Posts Tagged ‘venice’

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 2 December 2016

Getting Muscled Up at Muscle Beach

Here is a healthy denizen of Muscle Beach

The Art of Bodybuilding on Display for Our Private Los Angeles Tour

The life of Venice, one of the beach communities of Los Angeles, ranges from high to low, from esoteric to mindless, from artistic to athletic.  Walking along the boardwalk allows us to talk about the history of this community that evolved from the ideas of one man, Abbott Kinney, to turn Venice, California into a west coast version of Venice, Italy.  The grand canals, gondolas, magnificent palaces of hospitality were all conceived and constructed during the city’s heyday.  The wooden piers were home to dance halls and carnivals.  Hollywood filmed here and vacationers reveled here.  Venice has changed from those halcyon days of full body bathing costumes and paddle balls, bicycles with two different sized wheels and dance marathons.  Today we see modern stores and boutiques as well as booths hawking sunglasses, t-shirts and souvenirs.  Fine art abounds from henna (on skin) to acrylic beach landscapes and then to kiln-fired clay kitsch.  And, of course, lots of food and drink.  And then at one end of the boardwalk there is athleticism on display.  The basketball, handball and paddle tennis courts built along the bikeway lead us to Muscle Beach.  Here our Los Angeles private tour guests watch in awe as the bodybuilders work the exercise machines in full display of everyone passing by.  The stage is lined with awards recognizing the princes and princesses of this age old expression of physical perfection.  Most of our guests recognize the names of Jack LaLanne and Arnold Schwarzenegger but there are more names to know.  The grunting and sweat results in a full-blown Adonis.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 12 October 2016

No Sweat on This Cycle

The Barcycle tour of Venice Beach is fun after our private tour of Los Angeles

One Awesome Way to Tour Venice Beach

One should not be drinking and driving is the rule but there are exceptions.  One exception, for instance, is you’re not exactly driving but rather pedaling.  On the Barcycle.  There are several advantages to a fun tour of Venice Beach bars on the Barcycle.  You can enjoy a beer as you soak up the fantastic sea air and enjoy the local sights; pedaling means the calories in the beer are being worked off as fast as they are consumed; and, you get to meet some nice people without having to yell over loud music from a jukebox.  Now we can do much the same thing on our private tour of Los Angeles but without all the physical effort.  We can provide transportation and a vehicle in which to enjoy a fine class of wine or a heady pilsner (on a BYOB basis) as we drive from one fancy nightclub to another on an evening tour of the hotspots of the city.  Yes, we know exactly where you will want to go for cocktails (or craft beer) and dancing from downtown Los Angeles to Hollywood, Beverly Hills and assorted beach communities.  We even make it a point to know where the latest celebrity nightspot is (we just look for the paparazzi).  The Barcycle is a lot of fun and you don’t have to dress up.  Our suggestion is to spend a couple of hours on the Barcycle and follow that with a nighttime private tour with us.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 6 October 2016

Venice Has Another Mural

This new mural in Venice, CA is a real quiz for admirers

A Colorful Quiz on a Gray Morning for our Private Tour in Venice

This wonderful Venice mural is barely a year old and is already as popular as the Jim Morrison and Teena Marie walls that our Los Angeles tour guests can see when we are exploring this beach community.  Levi Ponce is the “genius” behind the artwork that celebrates the philosophy of pantheism with the portraits of many great thinkers, artists and writers who saw “god” in everything.  Called Luminaries of Pantheism it is a puzzle for viewers to recognize some of the not-so-familiar faces on the wall.  Most everyone recognizes Albert Einstein.  Carl Sagan is familiar to many.  The others, though, Alan Watts, Baruch Spinoza, Terence McKenna, Carl Jung, Emily Dickinson, Nikola Tesla, Friedrich Nietzsche, Ralph Waldo Emerson, W.E.B. Du Bois, Henry David Thoreau, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Rumi, Adi Shankara, and Lao Tzu are a challenge.  It is a good learning opportunity for the young people with us sightseeing in Los Angeles.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 14 September 2016

