Only in Los Angeles can you find a unique mélange of culture, luxury, and history that sets the city apart from everywhere else. From downtown’s Old Historic Banking District, to the glamour of Rodeo Drive, to the vistas of Runyon Canyon, Los Angeles is a thriving city with endless possibilities to explore. However, the secret to enjoying everything the city has to offer lies in finding the best Los Angeles neighborhood to live in.
Find a Neighborhood that Allows You to Do It All
Whether your passion is shopping, hiking, art, or dining, our team knows exactly which neighborhoods offer the best options for your interests. In this article we’ve not only narrowed down the best areas but we’ve also compiled lists of some of the best walkable attractions, nightlife spots, shopping destinations, and schools for each neighborhood.
Our List of The Top 5 Neighborhoods to Live in Los Angeles
Locally nicknamed “WeHo,”West Hollywood is found in the center of Los Angeles between Santa Monica Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard. Beach goers will only be 30 minutes from the shores of Santa Monica. Since the 1980s, West Hollywood has served as the heart of LGBTQ culture and influence.
Walkable Attractions: Perhaps the most notable attraction of West Hollywood is its Pacific Design Center (PDC). The PDC currently exhibits a branch of MOCA’s collection, 130 interior decoration showrooms, and two restaurants operated by Wolfgang Puck called Red Seven and P Restaurant. West Hollywood also operates its own Public Library. Located on San Vicente, the 33,150 square-foot library features the famous “Peace Elephant” mural by renowned street artist Shepard Fairey. The library features a large collection of classics and bestsellers in addition to a special multi-media LGBT collection exclusive to West Hollywood. West Hollywood is also home to a variety of outdoor parks perfect for soaking up the California rays. Two of the more popular parks in the area include the West Hollywood Park, Pool, and Tennis Courts and the William S. Hart Park and Off-Leash Dog Park.
Nightlife: Home to the Sunset Strip, West Hollywood easily has the most glamorous nightlife scene in Los Angeles. With world-famous venues such as Whiskey-A-Go-Go, The Comedy Club, and The Troubadour, night goers will never run out of things to do during the evening. West Hollywood is also home to prominent gay bars such as The Abbey and Hamburger Mary’s.
Shopping: Shopping in West Hollywood can be characterized as an eclectic cross between Melrose and Rodeo Drive. Stores such as Phillip Lim, Jay Wolf, Kelly Wearstler, and Rag & Bone feature clothing that is modern, chic, and maybe even a bit on the edgier side. West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip is also home to the renowned Book Soup, the largest independent bookseller in the area. The bookstore also hosts a variety of literary events such as author book-signings and discussions.
Schools: Schools in West Hollywood are touted as one of the best performing districts in the area. Public Schools in the neighborhood include West Hollywood Elementary, while private schools include Pacific Hills School (grades 6-12) and West Hollywood College Preparatory School (Preschool – 12th grade).
Real Estate: West Hollywood’s median home price is just under $1 million. The neighborhood is populated with modern villas, Spanish-style homes, and charming traditional bungalows. Multi-family condos and apartments are also common throughout the area.
Learn more about West Hollywood via its community website.
2. Downtown L.A.
If you’d like to be in an area where the past, present, and future converge, Downtown Los Angeles is the best choice. A mixture of old historic buildings and sleek new architecture, Downtown Los Angeles is an architect-lover’s dream. DTLA’s public transportation is highly developed and networked, so residents seldom need to drive.
Walkable Attractions: If you’re a self-identifying foodie, Grand Central Market is the place to be. Its most popular restaurant is Egglsut which offers perhaps the most instagrammed breakfast sandwiches of all time. Brunch bunnies beware: if you’re looking to score an Eggslut creation, arrive early as the lines can easily snake out of the building. Modern Art museums such as MOCA and The Broad are common attractions for L.A.’s art lovers who are looking to make a day out of exploring. Located on Grand Avenue, the museums are across the street from each other and adjacent to The Walt Disney Concert Hall. Arguably the most famous creation of Frank Gehry, the Walt Disney Concert Hall is home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Downtown’s art district is another popular destination. Restaurants such as Wurstküche and unique bars like Angel City Brewery will leave weekend warriors with more than enough to explore. Additionally, the Santa Monica Pier is only 45 minutes away with a $2 fare via Metro’s Expo Line.
