Getting to Know the Area Part II

Last Updated: April 11, 2008By

Again we look at the surrounding areas of greater Los Angeles, and hopefully become aware of all the different neighborhoods found in our megalopolis of Souther California. While there can be found only rich celebrity houses lining up the streets of these areas, there are also many apartment complexes needed for the students living in LA and thriving artists and professionals that live in West LA. Most of these cities are located in our Western LA (zone 3) magazine. This info can be found on

Beverly Hills is politically distinct from the rest of Los Angeles — a famous enclave best known for its palm tree lined streets of palatial homes, famous residents (Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty, Annette Bening), and high-priced shops. But it’s not all glitz and glamour; the healthy mix of filthy rich, wannabes, and tourists that peoples downtown Beverly Hills creates a unique — and often snobby-surreal — atmosphere.

West Hollywood is a key-shape community whose epicenter is the intersection of Santa Monica and La Cienega boulevards. Nestled between Beverly Hills and Hollywood, this politically independent — and blissfully fast-food-free — town is home to some of the area’s best restaurants, clubs, shops, and art galleries. WeHo, as it’s come to be known, is also the center of L.A.’s gay community — you’ll know you’ve arrived when you see the risqué billboards. Encompassing about 2 square miles, it’s a pedestrian-friendly place with plenty of metered parking. Highlights include the 1 1/2 miles of Sunset Boulevard known as Sunset Strip, the chic Sunset Plaza retail strip, and the liveliest stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard.

Bel Air and Holmby Hills, located in the hills north of Westwood and west of Beverly Hills, are old-money residential areas featured prominently on most maps to the stars’ homes.

Brentwood is best known as the famous backdrop to the O. J. Simpson melodrama. If Starbucks ever designed a neighborhood, this is what it would look like — a generic, relatively upscale mix of track homes, restaurants, and strip malls. The Getty Center looms over Brentwood from its hilltop perch next to I-405.

Westwood, an urban village founded in 1929 and home to the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), used to be a hot destination for a night on the town, but it lost much of its appeal in the past decade due to overcrowding and even some minor street violence. Although Westwood is unlikely to regain its old charm, the vibrant new culinary scene has brought new life to the village. Combined with the high concentration of movie theaters, it’s now the premier L.A. destination for dinner and a flick.

Century City is a compact and rather bland high-rise area sandwiched between West Los Angeles and Beverly Hills. The primary draws here are the 20th Century Fox studios, Shubert Theatre, and the Westside Pavilion, a huge open-air shopping mall. Century City’s three main thoroughfares are Century Park East, Avenue of the Stars, and Century Park West.

West Los Angeles is a label that generally applies to everything that isn’t one of the other Westside neighborhoods. It’s basically the area south of Santa Monica Boulevard, north of Venice Boulevard, east of Santa Monica and Venice, and west and south of Century City.


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