Visit Venice in the Fall

Summer weather persists in Venice, CA

Enjoy Los Angeles on a Private Tour After School Starts

We in beach communities can always tell when summer is over and school has begun.  The weekday crowds thin out greatly and we have the beach and the coastal businesses to ourselves once again.  Parking is easy and lines are short if there are lines at all.  And finally, there is all the empty beach one can desire.  Venice is still a favorite for us and our Los Angeles private tour groups who want to enjoy some sand, surf and sun and who wish to fully understand the lure of the Southland.  There is much sightseeing around Venice for those interested in Los Angeles history and culture.  The Venice Hotel and Danny’s Deli pictured above take us back in time to the great filmmakers, raconteurs and personalities that once inhabited this part of Los Angeles.  The boardwalk entertainers are few and far between on weekdays but on weekends the boardwalk is full of life and entertainment.  If walking the boardwalk is not fun enough we can rent bikes or skates and enjoy the winding path along the beach that runs from the Palos Verdes Peninsula to Malibu.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 13 June 2016

A Visit to Venice and the Canals

Venice Canals frame our young Los Angeles tour guests

Venice is More than a Beach for Our Private Tour Family

After sightseeing around the highlights of Hollywood and Beverly Hills and with the temperature rising our private Los Angeles tour guests were eager to see the wide beaches, especially Venice Beach. The city is famous for its boardwalk (no longer wooden) and all the fun little stores, snackshops and restaurants as well as its distinctive architecture.  We could do an entire custom tour and not leave Venice.  Murals and public art, history from the earliest days of Los Angeles, the story of Abbott Kinney and the famous Venice piers and, of course, the canals.  Los Angeles beaches are the best!Seeing the remaining waterways continues to excite and amaze our guests especially when we describe the full extent of the canals as they were originally constructed.  Gondoliers once plied the central lagoon and there were cafés all around.  All that was missing to complete the vision of Mr. Kinney was the Doge’s Palace.  But this is Southern California and not Italy.  Our lifestyle is skateboarding and surfing, sunbathing and sightseeing on the cool Los Angeles coastline.

 

 

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 18 May 2016

What To Do at L.A.’s Ocean

Windsurfing and parasailing are things to do at the beach

Our Private Tour Visits the Beaches of Southern California

Summer is just about here and the weather is fine and clear all along the Southern California coastline including right here in Los Angeles.  Just ahead is the Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial beginning of summer when the beach crowds, growing already, will explode.  We have extraordinary beaches from Malibu to Playa del Rey and beyond.  In fact, there are grand beaches all the way to San Diego.  On our private Los Angeles tour we love to get our guests not only out of the car to see the beach front properties but right to the shoreline for some walking in wet Pacific Ocean sand.  From here we can admire the swimmers and surfers.  Some beaches will also have windsurfers skittering across the water out beyond the waves.  Parasailing is also a popular activity on some of our beaches along the Santa Monica Bay.  It seems that every year brings new toys to the beach so we are eager to see what inventions will come along this summer.  A very popular sightseeing stop for our custom tour guests is Venice Beach with its boardwalk, skate park, sidewalk cafés and shops and all kinds of arts and information stands.  Oh, and entertainment running the gamut from musicians to jugglers, magicians to psychics, comedians to opera singers.  Eat, drink and be merry!

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 3 December 2015

Plaisance as Was Once Central Venice Beach

A look back at Venice Beach in its heyday

Our Private Tour Now Drives on the Grand Lagoon

The Midway Plaisance shown in this vintage photograph was Abbot Kinney‘s idea of a resting place in an area of high activity around the Venice Pier.  Sit down, enjoy some food and the fine weather, grab a gondola to navigate all the beautiful canals that crisscrossed the newly minted community on the sea just a half-day’s drive from downtown Los Angeles and almost that long a ride from Hollywood and Beverly Hills. There were street cars to help make the journey and bring the beleaguered population out to enjoy a day at the sea, to swim in the ocean, play in the sand, eat in the restaurants, frolic in the dance halls and enjoy the extravagance of Kinney’s concept of an American Venice, a retreat on the bay.  Those were the days of numerous carnival piers and all sorts of recreation away from the growing city.  Today we drive the large roundabout in central Venice with our custom tour guests enjoying a private luxury sightseeing excursion through Los Angeles and describe what is seen in this photograph that at one time occupied the asphalt circle we are circumnavigating.  There remain a number of the old canals in a part of Venice for us to walk and explore and there are other signs of the once great playground that continues to attract beach lovers, body builders, skateboarders and street entertainers as well as many of our tour guests who are curious about Los Angeles of yore.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 13 October 2015

