Once a dangerous neighborhood with an eclectic population of artists, gangs, and skaters (skateboarding as we know it was invented here), Venice has gentrified at light speed over the past decade. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing tends to depend on how long you've lived here.
These days, tiny bungalows sell for over a million dollars – or get torn down to make way for brand new modern homes selling for twice that, the gangs are only visible via their graffiti since they insist on tagging anything and everything, and artists have mostly been pushed out. BMWs, Teslas, and Range Rovers are de rigueur, it seems, and expensive boutiques now line the main shopping avenue, Abbot Kinney Boulevard.
On the flip side, this is still a vibrant, tightknit community with charming streets, an enviable location on the ocean, plenty of amazing restaurants, and the famous Venice Boardwalk, which remains as funky as ever. An ad hoc drum circle convenes there on weekends and their rhythms can be heard for blocks. The giant beach never feels crowded, even on a hot summer day.
It's the kind of neighborhood where people actually get to know their neighbors. It's also extremely walkable, so those commuting elsewhere during the week can stroll to everything they might want or need here on the weekend.
Venice is also the center of LA's "Silicon Beach" tech scene. Google, Snapchat, and other tech companies have flocked to the neighborhood to set up shop.
There are a couple highly rated elementary schools here, but the local high school has plenty of room to improve.
Burbank: 26.2 miles / 45-80 minutes by car / 120-130 minutes by transit
Century City: 7.7 miles / 20-40 minutes by car / 60-65 minutes by transit
Downtown LA: 18 miles / 35-65 minutes by car / 90 minutes by transit
Santa Monica: 3.1 miles / 5-20 minutes by car / 20 minutes by transit / 10-20 minutes by bike
The boardwalk is where the funky old Venice is still visible. This is a huge tourist destination, but it's entertaining to everyone to stroll the boardwalk to see its performers, shops, restaurants, "doctors", and the superb sunsets.