If you live on the Westside of Los Angeles, you’ve probably hung out in Venice at some point. There’s just something about that slice of coastline where the bars the meet beach and tourists, hipsters, homeless folks and beautiful people all share the same gorgeous views and breathe in the same kush-flavored, spray paint-filled air.

The best way to experience Venice is to combine day drinking with beach cruising on a warm, sunny day. The Venice Beach bike path is one of my favorite spots in the city. That little stretch of beachside boardwalk fun that runs from Venice to Santa Monica is a great spot to eat, drink, cycle and be merry. It’s actually part of a larger path called The Strand (aka the Marvin Braude Bike Trail) that starts at Will Rogers State Beach in Pacific Palisades and ends 22 miles down the way in Torrance.

The current path was first proposed in the late 60s, but it didn’t receive final approval until 1988. Beachfront homeowners weren’t super keen on the development of the bike trail and all the riff raff it would bring to the area. Sullied views and all. These homeowners managed to block the path from reaching Santa Monica for more than two decades. The full path was finally completed in 1989.

My favorite spot on the path is On the Waterfront Cafe. It’s on the Venice Beach Boardwalk and it’s a great place to eat pretzels, drink Swiss and German beer (Bitburger, hmmmmm) and enjoy fantastic sunsets. Before you hit the Santa Monica Pier, Big Dean’s is a great spot to grab a Newcastle, catch some sport and enjoy a really good burger.

You can carve a whole day out on the bike path. Beach cruisers can be rented at the end of Washington in Venice right by The Whaler. The path cuts through the sand and the Boardwalk and Muscle Beach and more herb doctors per square mile than any other place in LA. This place has its own particular character, and it’s a must-see for anyone visiting the area.

So we’ve told you about some of our favorite Taste Escapes, but Pepsi NEXT wants to hear about your local gems. Follow the hashtags #PepsiNEXT and #TasteEscapes to learn about more cool spots. And if you want to win one of four fun getaways, make sure to visit the Unbelievable Taste Escape site today. It’s the last day to enter!

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