5 Cool Neighborhoods in Los Angeles

LA is such a diverse culture with so many places to see and things to do. It’s not just the sparkle of Hollywood that lends personality to Los Angeles, it is also the quirky neighborhoods and stylish homes that make this city a unique and fun place. We often get asked about the cool and trendy neighborhoods in Los Angeles, so we thought we would share 5 of our favorites with you. Although there are many places in LA we think you should visit, here are 5 neighborhoods with the “it” factor you just might be looking for.

Silverlake

Lauded by Forbe’s Magazine as one of Americas “Best Hipster Neighborhoods”, Silverlake is nestled between Hollywood and Echo Park and boasts some of the coolest hangouts in the LA area. Not only that, but this trendy ‘burg is also where stars such as Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling, Christina Ricci, Lisa Edelstein, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and many others have called home. The city itself is built around a commercial reservoir and was named for the engineer who built it (although thinking there might actually be silver water there is kind of cool). Surrounding the reservoir is a fantastic walking path and meadow. Silverlake is host to a huge arts scene and has some incredibly unique architecture surrounding it. It is home to some of the most celebrated modernist architecture in the country, including Richard Neutra’s VDL Research House and John Lautner’s Silvertop. Plus, they have some cool independent art galleries and theatre’s. Chock full of independent businesses, you won’t find a lot of chain restaurants in Silverlake, but what what you will find, from clothing to tattoos to food is always fabulous. If you want to mix celebrity spotting with a good cup of coffee, check out Intelligentsia. Celebs spotted there include Drew Barrymore, Zachary Quinto, Olivia Wilde and Jane Lynch.

Los Feliz

It’s the birthplace of Mickey Mouse and where Frank Lloyd Wright built some of his most famous homes. It’s where many celebrities of today and yesterday have called home and where the homes tell an incredible history of Los Angeles. It even has a bridge named after Shakespeare. Located next to Griffith Park, Los Feliz is high on the cool factor for Los Angeles neighborhoods. It’s “downtown” area boasts incredible restaurants and fun bars that are within walking distance to many of the residences. But one of the coolest things about this neighborhood is that Mickey Mouse was created in the garage of one of the homes here. Yes, Mickey Mouse was created by Walt Disney in the garage of his aunt and uncle’s home in Los Feliz. While you take a minute to absorb that information, you might also want to take a visit to Prospect Studios located in the neighborhood. Prospect has been home to tv shows such as “American Bandstand”, “Barney Miller”, “The Dating Game”, “Family Fued”, “General Hospital”, “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Welcome Back, Kotter” and “Who’s the Boss?” to name a few. Down the street from that, on Sunset, is Monogram Pictures (which is now KCET) where many of Charlie Chan’s movies were filmed. And let’s not forget about the celebrities – Los Feliz has also seen its share of famous residents as well including Marilyn Monroe, Jim Parsons, Casey Affleck, Kristen Bell, Liv Tyler, Christina Ricci, January Jones, Katherine Heigl, Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes, Jon Cryer ,Lauren Graham, John Hamm and many others.

Abbott Kinney Boulevard

Named by GQ as “the coolest block in America” , Abbott Kinney Boulevard and its surrounding neighborhood embraces this title and much more. Named for the founder of Venice Beach, Abbott Kinney, this neighborhood wasn’t always such a draw to tourists and, well, anyone. It was actually a place you would go out of your way to avoid. Before it was Abbott Kinney, it was a part of West Washington Blvd, which was a hangout for gang members, drug dealers and addicts and gun shots were a routine sound you could hear. Given that Venice Beach has always been an enclave for struggling artists, there were many you could find in the neighborhood even given its dangers. The name change started a revolution on the boulevard that brought about a lot of amazing change. Now, the street is a major tourist attraction and a place where you can find a lot of Angelenos hanging out. What used to be a drug den is now a cleaned up, trendy street that is the epicenter of Venice Beach. You can see the artists influence in the independent shops and restaurants along the boulevard and Abbott Kinney prides itself on many of the stores being independent and locally owned and operated. Popular with celebrities, you can find Venice residents such as Robert Downey, Jr. , Anna Paquin, Tim Robbins, Fiona Apple and many others in the area.

Larchmont Village

Surrounded by Hollywood, East Hollywood, Koreatown, Hancock Park, and Windsor Square, you will find what is said to be the smallest neighborhood in Los Angeles called Larchmont Village. Spanning only around a half square mile, this little city has a big impact upon all visitors. The small town atmosphere of this little neighborhood is what draws many people in. When you walk down the main street, you will find several shops and little cafes including one of L.A.’s oldest independent book stores. Every Sunday you will find a farmer’s market with fresh fruit and veggies and wonderful food. And, talking about the food, there are some fabulous places to eat in Larchmont Village – something for everyone. You can also tell that there is a lot of pride from the residents of this neighborhood with some of the most well preserved older homes in the city. Stop by and have a great cup of coffee and do some people watching – you won’t regret it.

Mid Wilshire

Mid Wilshire – not just a map location, but a very popular neighborhood in Los Angeles. Named “Mid Wilshire” because it is literally in the middle of everything. From popular museums and restaurants and shopping areas, this neighborhood is a great place to find it all in Los Angeles. Noted as one of the most diverse neighborhoods (according to LA Times) in Los Angeles, Mid Wilshire is nestled between Hancock Park and Beverly Hills. While in the neighborhood, check out CBS’ Television City on Beverly Boulevard – this historic broadcasting complex was built in 1952 and continues to be the home of many of American TV’s most popular shows, such as “American Idol”, “The Price is Right”, and “The Young and The Restless”. For shopping, check out The Grove or The Beverly Center. Great museums in this area include The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The La Brea Tar Pits & Page Museum, The Peterson Automotive Museum and the Craft Museum.
The best part about all of these places is the LA Insider Tours can take you there. Call us at 800-549-6625 or visit our Web Site to reserve your spot today!

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