The Most Interesting Neighborhoods in Los Angeles
Los Angeles has dozens of neighborhoods, each with its own unique vibe. From trendy Silver Lake to hip Silver Lake, from Koreatown to Little Tokyo, and from Echo Park to the Arts District, each neighborhood has its own distinct feel. Here's our list of the most special and unique neighborhoods of L.A. that should not be missed on your next trip to this vibrant city.
Venice Beach is a famous tourist destination for its narrow canals and one-lane bridges. The community has grown into one of the wealthiest parts of the city, but it still has it's original surfing town charm. Today Venice has an excellent restaurant scene, impressive shopping, and plenty of opportunities for celebrity sightings. Head to Main Street to see the eclectic architecture of the area, but the famous Ocean Front Walk is where you'll have the quintessential Venice Beach experience. With it's Mardi Gras style street performers, the area is sure to entertain.
466 Sherman Canal Ct. Odd Numbers) / Howland Canal Ct. (Even Numbers), Venice, LA, California, 90291
Many visitors enjoy staying in the beautiful Santa Monica area. This region has some of LA's best beaches, cooler summer temperatures, and an escape from the smog of the city. Many of the communities in the area are connected by a bike path. In the heart of Santa Monica, you'll find the Santa Monica pier as well as many oceanfront hotels. The community has a charming, artsy vibe and Santa Monica is famous for its shopping. Head to the Third Street Promenade to make the most of the experience. This a a pedestrian-only outdoor mall that is filled with shops and restaurants. Throughout Santa Monica you'll find a number of famous restaurants as well with each offering its own style and cuisine.
Malibu is one of the most expensive and posh parts of the city. It has about 27 miles of beaches that offer dramatic views of beachfront cliffs and rolling hills. Malibu is the home of many celebrities who enjoy the relative quiet of the setting. The area is filled with oceanfront shopping and large luxury mansions. There's also lots of green space, great surfing, and dramatic beauty.
Laguna Beach is a high-end beach town in the southern area of the Los Angeles metropolitain region which features gorgeous beaches, nice homes, mountain views, hiking, family-friendly activities, water sports, and more. Visitors to this accessible town on the coast can shop at boutique stores and browse art galleries, dine at nice restaurants, enjoy boat rides into the Pacific Ocean, experience the nightlife, go surfing, and plenty more.
Greater Los Angeles, California
Most tourists don't spend a lot of time in LA's downtown area, but it does have a number of good restaurants, a lively bar scene, and several major attractions including the Walt Disney Concert Hall, L.A. Live, and the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. The downtown area has a more low key vibe than other neighborhoods just as Hollywood or Beverly Hills. There are also a number of skyscrapers and office buildings, that keep the area busy during the work week.
Long Beach is a city and a port in Southern California. There is plenty for visitors to do. You can visit the historic Queen Mary ocean liner, which is now a hotel and a museum or explore the famous Aquarium of the Pacific which kids and adults will enjoy. For shopping head to Shoreline Village. Long Beach is also where you go to catch a ferry to Santa Catalina Island.
Beverly Hills is one of the most recognizable and famous neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Made famous by the 1990s teen drama, this area has a quiet residential atmosphere with tree-lined streets and high end shopping. It is filled with mansions and luxurious homes that are both glamourous and peaceful. Also in Beverly Hills is the famous shopping street of Rodeo Drive. There's a neighborhood farmer's market as well as several museums and other points of interest here as well.
For an authentic experience, excellent food, and a number of unique shops, head to LA's Little Tokyo neighborhood. The neighborhood maintains its genuine charm and still services as a gathering place for the city's Japanese population. Whether you're looking for ramen, udon, sushi, or more, this is the place to go.
Bel Air is a neighborhood to the west of Beverly Hills. It's known for it's old-money atmosphere with many famous stars and celebrities residing in the area.
Brentwood is an upscale neighborhood that is family-friendly and relaxed. There are a number of fine dining restaurants in the area mixed in with some strip malls and lounges. Brentwood was also made famous as the setting of the famous O.J. Simpson drama.
Burbank is a bit more affordable than many other parts of Los Angeles. It's a residential area with a number of shopping malls and entertainment areas. There are also several movie studios that have relocated here. For anyone who wants a family-friendly area with plenty of movie theaters and chain stores, then this is your spot, and if you're looking for the suburbs, you've found them.
Located between West Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, Century City is home to the 20th Century Fox studios. It's also where you'll find Westfield Century City, which is an open-air shopping mall. The main corridors in the neighborhood are Century Park East, Avenue of the Stars, and Century Park West.
