They say no one walks in LA, and while that can be true, you really miss out on a lot when you drive instead of putting leather to sidewalk—especially when Los Angeles neighborhoods have so much to offer. So, get out of your Los Angeles apartment and take in some fresh(ish) LA air.
Brentwood is an upscale, yet surprisingly affordable Los Angeles neighborhood with a great family vibe. Year in and year out, it maintains its reputation as a tight community with a hometown feel. Stroll the main strip of San Vicente Blvd.—a promenade of boutiques, gourmet bistros and smaller chain-brand restaurants—or “get out of the city” by going north up on Barrington Ave. to find well-maintained recreation areas and the Barrington dog park. There are also neighborhood street festivals such as “Taste of Brentwood” and an annual car show. Plus, you are only 3.5 miles from the ocean, just enough to avoid most of the fog, but close enough to make a spontaneous trip to the beach.
Welcome to the Westside home of rent control. Rent in Santa Monica can be pretty high, but the mini-city is home to some of the most beneficial renter laws in California. The City of Santa Monica has a little bit of everything from locally-owned jazz clubs and chic Spanish restaurants to sport bars. As for shopping, there are small shops and three good sized malls.
The 3rd Street Promenade is a hub of activities that include movie theaters and art houses, street performers and plenty of eateries. The world-famous (by the way, most things in LA consider themselves to be “world-famous”) Santa Monica Pier with its iconic Ferris wheel often plays host to free concerts and outdoor movie screenings. The stores per capita are pretty dense which also gives it a high walkability rating. In fact, because of the tight parking, you are better off leaving the car at home.
Did we mention Rent.com is based in Santa Monica? That fact alone makes it pretty much the coolest neighborhood in Los Angeles.
This area, which goes from La Brea to Doheny and is bordered by Sunset and Santa Monica, is one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Los Angeles. There are two sides of what the locals call WeHo: the rowdy and the not as rowdy. If you head west on Sunset and Santa Monica, crossing La Cienega, the party begins. Home to the legendary Sunset Strip, the bars of West Hollywood, and the annual Halloween Costume Carnaval, both of these boulevards are ready to party at a moment’s notice.
The majority of this town is the not as rowdy. West Hollywood is also home to some of the classiest restaurants in the world. With food prepared by top notch (and often celebrity) chefs, this part of town is a foodie’s dream come true. Sunset has a slew of five-star hotels that are fantastic to visit, even if you aren’t staying there. WeHo is as adamant about renter’s rights as is Santa Monica. Again, the rents may seem high, but five years from now, you will have a hard time beating the price you once groaned over.
The Fairfax district is a quiet, more family-oriented kind of neighborhood—but it is still a pretty hip area. The main base of this section of town is the 3rd and Fairfax permanent Farmer’s Market and The Grove al fresco shopping and upscale dining mall. Both are hubs of activity at any given time, but both have strong ties to the community and often have seasonal special events. Go west on 3rd and you will experience a gauntlet of fantastic restaurants with an exquisite blend of foods only Los Angeles can serve up. Go north of Fairfax to experience where the classic and the trendy collide at places like the legendary Canter’s Deli and a strip of ever-changing hipster driven bars.
What’s your favorite Los Angeles neighborhood to walk around?