Nightlife: Los Angeles natives could argue that only downtown can rival the nightlife of Sunset Boulevard. With gorgeous, high-end restaurants and unique bars such as Faith & Flower, Perch, and the Library Bar, night owls are sure to revel in the lights and luxury that downtown has to offer. 71 ABOVE’s exquisitely upscale skylounge and prix fixe menu are ideal for a romantic evening. Sports fans will find heaven-on-Earth at the STAPLES Center which is home to the Los Angeles Clippers, Lakers, and L.A. Kings. Across the street is L.A. Live where sports fans can celebrate (or commiserate) over a beer or burger after every STAPLES Center game.
Shopping: Downtown Los Angeles presents a variety of shopping options for every budget and style. Some of our favorite DTLA clothing stores include ACNE Studios, Cerre, and Brigade. Each of these stores feature clothing that is streamlined, chic, and luxurious. DTLA is also home to the best bookstore in all Los Angeles called The Last Bookstore. As a seller of both used and new books, The Last Bookstore also sells music. Considered to be “The Amoeba” of books, The Last Bookstore carries every book imaginable.
Schools: Most of the public schools within DTLA are located in the southern part of the neighborhood such as San Pedro Street Elementary. Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts is also within the neighborhood towards Echo Park. As far as private schools go, DTLA is home to a few Catholic schools such as Immaculate Conception School and Cathedral High School. Notable schools such as Los Angeles County High School of the Arts (LACHSA) are just beyond the neighborhood’s boundaries.
Real Estate: The median home value in downtown Los Angeles is approximately $600,000. Converted lofts in historic building districts lend a vintage charm to each space. Apartments, penthouses, and townhomes are common.
Learn more about Downtown Los Angeles via its community website.
Comprised of single-family homes, Holmby Hills is a quiet and exclusive residential area bordering Westwood and Beverly Hills. Holmby Hills is known for its rolling, green hills and large open spaces – perfect for those who love to spend their time outdoors.
Walkable Attractions: Although the neighborhood is mostly residential, Holmby Hills has two notable outdoor attractions: the popular hiking trail Stone Canyon and Holmby Park. Just outside Holmby Hills towards Westwood is De Neve Square Park, a popular destination of UCLA students. The Glen Market is the site of the area’s first settlement and has endured as Holmby Hills’ go-to market. Art lovers will rejoice in the modern and contemporary collections of the Fredrick R. Weisman Art Foundation and UCLA’s The Hammer museum.
Nightlife: As far as Holmby Hills’ nightlife, residents may attend live theatre performances at UCLA’s Geffen Playhouse or Center for the Art of Performance. The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is also another local favorite. Holmby Hills is also home to the famous Playboy Mansion which hosts weekly parties and entertainment for those who manage to buy tickets or score an elusive invitation.
Shopping: As far as shopping in Holmby Hills goes, Westwood and Beverly Hills are the common places residents shop. Due to its proximity to UCLA, shopping in Westwood is geared towards more junior styles with stores such as Modlook 29, Kinsley, and Brandy Melville as the local favorites. Flax Pen to Paper is also worth noting as one of the most interesting stationery shops in Los Angeles. For Bruin fans, the area is naturally rife with UCLA stores and merchandise.
Schools: Holmby Hills is a unique community as it is home to a large number of public schools such as Warner Elementary School, Emerson Middle School, and University Senior High School. Private schools in Holmby Hills include Harvard-Westlake, The Buckley School, Marymount High School, and Stephen S. Wise Temple Elementary School. UCLA is also minutes away west of the neighborhood.
Real Estate: Median home value in Holmby Hill is close to $3 million. The area is populated by luxury residential homes ranging in a variety of traditional styles. Holmby Hills is also desirable for purchasing space to build buyer’s ultimate dream home.
4. Beverly Hills
Beverly Hills – the neighborhood synonymous with luxury and high-class living – is also a cultural and historical center of Los Angeles. With the buttressing towns of Brentwood and Bel-Air, Beverly Hills is nestled within the city’s core of grandeur. Additionally, Beverly Hills is only 30 minutes away from Santa Monica.
