Cities Journal

Top 21 Most European Cities in the US

Venice, Ca, canals 6-flickr-GoBot
Photo credit: GoBot / Flickr

2. Venice, CA

Venice in California is a very strange little neighborhood which manages to somehow have that European feel despite the fact it is American to the core. Perhaps more American than most parts of the country.

For one, it is now part of Los Angeles, arguably the most American of all the U.S. cities. Also, it was founded by a tobacco millionaire as a beach resort town. What could be more American than a rich guy starting his own city to make more money? Also, the mere fact that it was made to look like its legendary Italian namesake is so American that it almost huts.

The weirdest thing is that it worked. For some reason, Venice in California really does feel European at times, with its ubiquitous canals, its collection of characters on every corner and a laid-back attitude that you discover when you travel to Europe.

Earlier this year, the leaders of the Venice community even asked that topless and nude sunbathing become permitted in Venice. Things don’t get more European than that.

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