Christmas Eve on Venice Beach

On Christmas Eve we were tuckered out from all that strenuous tourism of the day before. We spent most of the day sitting around our rented house, reading the used paperbacks we had bought at The Last Bookstore.

Finally we decided we couldn’t be slugs for the entire day, and settled on Venice Beach for our one outing.

Venice Beach is on the north end of LA’s oceanfront, right on the border with Santa Monica. The boardwalk is lined with some extraordinarily tacky shops, along with a great number of medical marijuana outlets. Every day, apparently, they are discovering new maladies that can be treated with this miracle cure.

In addition there are bicyclists, skateboarders, street musicians, bodybuilders, and odd characters of all kinds.

A seagull looks considers the Pacific Ocean at Venice Beach.
A seagull looks considers the Pacific Ocean at Venice Beach.

However, if you walk towards the water you quickly leave the carnival behind. By the time we got there it was late afternoon and the sun was setting. The weather was cool and a bit overcast but the mood peaceful. It was just warm enough for Judy to take off her shoes and socks and walk barefoot in the sand.

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There were only a handful of people in the water, including a few surfers in wet suits.

Looking north from Venice Beach
View of Santa Monica from Venice Beach

If you looked north you could see Santa Monica and the nearby mountains.

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Despite the cool weather, this boy seems energized by the beach.

Or you could look south towards Los Angeles.

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However, we spent most of our time watching these comical little shorebirds. Maybe someone can tell me what they are. Something about the way they skittered along on their little legs was funny.

These birds would go chasing after the waves as they pulled back from shore, revealing little bits of edibles. Then when the waves came in the birds would go running back towards the beach. Judy tried to capture their doings with her camera’s video recorder, which she’s still trying to get used to.

We got so engrossed watching the birds that we failed to notice a wave as it came upon us, soaking our shoes and socks (Judy was the only one who went barefoot).

After that we went back to the rental house and had our traditional Christmas Eve dinner, which is pizza.

42 Comments on “Christmas Eve on Venice Beach

  1. I couldn’t open the video but the birds were probably sea gulls! Glad you enjoyed your trip & happy you made it out to the Last Bookstore. It’s interesting to see LA from a different perspective.

  2. I believe they are from the family of plovers. I always enjoy watching their antics too. Thank you for all the L.A. photos. I’ve enjoyed them.

  3. Your birds are juvenile Sanderlings, we spent a happy time watching their antics on a beach trip over here, they are migrants in the UK. I am enjoying your LA posts too Jason, we visited with our children a very long time ago – I remember Venice Beach as being so colourful.

  4. It’s fun to know that bird watching is practiced with equal intensity on both coasts of our great country…”from California to the Gulf Stream waters.”

  5. You had me at “Christmas eve on Venice Beach.” šŸ™‚ December and the beach always gets my attention. It’s been a few years since we visited Venice Beach, but I did smile at the tacky shops comment. šŸ™‚

  6. Oh gosh, these photos have made me homesick for the silvery waters and sands of the Pacific. Beautiful shots. I used to find that there was nothing more refreshing than taking a walk along the beach.

  7. My daughter lived on one of the little canals in Venice Beach for a while, so I got to do lots of exploring. Fun place.

  8. I was also once on Venice Beach, and I remember the tacky shops and all kinds of weird personalities. Funny little bird.

  9. Oh, Jason I envy you, how wonderful you spent the holidays!
    These medical marijuana outlets, ha, ha:((
    I love to watch the waves and go barefoot, so I understand Judy.

  10. What a great way to spend Xmas Eve, reading and then walking on a beach. And what a beautiful beach it is. We get those cute little Sanderling’s here too.

  11. barefoot at the beach on Christmas eve, no that is something! I had to giggle at y’all getting wet. That has happened to me on more than one occasion because I was so engrossed in bird watching. I’m just glad the camera didn’t get wet.

  12. My oldest son has been living out there since September and Venice is his go to beach. I love Southern Cali! Something really special about being tucked between the coast and the mountains that is unlike being anywhere else!
    What a wonderful trip you had!

  13. What a lovely beach, and you just can’t beat walking in the tide barefoot. I loved the videos, and agree that pizza is good, anytime, but especially Christmas Eve.xxx

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