Surfing Holiday in October in Los Angeles

Venice surfer heading to waves in OctoberOur Custom Tour Guests Feel the

Lure of Venice Beach

Southern California is all about beach culture.  Los Angeles borders the beautiful Santa Monica Bay which is home to all sorts of oceanic wildlife and legions of surfers.  October weather remains sunny and mild but the ocean swells with storms brewing far to the south.  We might see rain but more likely our surf websites will be reporting fine waves at the all the local point breaks and big boards and wetsuits will be seen as much as spouting whales by our private Los Angeles tour guests exploring the sights of Venice Beach and the boardwalk.  The advantage for our guests, and the surfers and skateboarders, is that there are no crowds to navigate on the way to the beach.  If our guests decide to take to the waves themselves there are huge supplies of surfboards and wetsuits available for rent.  Boogie boards and skateboards, too.  Those of us not so adventurous can settle onto a bicycle (trike or quadcycle) and travel the extensive paved bikeway for adventure and exercise all along the beach for miles and miles and miles and miles.  An even more exciting adventure….Segways.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 18 September 2015

Venice – L.A.’s Cool Hood

Venice (California) welcomes you

Our Private Los Angeles Tour Guests Enjoy

Venice Day and Night

When we time just right an all day or just a late afternoon custom luxury tour of Los Angeles we can get through Hollywood and Beverly Hills, even downtown L.A., before heading to the beach to watch the sunset.  That means we get to explore Venice after the sun goes down when the cool evening breezes carry the aromas of ocean and food along the shore.  The boardwalk closes down and the crowds head back inland but the night people emerge to fill the sidewalks, food stands, cafés and restaurants.  The lighter traffic means that music can be heard everywhere, much of it live from street performers and some within businesses or just pouring out of the open windows of nearby residents.  Our hungry guests can decide to visit a Zagat-rated Venice restaurant or we can remain on the beach for deli at Danny’s or walk along to choose between the Figtree’s Café and Grill, the Sidewalk Café or the Venice Ale House.  The sea gulls settle onto the perches as we walk along the remaining canals and look into neighbors’ houses and completely enjoy a romantic promenade over arched wooden bridges through the waterways left from Abbot Kinney’s dream of a playground on a Los Angeles beach.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 28 August 2015

We Are Far from Blue in Los Angeles

A lazy hazy L.A. day in summer

From Malibu to Marina del Rey Our

Private Tour Enjoys the Beaches of Los Angeles

The world is blue when seen from our Los Angeles tour helicopter as we cruise up the coast sometimes barely skimming the water.  The beaches are still packed with waders and wallowers enjoying the cool Pacific waters under the hazy sun.  The blue lifeguard stations buzz with activity right out of the old television series filmed around here, Baywatch.  Bikini clad roller bladers glide along the bike path that parallels the beach for almost 30 miles from the Palos Verdes Peninsula to Malibu.  The Venice Boardwalk is operating at full capacity with comedians, acrobats, magicians and all sorts of entertainers competing for the attention of gawkers with the clothing stores and souvenir shops all along the way.  We entreat our private Los Angeles tour guests when we circle back in our SUV for the road portion of a combination air + ground tour to sit for a henna tattoo (which fades away in a couple of weeks) or have their fortune divined by a professional tarot reader.  The long wooden piers of the past with their carnival and circus attractions are mostly gone but the Venice Boardwalk has some of that amusement and curiosity factor remaining.  Yes, summer on the beach in Los Angeles is worth enjoying as much as possible.

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