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City Guide: Venice Beach by Whitney Leigh Morris

Whitney Leigh Morris is an interior design darling, favorite'd & featured by the likes of West Elm, Refinery 29 & Elle Decor just to name a few. But round here, we call her friend. You may also know her from her Insta-fabulous feed @whitneyleighmorris featuring #TheTinyCanalCottage (a must-follow if you're not) - where she shows us all how to live large... in just 362 sq ft. We had the chance to talk to our lovely friend and purveyor of all things cool about her beloved Venice Beach 'hood and where the insiders who know... go.

"Venice is a place for the bold— it’s a vivacious, colorful and surprising town. A typical day here involves skaters mingling with Silicon Beach creatives, environmentalists brainstorming with celebrities, and politicians drinking with street artists. Locals don’t care if you arrived in a Tesla or on a Longboard— we’re just glad you’re here. - Whitney Leigh Morris

 
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Best Spot in the City

Venice Beach, CA
Is there a place in the city that has or continues to inspire you? Why? The walk-paths in Venice constantly inspire me— from the Venice Canals (my neighborhood), to pathways such as Marco Place, Ambroso Place and Nowita Place. The gardens, architecture and personality of the properties vary wildly from door-to-door, which you can view at a relaxed and leisurely pace without having to worry about motor traffic. (To all your parents of young children: these areas are also delightful for Trick-or-Treating!)
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Best Place In Town For Ice Cream

Venice Beach, CA
Where is your favorite place to grab ice cream with friends? What do you order? For better or worse, folks in LA seem quite skilled at avoiding Ice Cream. And I have to admit— I haven’t tried it in an eternity. I think our equivalent of an ice cream parlor is a juice bar— my favorite of which is The Butcher’s Daughter. (The #4 Green is so damn good.)
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Favorite Cafe

Venice Beach, CA
Favorite Cafe? What would you order? Gjusta. I inevitably end up leaving with an armful of white Chamelaucium, a veggie sandwich on fresh-baked bread, and a bottle of their delicious olive oil.
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Best Brunch Spot

Venice Beach, CA
What is your favorite Sunday brunch spot to gather with the guys and gals? For the decor, scene and healthy vegetarian options: The Butcher’s Daughter. It is by far the most beautiful and cheerful brunch spot in Venice Beach.  On Sunday: Hatchet Hall

For hangover brunches, well, hear me out… 26 Beach. The decor is beyond strange and the vibe is certainly NOT trendy, but the staff is super friendly and the food is INSANE. I go twice a week. For those seeking more of a brunch “scene”, try Abbot Kinney, Rose Blvd and/or Main Street Santa Monica.
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Only 24 Hours Left In Venice

Venice Beach, CA
If you had 24 hours left in your city (forever) what is the one thing you would HAVE to do? I would take a long, leisurely ride down the bike path — starting in Marina del Rey, passing through my beloved Venice, and ending up in northern Santa Monica. The beach and mountains are so beautiful, while the people-watching along the boardwalk is unparalleled. 
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Best Place for Beer and Cocktails

Venice Beach, CA
Where are the best places to grab beers and cocktails with friends?  CocktailsHatchet Hall’s Old Man Bar. The drinks are delicious, and the look and feel of this new restaurant/bar are completely unique and perfect. Beer: Pick pretty much any restaurant on Main Street or Rose Avenue! SoCal boasts some delicious beachy beers.
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Best Group Getaway Destination

Venice Beach, CA
If you were in charge of hosting a group getaway within an hour or two of the city, where would it be? If you head South of Venice, Laguna Beach (pictured left) has blue waters, vibrant greenery, and a delightful mix of art galleries, shops and restaurants. If you head North of Venice, Ojai (pictured right) is relaxing and gorgeous, with scenic views and outdoor activities, as well as luxurious spas and dining.
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Best Places To Shop

Venice Beach, CA
What are your favorite stores to shop for home décor and other goodies? Lost + FoundA small boutique clothing lines, accessories, textiles and hand crafted pieces for the home from all over the world. This one's in Santa Monica. The SHOP by H.BleuThey find and transform aging antique pieces into industrial one-of-a-kind creations.) Venice Farmers Market for florals and products (Fridays until 11am). Rolling Greens  =(pictured) in Culver City for plants. 
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Must-See Tourist Attraction

Venice Beach, CA
photo: Hotel Erwin
Must-see tourist attraction that’s worth the price of admission? The rooftop at the Hotel Erwin is worth a visit for the view (but you will probably end up coughing up the money for an overpriced cocktail, and waiting in line for the elevator). You can see miles of SoCal coastline, the heart of the Venice Boardwalk, and the hills and cityscape of Los Angeles.
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Picnic Party Hotspot

Venice Beach, CA
Favorite Place for a Picnic/Outdoor Gathering? Pack a picnic and rent a boat in Marina del Rey. Sail around the Pacific and keep an eye open for whales, sea lions, dolphins, and more not far from the coastline.
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Best Spot to See Live Music

Venice Beach, CA
photo: The Venue Report
What is your favorite place to see live music? The Santa Monica Twilight / Pier Concerts on the Beach
 
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Pool Party

Venice Beach, CA
If you were going to host a pool party, where would you host it? I would definitely go for the McKinley House via One Fine Stay. The pool is crazy gorgeous. It’s a private residence that is rented out for shoots and stays. (I’m not a “pool party” kind of person, but I love a relaxing day in/by the water for sure.)
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