As I wrote the other day, Venice Beach is one of my favourite places on earth. You may be thinking, "That dirty, smelly, place full of hippies and shops full of junk?" and while yes, it is all of those things, the answer is still "Yes." I love Venice Beach because it is an absolute Mecca for people watching and people watching is one of my favourite things ever. Plus, there is a ton of graffiti, which is also up there on the list of favourites.
I've never been to VB at sunset and I've also never spent much time watching the skateboarders, but for real, if I'd had some food and no agenda, I probably could have chilled by the skate park all night! I've found that people in California are among the friendliest I've ever encountered anywhere else, and so I really enjoyed being jostled along by the other tourists, chatting a bit, listening to different conversations and occasionally photobombing people.
If you've never been to Venice Beach, I'd recommend setting a few hours aside to walk around and take in the sites. There is a lot to absorb (it's like a year-round freak show) and I think that it's wonderful.
Also, a side note... if you happen to be driving from Ventura to LA around rush hour on a Sunday evening and you see a Starbucks or somewhere to use the bathroom, do it as soon as you see it! After my giant Mexican mocha from Palermo Coffee, I was DYING by the time we got to Venice Beach, but the facilities there aren't the best. Malibu is the next big pull off spot up down the coast, but if you're the PCH, it's all beaches with paid parking. We made it to Malibu just in time and of course, then had to buy another coffee for the final leg of our trip into Hollywood... at which point we nearly had to repeat the whole crazy drama!