Venice Beach had been at the center of the Los Angeles homeless crisis these past couple years, as homeless encampments have line the boardwalk on Venice Beach and crime has surged in the area.
Views of the beach had been replaced by sidewalks overflowing with tents, sleeping bags, furniture, shopping carts, trash, drug use, drug paraphernalia, crime, feces, fires and disorder.
The Homeless Problem In Venice Beach
In response to the Covid pandemic, the LA city council suspended a section of Municipal Code 56.11 requiring tents be taken down during the day and which prevented homeless individuals from having their possessions on the street.
These actions resulted in the homeless taking over the Venice Boardwalk and with over 200 tents being erected seemingly overnight.
As the numbers of homeless increased in the area, crime also spiked. Robberies in the neighborhood jumped by 177% and assaults with a deadly weapon involving a homeless person spiked by 162%.
After much backlash from residents of the city and the Sheriff’s Department, in July of 2021 the city move forward with clearing out the homeless encampment and cleaning up the beaches.
According to L.A.’s Homeless Services Authority, 183 people were moved off the boardwalk and nearly 165 people were moved to interim housing.
The homeless encampments, the tents, the piles of personal property and trash are mostly gone and the Venice Boardwalk is clean and tourists are coming back.
Is Venice Beach Safe To Visit Now?
Venice Beach is safe to visit now, but only during the daytime. The homeless encampments have been cleared out and the crime that came with the homeless have significantly decreased.
However, it is not safe to visit Venice Beach at night. There is less people in the area and the environment gets sketchy at night.
(Related: The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In California)
(via German in Venice)
What do residents of Venice Beach say about it’s safety?
- "If you have street smarts and you’re used to cities, Venice is very manageable. It can be overwhelming if you have never left the bubble of a mid-western suburb."
- "The Venice Boardwalk is rough. The rest of Venice is fine. The Abbot Kinney and Santa Monica areas are a lot safer."
- "Venice Beach is not a place you want to stay for an extended amount of time or stay at. It one of those things you stroll through, experience and leave."
- "Unless you want to hear mischief, fights and drug use, I would totally not recommend that you book a hotel room on or near the Venice Beach Boardwalk."
- "Avoid the Venice Boardwalk at night because there are a lot of homeless people camping there (and things get out of hand frequently). If you want to stroll on the beach at night, do so in Santa Monica and stick to places on Abbot Kinney, Rose, Washington, Main St, or downtown Santa Monica."
- "Even before the pandemic – the Venice Beach boardwalk area was sketchy at night. Nothing good goes on there at night."
- "The boardwalk and the area immediately around Gold’s Gym and the Google Campus is the worst parts of Venice."
- "Venice can be unpredictable. The majority of the time you will be fine and see nothing. But sometimes you will see weird stuff or someone getting 5150."
- "I would never ever ever go to the boardwalk at night. I don’t even feel comfortable going there alone during the day."
Is Venice Beach Safe For A Woman?
Venice Beach is safe for a woman as long as visit during the daytime and know how to handle people that sometimes approach you.
Don’t engage with people who try to stop you on the street. Just keep walking, say nothing or say "no, thank you."
Also, don’t engage or make eye-contact with erratic people. Just keep walking.
Is Venice Beach Safe For Families?
Venice Beach is safe for families in the daytime and in the regard that you probably won’t be assaulted or robbed, but there are a lot of transients and people living on the fringes of society loitering in the area. And it’s not an environment that I would want to expose my children to.
Visit Manhattan Beach, Santa Monica or Playa Del Rey for a more family friendly ocean front walk.
Is Venice Beach Safe At Night?
Venice Beach is NOT safe to visit at night. First, there is a lot of shenanigans that occurs at night with the population that likes to hang around the area. Secondly, there is a lot less people around and the police presences is lacking.
Is Venice Beach Worth Visiting?
Venice Beach is worth visiting during the DAYTIME if you want to experience the ecleccticness that Venice Beach is known for. If you want to see artists, mystics, skaters, punks and unconventional people converging on a half-mile stretch of the beach, then yes, it probably is worth visiting.
If you are just there just for the beach, there are plenty of other great beaches just north or south of Venice, where you can avoid the circus show. Santa Monica and Playa Del Rey are great alternatives.
Is The Venice Beach Pier Safe?
The Venice Beach Pier is safe to visit during the daytime. Much like the boardwalk, the pier gets sketchy at night as there is less people around. Many residents say they avoid going to the pier because they do not like ‘stepping on needles or human waste.’
Tips to stay safe while visiting Venice Beach
- I would like to reiterate that it is a BAD IDEA to visit Venice Beach boardwalk at night. There is nothing to see or do and you will most likely be assaulted or robbed.
- Avoid using the bathrooms at Venice Beach. It is like something out of a Stephen King novel.
- Always pay attention to your surroundings. Don’t wear headphones or mindlessly scroll Instagram. Be alert.
- Always wear sandals or shoes while walking on the beach. You don’t want step on a needle that someone discarded in the sand.
- Don’t leave your drink unattended at any time.
- Trust your gut. If a situation feels off, turn around and leave. Remove yourself from that situation.
- There’s no need to be polite if someone is making you feel uncomfortable.
- Project confidence, stand up straight, walk decisively, keep your eyes up and constantly scanning.
- Don’t engage with the homeless or mentally ill people. Avoid eye contact and just keep walking.
Venice Beach Parking
Free street parking in Venice Beach is very hard to find and very competitive. We recommend that you use the ParkWhiz app to find inexpensive valet parking in that area.
Parking at a hotel is probably the easiest, safest, and most convenient option, although it is not the cheapest option.
Another option is to park futher away from the beach, were there is are more parking options and you can take a rideshare/cab to the beach.