‘hoods explored: Mar Vista

Nestled just east of Venice & Santa Monica adjacent is what some would call an overlooked community… Mar Vista.

Often overshadowed by its less under-stated beach side neighbors, those of us that live in Mar Vista would rather describe it as a hidden gem of a neighborhood with a history of lifelong residents & quiet, family friendly streets.

Man, we sound like real estate agents, don’t we? Well,  to be truthful – kids DO play in their front yards & neighbors know each other, too.

But seriously, where can you go for a run, hit some steep, eucalyptus-smelling stairs & see both the Hollywood Sign & the Getty Museum at the top of them… & without crowds of people, too?!

The Mar Vista Stairs are still kind of a local secret.

Mar Vista Stairs

Mar Vista Stairs

All along Venice Blvd there is easily accessible parking, independently owned shops, a hip, new bowling alley & one of our favorite coffee shops, Venice Grind, which serves amazing, hand-poured coffee.

On Venice Blvd you can get your haircut, peruse vintage shops, buy handcrafted soaps & end your adventure with homemade style ice cream.

All within a two block radius between Centinela & Grandview.

venice blvd looking north

Venice Blvd looking north


Soaptopia on venice blvd

Soaptopia on Venice Blvd


the good hurt music venue

The Good Hurt music venue


vintance on venice

Vintage on Venice

Come out on Sundays, so you can check out the Mar Vista Farmer’s Market.

Kids can cook, sit & do crafts & everyone can boogie to either a DJ or band every week!

We love the Mar Vista Farmers Market & especially appreciate how they include our entire community by supporting Market Match, which makes farmers’ fruits & vegetables available to those in need.

More Info on Market Match

Mar Vista Farmers Market

Mar Vista Farmers Market


Mar Vista Farmers Market

Mar Vista Farmers Market

Mar Vista’s low-key vibe definitely adds to its charm & will make you feel welcome immediately.

Definitely chat up any old school residents that you meet – their back in the day, personal stories are pretty sweet, mostly when they are old school Venice folks.

Three Tips for Mar Vista Adventures:

  • Go early to the Mar Vista Farmer’s Market & get coffee at Venice Grind, then settle in as it gets crowded as the day goes on.
  • Check out Soaptopia. Old school Venice/Mar Vista owned shop that have good quality, darling bath toys & soap mitts for kids.
  • Always peruse Vintage on Venice. Seriously worth checking out her vintage turquoise, clothing & mid-century modern finds. Scored a vintage, hand-sewed dress for my daughter, which she would wear every day if she thought she could get away with it.


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