By Whitney Leigh Morris

Published on June 17, 2017

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Photography by WHITNEY LEIGH MORRIS

Whitney Leigh Morris is the blogger and designer extraordinaire behind Tiny Canal Cottage. She lives with her husband, son, and two dogs in a 362-square-foot home in Venice, California, and makes small living look oh so good. 

There is no place quite like Venice. Our little coastal slice of Los Angeles blends tech giants with independent artists, Hollywood titans with skaters and surfers, and tourists with die-hard locals. Whether you’re visiting the beach, going shopping, or simply sightseeing, the best way to to enjoy Venice is by bike. If you’re pedaling around town, here are some creative spots to explore. 

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Favorite AirBnB:

Craftsman Mini-Me (pictured above)

This is my (other) favorite tiny house in Venice! Between its vine-covered interior walls, dozens of windows, and outdoor shower, this is the perfect little getaway within the city. 

Favorite Thrift Shops:

The Mart Collective and Venice Vintage Paradise

Walking into these shops is like falling down a vintage rabbit hole. I love their selection of homewares for aesthetics of all types.

 
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Favorite Gift Store:

Late Sunday Afternoon

This beautiful indoor/outdoor shop, shown above, offers lovely handmade and local goodies, and frequently hosts live musical performances, craft workshops, drink-and-draw, and more. 

Favorite Home Goods: 

The General Store

You’ve all seen it on the ‘gram. And for good reason. This shop is a stunner, as is every item within it. 

 
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Favorite Bakery:

Gjusta

Gjusta’s design— by Matt Winter of M. Winter Design—is simple yet stunning (the whitewashed exterior is snaked with greenery, pictured above). The baked goods are made in-house and are absolutely delicious. On your way out, grab a bundle of unique florals from the entryway and ask for directions to the “Binoculars Building”—inhabited by Google—just around the corner and check out that façade! 

Favorite Kitchen Store: 

Tortoise General

This elegant husband-and-wife owned shop specializes in authentic, hand-crafted Japanese designs and homeware. You’re not going to find any of their imported pieces anywhere else.

Favorite Bedding: 

Parachute Home

Parachute is one of my favorite local companies, and their shop is on one of Venice’s cutest streets. They make the most luxurious bedding basics.

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Favorite Brunch:

The Butcher’s Daughter (shown above)

We love this restaurant (designed by my friend and neighbor Heather Tierney) so much that we rented it out for our wedding reception. If I could, I’d have their açaí bowl every morning of my life.

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Favorite Vegan Option:

Plant Food & Wine (shown above)

For those who fear that eating healthy can’t be delicious and beautiful, try Plant. Be sure to allot extra time to drool over their simple yet stunning garden patio.

 
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Favorite Stroll:

The Canals

Venice is best experienced on a bike, skateboard, or by foot. You can stroll along the canals every day and always discover something new. The architecture varies drastically in style—from tiny, perfectly imperfect early-1900s Craftsman bungalows, to ultra-modern, indoor-outdoor eco-friendly behemoths.

 
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Favorite Place to Mural Hunt:

Abbot Kinney Blvd (and neighboring streets)

Street art is big in Venice. Pedal around town to discover the dozens (perhaps hundreds) of murals that adorn the side of pretty much everything.

 
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Favorite Coffee:

Vittoria c/o Flower Boy Project

Venice is overflowing with creative little businesses that support a diverse array of lifestyles and tastes. I love this nook of a shop, Flowerboy Project (pictured above). It’s the perfect place to scoop up an armful of fresh or dried flowers, and fill your travel mug with Vittoria Coffee. 

Favorite Pop-Up:

The Unlikely Florist

The world deserves more flower pop-up shops, especially when they’re blooming out of a vintage van. Thankfully, The Unlikely Florist delivers when it comes to our vintage-van-flower-pop-up-needs with his irresistible, stylish arrangements.

 
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Favorite Store I Can’t Afford:

Nick Fouquet Hats (shown above)

A must-stop shop, even if they’re out of your price range. The brand has a celebrity following (we’re talking Madonna, Bob Dylan, Gigi Hadid, Sia, and more…) which is unsurprising since Nick Fouquet hand-crafts the coolest, most unique hats around town.

 
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Favorite Exception:

Rolling Greens Plant Nursery

This place is one of the only reasons I ever leave Venice—you can see why in the photo above.

This story is part of our special 100 Days of Summer series. You can find more tips and fun ideas here.