Every once in a while, we enjoy driving up to Venice Beach and taking a walk on the boardwalk from Santa Monica into Venice. It can be quite a scene, with a random mix of tourist shops and some upscale shops, outdoor vendors, street performers, and restaurants that are so-so but manage to stay in business because of the crowds. If you want to eat well, go a block or two further into Santa Monica or to Abbott Kinney Blvd (one of my favorite areas in Venice). The boardwalk is an artsy and quirky place to hang out and a fun way to spend a sunny afternoon. Parking is easiest if you start at the north end near Santa Monica, where there are many metered parking spots to be found if you get there early enough.