Hollywood is generally a decent base to stay in order to explore the huge metropolis that is Los Angeles. At well as being next to all the cool stuff in Hollywood itself, you’re also not far from West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, the Hollywood Hills and a subway train ride away from downtown LA. The one place that’s a hassle to get to though is the beach. Even via an express bus, you’re still looking at the 15-mile trip taking an hour on a good day.

When I was last in LA in December my visit to the beach got curtailed by heavy rain. Today it was sunny, although not too hot to get plenty of walking done. The bus dropped me off next to Venice Beach, by the basketball courts from White Men Can’t Jump and not far from the posers paradise of Muscle Beach. I suppose if I was that shredded I’d probably be walking around all day topless too! Slightly inland are the Venice Canals, built by developer Abbot Kinney at the turn of the last century in an attempt to bring a bit of Italian flavour to LA. The canals don’t have any gondolas travelling on them although you can still see the odd canoe. Abbot Kinney Boulevard, named after the man himself, is one of Venice’s main thoroughfares and a seriously swanky street nowadays. It has been touted as the coolest street in America on those click-bait links. While it’s nice enough to stroll along,  Abbot Kinney seems a bit too high-end to be legitimately cool.

Walk into Santa Monica I passed the Frank Gehry-designed Binoculars Building, now occupied by Google. The name says it all with this structure. Looking around Barnes & Noble in Santa Monica I spotted an actress that I recognised. Unfortunately I can’t name-drop her as I don’t know the lady’s name. Annoyingly I’ve tried to think of what she’s been in but have so far drawn a blank. I’m bound to see her in something soon so may come back and edit this last paragraph, which at the moment probably just sounds like a load of waffle!

Venice Beach
Muscle Beach
Venice Canals
The Binoculars Building
Santa Monica