Enchanting is the word I use to describe Los Angeles. Some may disagree, but I believe there is something truly magical about this Southern California city. Maybe it’s that “movie magic” that has been perfected over the many years of show biz,' or the geographical beauty and cultural diversity throughout. Los Angeles – or LA if you prefer – is a city of vast opportunity.
The City of Los Angeles spreads many miles up and down the coast, and into the San Gabriel Mountains. Beaches differ exponentially depending on what area you’re in. Malibu has large rocky embankments bordering the sand, while Long Beach is dotted with palm trees and resort-style condos overlooking the Pacific.
Nicknamed the City of Angels, once upon a time ago the area was actually called “El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles del Rio Porciuncula,” or “The Town of our Lady Queen of the Angels on the Porciuncula River.”
Visiting LA is a very surreal experience, and living here is just the same. It’s the mecca of black-tie galas and red carpet events, world-class shopping excursions, modern fare and A-List celebrities. Rental properties, including spacious townhomes, are scattered throughout Los Angeles’ eighty-plus charismatic neighborhoods.
But where do you start looking for a home? Start with a locale you believe you might enjoy. In LA, there are different regions with unique characteristics. The Beach Cities region is definitely one to consider – for obvious reasons – as is Westside, The Valley, Hollywood and Downtown LA.
The waterfront cities in this area have exactly what you’d expect: sunshine, a cool ocean breeze, sand and surf, pier food and games, and beachfront properties. Neighborhoods to heed include Hermosa Beach, Marina del Rey, Venice Beach, Manhattan Beach, Santa Monica and Malibu. LAX is one the nation’s busiest airports; it’s located in Gateway LA, which is between the Marina and Manhattan Beach.
Beaches here are anything but your typical sand and water coastline. Beach-goers can bulk up on the gymnastic beams and bars at Muscle Beach. Its sister beach, Muscle Beach Venice, is all about weightlifting. Roller-skaters, street performers and sketch artists inhabit the sidewalks at Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach Pier. The Santa Monica Pier is well-received for its bright, colorful neon lights, sun-powered Ferris wheel and arcade.
Westside is all about the Arts, from fashion design and sculpture to dance and film. Home to neighborhoods like Beverly Hills, Century City, Culver City and Brentwood, Westside is a hot spot for anyone with an interest in art and design. Westside is a fashion guru’s dream.
You’ve heard its name in magazines, feature films, hit songs, and TV shows. But what you probably didn’t know is that before all the glitz and glam, Beverly Hills was once the site of a lima bean farm, up until 1914. Rodeo Drive is an iconic fashion center that expands three blocks, and includes brands like Cartier, Jimmy Choo, Versace, Patek Philippe and Roberto Cavalli. The House of Bijan is also located on Rodeo, and is said to be the most expensive retailer in the world. Customers are required to book an appointment just to shop there. Film and production companies, such as Sony Pictures and MGM, the NFL Network and UCLA are located in Westside.
The San Fernando Valley land mass is largely incorporated into the city limits, hence the name “The Valley.” Neighborhoods such as Sherman Oaks, Studio City, North Hollywood and Woodland Hills remain part of the LA scene, but are distinguished by a more relaxed, family-friendly vibe. More production companies, shopping malls and contemporary eateries occupy The Valley. Studio City is the site of The Brady Bunch home and “Sushi Row.”
The Village at Sherman Oaks, NOHO Antique Row and miles of hiking trails provide hours of entertainment for renters in Los Angeles.
When you think of Hollywood, you picture a sea of flashing camera lights and star-studded events. Hollywood is composed of several famous neighborhoods like Universal City, Los Feliz, Griffith Park, Silver Lake, Hollywood and West Hollywood. In the region, you’ll discover Universal Studios, the Hollywood Sign, Sunset Strip and The Grove shopping mall. A landmark today, the original sign was used as an ad for a local developer in 1923. It read “HollywoodLand,” and was later shortened and restored to its current state by generous donors.
Other notable (and celebrity-filled) attractions include the Dolby Theatre, venue of the Academy Awards; TCL Chinese Theatre, venue of many movie premieres; Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Roosevelt Hotel.
Downtown LA is the city’s central business hub, with some Fortune 500 companies headquartered here. Within this region of Los Angeles, you’ll discover a cool collection of neighborhoods, including Little Tokyo, South Park, the Fashion Jewelry District, Koreatown, Echo Park and China Town.
If living within the spotlight of the city is your passion, South Park is the name to remember. It’s the home of FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising), L.A. Live and the Staples Center. The Arts and Fashion Districts are all about the open-air markets and bazaars, which are excellent places to find a unique, one-of-a-kind accessory or collector’s piece.
Moving to a vibrant, energetic place like LA can be such a change…but a good one at that. Apartments.com has many apartments, townhouses and condos for rent in Los Angeles. Be a part of this lively city - start your search now!