Walkable Attractions: With its gorgeous, luxury flagship stores, Rodeo Drive is probably the most popular walkable shopping attraction in the neighborhood. The Wallace Annenberg Center for the Arts is a notable destination for live performances, while the Beverly Canon Gardens is best for going on a daytime excursion. Beverly Hills City Hall and The Beverly Hills Hotel are historic sites that are also worth exploring.
Nightlife: Unlike Sunset and DTLA, the nightlife of Beverly Hills is characterized by world famous wining and dining. Home to Wolfgang Puck’s Spago and Mastro’s Steakhouse, Beverly Hills is the center for the most romantic restaurants in Los Angeles. Ten Pound Bar, CUT Lounge, and the Vampire Lounge & Tasting Room present residents with memorable nighttime scenes to lounge and luxuriate.
Shopping: Most of the shopping in Beverly Hills is located on Rodeo Drive. The Louis Vuitton and Hermés stores are popular for luxury purse aficionados, while Harry Winston is the popular destination for jewelry lovers. Tom Ford is also a favorite for those interested in luxury accessories and clothing.
Schools: Since Beverly Hills has its own school district, residents attend Beverly Hills High School, El Rodeo High School, and Horace Mann School. Additionally, students from the Beverly Hills School District.
Real Estate: The median home value in Beverly Hills approaches $3 million. The neighborhood is rife with luxury homes ranging from more traditional designs to modern styles. Apartments and condominiums are also available in the area.
Learn more about Beverly Hills via its community website.
5. Culver City
Culver City is arguably one of the most architecturally diverse cities in Los Angeles. Sculptures from Jim Heimann and art deco theatre are scattered throughout the neighborhood to create a unique blend of modernity and history. As the home of Culver Studios and Sony Pictures Studios, the neighborhood is perfect for cinephiles.
Walkable Attractions: Succeeding Hollywood, Culver City may be the next city with the most impressive cinematic history associated with it. David O. Selznick fans will easily recognize the mansion from “Gone With the Wind” and “Duel in the Sun” on the Culver Studios lot. If you’re a “Wizard of Oz” or “Spiderman” fan, tours of the Sony Pictures Studio are also available to the public. Also in the neighborhood is The Museum of Jurassic Technology which describes itself as “an educational institution dedicated to the advancement of knowledge and the public appreciation of the Lower Jurassic.” But this museum isn’t a collection of dinosaur bones; rather, it is a whimsical mix of artistic, scientific, and historical items that provoke curiosity and the imagination. For animal lovers, the Star Eco Station is an exotic wildlife rescue and research center that houses birds, mammals, and reptiles seized in illegal shipments to the U.S. The station offers hands-on tours and is dedicated to researching and educating the public about all of their rescued critters.
When it comes to neighborhood nightlife, Culver City is replete with cozy bars and restaurants. Blind Barber and Rush Street bars are perfect for a night out with friends to catch up on life, while Hatchett Hall is ideal for local meat-lovers looking for a hearty meal. The bar at the iconic Culver Hotel is also a hip place to socialize the night away.
Shopping: The ultimate shopping destination in Culver City is the Fox Hills Mall. With three stories of stores, shoppers are sure to find exactly what they’re looking for. Located next to the Expo Line is the Platform shopping center. With high-end vendors, such as Aesop, the rainbow-colored shopping center offers visitors shopping options, dining options, and even art-exhibitions. For book-lovers, Arcana Books offers unique, hard-to-find books on the arts. Whether you’re searching for the perfect book about your favorite architect, or looking to explore a new artist, Arcana Books is the place to find everything.
Schools: Similar to Beverly Hills, Culver City also has its own school district. Notable Culver City schools include El Marino Elementary School, Culver City Middle School, and Culver City High School.
Real Estate: The neighborhood is quickly recovering from a recent dip in average home value. With neighboring tech giants like Google and Snapchat, the real estate market in Culver City is quickly picking up. The average home value in Culver City approximately $200,000.
Learn more about Culver City via is its community website.
Know Thy Self to Know Thy Neighborhood
When choosing a new neighborhood, one of the cardinal rules of real estate is to know your own (or your client’s) personality. Be honest with yourself; are you someone who needs to be near water to center yourself? Do you crave the hustle and bustle of downtown to spark your creativity? Does your thirst for beauty inspire you to flock to the most luxurious and glamorous parts of town?