Located in the LA Historic Park, Chinatown is a touristy area with great restaurants, authentic dim sum, and small family-owned shops that sell souvenirs and trinkets. The neighborhood is filled with Chinese art and culture, from the famous Chinatown Gateway Monument to the many lanterns and street art. Whether you're a foodie looking for a taste of authentic Chinese cuisine, or a culture lover who wants to surround yourself with diversity, this neighborhood is a must-see in Los Angeles.
To the east of Santa Monica, Culver City has excellent shopping, world class restaurants, and trendy bars and clubs. The area is entrenched in Hollywood's film industry history with studios still located here today. The area is large, and a favorite destination is Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, which has a number of good hiking trails.
This lively neighborhood has a thriving nightlife scene with local music venues, eclectic food trucks, and fun bars. The neighborhood brings together locals and tourists in a lively setting. During the day there is Echo Park Lake and Elysian Park, which offer nice outdoor settings to enjoy the weather.
Exposition Park is where you'll find the LA Memorial Coliseum and the LA Sports Arena. There are also a number of museums in the area including the Natural History Museum, the African-American Museum, and the California Science Center. Also nearby is the University of Southern California.
Glendale is a residential area that has grown into an interesting neighborhood with shopping and dining that is surprisingly diverse. The area was historically Armenian and there are still a number of Armenian and Middle Eastern restaurants. There are also Japanese, Mexican, and Mediterranean options to choose from as well. The neighborhood also has Forest Lawn, which is a cemetery where a number of classic television stars have been buried.
Hollywood will always be tied to the film industry, even though many studios has moved to nearby neighborhoods such as Burbank and Westside. Hollywood still has many of its original attractions that bring tourists from around the globe. This is where you'll find the Walk of Fame, Kodak Theatre, and Grauman's Chinese Theatre. The area has been going through a major revitalization in recent years and there are a number of movie houses and nice restaurants and clubs here.
Koreatown is a close knit community that is home to the largest Korean population outside of Korea. The neighborhood has a number of great restaurants, dive bars, and karaoke. Whether you're looking for Korean BBQ, ramen, or even sushi, there are a number of options available here. This neighborhood is filled with personality from it's dynamic population to it's buzzing live music scene.
Marina del Rey
To the south of Venice, Marina del Rey offers a quiet waterfront setting that's very family-friendly and perfect for anyone who enjoys being on the water. This is an upscale area with it's own man-made harbor and there's a very active sailing community. This is also the place to go to book fishing trips, boat tours, dinner cruises, or any kind of private charter.
For eclectic shopping, second hand stores, and a fun youthful vibe, head to Melrose Avenue. The neighborhood has a number of great restaurants and an authentic atmosphere that feels a bit rough around the edges.
In southern Orange County, the Mission Viejo community is a very safe area with nice homes and easy access to the beach, the mountains, and all of the attractions within the greater Los Angeles area. Here you'll find nice community areas, great shops and restaurants, and plenty of family-friendly activities. This is a more upscale area of L.A., and as such the prices will be a little higher than in other sections of town, but they are also quite nice, safe, and friendly to all types of visitors.
Los Angeles, California
Most people recognize Pasadena as the location of the yearly Tournament of Roses Parade. Most of the year it's a quiet community that has a number of local restaurants and boutique shops. It's less crowded than many parts of Los Angeles and the downtown area has charming brick and stone buildings. It's also served as the filming location for a number of television shows and movies. Pasadena is also where you'll find the California Institute of Technology (CalTech).
Silver Lake is known for its hipster vibe and great restaurants. Head here for everything from Thai street food to Cuban cafes. There are also a number of community theaters, flower shops, and music venues. This is a very diverse and multicultural area with old school architecture, an active art scene, and many unique places to explore.
Located between Beverly Hills and Hollywood, West Hollywood is where you'll find many of the city's best restaurants, nightclubs, and shops. At the heart of the neighborhood is the intersection of Santa Monica and La Cienega boulevards, but other landmark areas include Sunset Boulevard and Sunset Plaza. West Hollywood is also a popular area for its LGBTQ community as well as its lively nightlife scene and many party areas.
Westwood is home to the renowned University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). The area has long been a popular nightlife destination, but in recent years its become overcrowded and a bit less secure. The neighborhood does have an impressive restaurant scene and a young vibe with the many students who live in the area.
How much does it cost?
Prices for activities, things to do, and tours range from $5 to $597. The average cost for a tour or tickets is $162. A few of the best options are below.
Where to Stay in Los Angeles
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