Whether we look at population or size, Los Angeles is among the biggest cities in the United States, not to mention a developing one. We have industries such as construction, hospitality and tourism, technology, manufacturing, healthcare, and professional services to thank for its tremendous economic growth. A robust economy indicates lucrative job opportunities and the means to live well. In other words, a city that offers people opportunities to rise above their circumstances and grow will always be among the best places to live. Now, the more important question is: Which neighborhood should you live in, in LA? Confused? There’s no reason to fret because we’re here with a list of nine top communities for you to explore:
1. Downtown LA
Downtown LA, or DTLA, used to be known for its notorious Skid Row, a community with the highest number of homeless people in the USA. While homelessness still exists, the area’s come a long way in terms of growth. There’s been an influx of sophisticated people and the entry of many businesses that have changed the place’s look and feel.
The city’s core and the heart of all entertainment, you’ll find a ton of things to experience in Downtown LA, from lip-smacking food to captivating tourist attractions to a fantastic nightlife. Tourist spots include the Bradbury Building, established in the late 19th century. The Angels Flight Railway is yet another famed landmark and is located in the Bunker Hill District. It’s a walkable neighborhood, so you can check out the community hotspots on foot if they’re not too far.
If art fascinates you, head over to the Arts District. Besides art, the Arts District houses some of the fanciest restaurants in LA, such as Bavel, specializing in Middle Eastern cuisine, such as shawarmas and hummus. For Mexican cuisine, Broken Spanish is your place. The Grand Central Market is another excellent place to try out assorted dishes and a host of recreational activities. For drinks, pop by the Broken Shaker, among the best bars in the city.
If your company’s located in the neighborhood, it’s wise to rent a room in LA through Cirtru to save yourself from traveling to work every day amid the painful traffic.
2. Los Feliz
Los Feliz is a walkable neighborhood with a laid-back feel, situated close to Griffith Park. It’s a perfect place for young professionals, especially those who prefer being outdoors. The area has a deep historical connection with the entertainment industry. In fact, the character of Mickey Mouse was conceived right here!
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you benefit from living in the community. When you get off from work, you can use the evening hours for hiking, walking, or even jogging at Griffith Park, a green space several times bigger than Central Park! If you have a furry friend, bring them along!
Among the places of attraction, you can check out the Griffith Observatory and admire the beauty of the stars in space. For food and shopping options, head over to Hillhurst and North Vermont Avenues, where you can find a plethora of excellent eateries, bars, and boutiques. Some of them include La Pergoletta and Il Capriccio on Vermont, which serve delectable Italian cuisine. Pho VT Vietnamese and Thai Kitchen and Starfish Sushi are your go-to places for Asian food.
3. Culver City
One thing that stands out about Culver City is the Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios, a place all movie lovers will cherish. It’s a sought-after neighborhood for many young professionals and families. The cherry on top is the community’s reasonable rental prices.
Apart from its connection to film-making, the community has dining, shopping, and entertainment options galore. One of its key attractions is the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation area, which appeals to adults and children alike. Among the many things it offers, you have a fishing lake, hiking trails, beautifully landscaped areas, places where kids can play, and a community center! Bring out the nature lover in you, and spend some quality time here!
If you’re not into outdoor activities, drop by the Platform, a mall that includes bars, restaurants, boutiques, and a spa for those who wish to unwind with a nice, relaxing massage. If you’re hungry, head over to Loqui and try out their fantastic Mexican cuisine, and for cocktails, you can drop by Margot. Here you get to enjoy stunning views from the rooftop while sipping your drink. The Helms Bakery Complex is an ideal place for bibliophiles and those interested in photography, fashion, among many other things.
Ask anyone and they’ll tell you that Hollywood is where mindblowing movies are made for a global audience! But let’s be clear, residents in Hollywood don’t consist of only actors and actresses, but regular people with regular jobs too. Of course, it’s a given that they have well-paid jobs that allow them to afford fantastic homes, whether they rent or own them! In other words, Hollywood is a high-end neighborhood with plenty of moneyed folks.
Also, while we always assume Hollywood to be one neighborhood, it’s a series of communities, including Bel Air, North Hollywood, West Hollywood, Central Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and South Hollywood.
An affluent neighborhood such as this is bound to have dining, shopping, and nightlife options for its residents. To gorge on delicious food at an upscale place, be sure to drop by celebrity chef and author, Wolfgang Puck’s Sago. And if you don’t wish to loosen your purse strings for a meal, try some great hot dogs either at Vicious Dogs or at Pinks. Rodeo Drive is a must-visit place for shopping while you’ll find nightlife options aplenty at Sunset Strip.
In the end, find time to visit the Dolby Theater, the Chinese Theater, and the unforgettable Madame Tussauds!
