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The Many Neighborhoods of Los Angeles

One of the things I love that comes out in our Los Angeles Tours is that there are so many different neighborhoods here.

It’s long been a criticism of Los Angeles that there’s no center of the city here, no “there” to go to. Once you really see the real LA, however, through a local’s eyes, you actually see that this is Los Angeles’s greatest strength. Anyone can find a neighborhood here to fit their taste.

If you want urban life, downtown Los Angeles has come to life in recent years. Lofts and condominiums have taken residence in 1920’s buildings that belie LA’s reputation for not having anything historical. There are a variety of restaurants, the LA Live area with Staples Center and the Nokia Theater, plus iconic sights like Disney Hall, the Bradbury Building, and LA’s old City Hall.

Hipsters will be drawn to Silverlake and Los Feliz. Both have the requisite collection of coffee shops, bookstores, and artsy theaters. You can also spot celebrities here, as Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Robert Pattinson, Jack Black and others call this eclectic place home.

Rock and rollers may be drawn to Hollywood, the Sunset Strip, and Melrose. There are many clubs and bars that cater to the musician in you. Don’t forget comedy clubs and a lively restaurant scene.

The posh and royalty of course go to the Golden Triangle — Beverly Hills, Bel Air, and the Holmby Hills. Multi-million dollar mansions huddle behind perfectly manicured hedges and colorful landscaping. You’d never guess that the Los Angeles Basin averages only 16 inches of rain a year.

And then there are the beaches. Even here you have choices. If you’re the rasta-loving hippie type, there’s Venice Beach. You almost feel like you’ve been transported to the Caribbean with the dreadlocks and reggae music floating among the crowds of tourists and medical marijuana hawkers. Santa Monica is more yuppie and less touristed. If the true California beach scene is your fancy, try Huntington or Newport to the south or Ventura to the north. Surf shops mix with trendy boutiques and restaurants and evoke that Southern California we think of in the movies.

So whatever your taste, there’s something here for you. You just need to be able to look behind the curtain to see it all!