Santa Monica and Venice are conveniently located close to one another. You can either:
1) Take a nice walk from one location to the other (2 miles, approximately 30 minutes walking).
2) Take the short bus ride outlined below. This bus ride will take about 15-20 minutes and is on the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus. Note that the fare is $1 (as of 6/24/14) and Metro Day Passes/Tap Cards are not accepted on this bus.
3) Rent a bike. The bike path is straight, flat and very easy to ride while taking in the sunny Southern California weather.
If you're starting in Santa Monica, you can rent a bike at Sea Mist Rentals. Rates are $7 per hour or $18-20 for an all day rental of a basic bike. Beach Cruisers and tandem bikes are available for a little extra. Make sure you get a lock from them (it's included in the price) so you can lock your bike and explore the eclectic Venice Boardwalk shops and eateries. A deposit is required and they only accept cash, so make sure you are prepared. They also hold on to your ID until you return your bike, so make sure you have 2 ID's with you if you plan on visiting local bars, and preferably leave a drivers license with them instead of your passport.
If you're starting in Venice, you can rent a bike from Venice Boardwalk Bike Rentals or any other rental locations located right on the boardwalk.
4) If you will be driving, you may just want to drive from one location to the next, and park again if you want to maximize your time. But it will all depend on your sightseeing pace and how much time you have to spare.