Probably the most recognizable stretch of sand in the history of movies, Venice Beach is more of a circus than an actual beach, but a circus with sand and an ocean. And that's why it had to make the list. It's a global tourist destination thanks to the bodybuilders at Muscle Beach, the guys playing intense streetball (we're looking at you, Billy Hoyle), the performers who juggle, sing, tell jokes, and charm snakes, and all of the tourist shops. While you’ll mostly go to people-watch, Venice Beach does also rock an actual beach and some solid surfing.
Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email, and get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.
Daisy Barringer is an SF-based writer who once took her enormous Saint Bernard to Bolinas. He proceeded to drink all of the ocean water, pee on someone’s bag, and then throw up for hours after. She still counts it as one of her favorite places on Earth. Follow her on Twitter: @daisy.