid-back French-Californianestablishment is consistently one of SoCal's top restaurants,thanks to chef-owner Joe Miller. Closed Mon. 1023 Abbot Kinney;(310) 399-5811.

Rose Café. A definitive Venice spot for a quick biteand local color. 220 Rose Ave.; (310) 399-0711.

Sidewalk Cafe. Good stop for a sandwich or coffee along theboardwalk. 1401 Ocean Front Walk; (310) 399-5547.

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