5. Silver Lake
Silver Lake is a peaceful but vibrant neighborhood housing mostly young hipsters, but you’ll also find residents from different backgrounds here. The area has many eateries, bars, nightclubs, and places frequented by hipsters.
If you can’t survive the morning without a cup of joe, head over to Intelligentsia for its renowned coffee. The queue outside the store will tell you exactly how much demand there is for the coffee here. Later in the evening, you can drop by the Red Lion Tavern with coworkers for drinks while seated at its rooftop beer garden.
The Sunset Strip, known for its nightlife scene, runs through the community, so residents have many nightlife options to explore. Along the strip, you’ll come across numerous restaurants. Silver Lake has some excellent eateries too. The community’s most popular restaurants include Freedman’s Deli, Night + Market Song, which serves terrific Thai food, and WOOD Silver Lake Pizza & Pasta. The area is filled with independent coffee shops should you feel you need a shot of caffeine now and then!
What about places to explore? Visit the Silver Lake Reservoir, which has a trail that surrounds the two-mile-long lake. The track is ideal for outdoor activities, such as walking and running, for you and your pet. Interestingly, there’s also a Silver Lake Dog Park for your fur babies! If you’re into alternative rock music, you’ll find several music venues and bars that host performances.
6. Marina del Rey
Marina del Rey is a laid-back neighborhood great for families and young professionals. The area is home to the largest artificial marina in the USA! Courtesy of the marina, you get to see some lovely boats and animals like the sea lion. The neighborhood has a pretty big sailing community, and people indulge in water sports such as paddleboarding. You’ll also find several apartment complexes and condos that draw many professionals.
Marina, or “Mother’s Beach,” is a gorgeous and tranquil 12-acre lagoon, where you can rest peacefully because you won’t find any surf here. Those who’re interested in exploring nature can head over to Aubrey E. Austin Park. You can also check out North Jetty and stroll along its pathways while savoring the stunning views of the harbor, and watch airplanes depart from the Los Angeles International Airport.
No matter how many places we visit, we’ll always need food, right? Marina del Rey has a lot to offer in that area. For sushi and sake, an alcoholic drink, you have SUGARFISH. For comfort food and salads, SALT Restaurant & Bar is your place. In case you crave Italian cuisine, there’s Scopa Italian Roots. Finally, meat and seafood lovers will find a host of steakhouses and seafood places here.
7. West Hollywood
West Hollywood or WeHo is home to the city’s LGBTQIA+ community and is a pretty walkable neighborhood with plenty of parks and hiking areas in the vicinity. Not known to many, WeHo is home to some top industries, such as IT, food, and accommodation services and some very prominent companies in LA. So, if you’re looking for a breakthrough in your career, this might be a great place to start.
The area’s full of yoga studios, juice bars, and shopping options, although it’s more famous for its restaurants and bars. As far as eateries are concerned, be sure to have a meal at SUR Restaurant & Lounge. For drinks, the Abbey is a great place with options for dancing. While you’re in WeHo, be sure to try the bottomless brunch at Hamburger Mary’s or Ivory on Sunset, which is among the best brunch places in the city!
Thanks to the influx of numerous tech companies, such as Google, YouTube, and Snap, Inc., Venice is also known as the ‘Silicon Beach.’ So, the neighborhood houses numerous young professionals. Anyone who believes in a relaxed and casual lifestyle by the beach, this is where you should be! Although it’s a beautiful neighborhood, its proximity to the beach is the reason for pricey rents.
While you’re there, make sure you visit Abbot Kinney Boulevard and Venice Beach Boardwalk, two of the most prominent streets in the USA! Since you’re at the beach, go for activities such as swimming, surfing, fishing, and of course, beach volleyball. You might end up meeting like-minded people and making new friends. If you have money burning a hole in your pocket, explore the fashionable boutiques here and when you’re tired of shopping, gorge on some great food at the local eateries.
9. Sherman Oaks
Sherman Oaks is a lovely, reasonably-priced neighborhood located in San Fernando Valley. We must add here that the rents are affordable compared to other areas in the city. To find all the action, you’ll need to head over to Ventura Boulevard, where everything from cocktail bars to pizza places to chain shopping stores is available.
One of the must-visit places is the Sherman Oaks Galleria, a one-stop venue for all your shopping, recreational, and dining experiences!
In a word, one of the best places in the area to eat is Bamboo, which serves Chinese cuisine and is excellent for families. For gourmet snacks, On the Thirty is a fabulous place. Last but not least, drop by The Attic for cocktails that you can sit on an outdoor patio and have.
So, do you think you’re ready to call LA your new home? There’s no reason you shouldn’t be! We have reason to believe that you’ll not find another city that offers you so many options for growth, dining, shopping, entertainment, and sightseeing! What more could anyone ask for? In summary, we hope the information here helps you make an informed decision about your ideal neighborhood when you decide to move to LA.