Playa Del Rey, CA

Overview

Playa Del Rey, which translates from Spanish to "Beach of the King," is located in the west side of Los Angeles and caters to beach lovers and free spirits by providing a laid-back, seaside lifestyle. Bordered by the Pacific Ocean, the community boasts stunning ocean views, with close access to shopping, freeways and Los Angeles International Airport for its affluent, on-the-go residents. Located in the Los Angeles Unified School School District, children have also been granted permission to attend school in the Wiseburn School District on inter-city district transfers. Expect a celebrity sighting or two, as this culturally diverse town is made up of artists, performers, athletes and successful business professionals and families.

Restaurants & Nightlife

Dining out has become a popular tradition in Playa Del Rey, with eclectic restaurant choices and picturesque sights combining to make the perfect restaurant experience. California has a reputation for serving top-notch Mexican food, and Senor G's on Culver Blvd is no exception. Handmade tortilla chips and freshly prepared salsa start off your meal, before you delve into one of the restaurant's uniquely named signature dishes, such as the Carlito's Way burrito or Martin's Kicken Chicken taco plate. Generous portions and a relaxed vibe make sitting outside feel like a real Mexican vacation. Anything but a run-of-the-mill pizza parlor, The Good Pizza on West Manchester Avenue has your authentic Italian desires covered. The owners, born and raised in Naples, Italy, brought the true taste of the old country to California in 2008. All dishes, including the 18-inch pizzas, eggplant parmigiana with spaghetti marinara and mozzarella alla caprese, are made by hand with only the freshest ingredients. For a Zen-like atmosphere just minutes from the beach, Destini Cafe provides traditional and healthy Asian cuisine. Locals love to dine in the quiet, bamboo-lined patio, where soothing music plays softly in the background as they dine on green curry seafood or moo goo gai pan. Order a cup of ginger peach black tea or Moroccan mint green tea to set the mood for a relaxing rest of your day. Nightlife in Playa Del Rey has something for everyone. Rusty's Rhythm Club on Manchester keeps you on your toes for a night filled with swing dancing, dance contests and high-energy fun. Meet new people, bring a partner or show off your solo moves as you dance to tunes from the 1930s. This unique club provides lessons in tap and swing, whether you're a beginner or looking to improve your skills. Just make sure to stay hydrated so you can jump and jive all night. The Prince O' Whales steers clear of the nightclub scene by sporting modern amenities in an old-fashioned setting. With more than 17 flat-screen HDTVs, you can watch your favorite game while sipping an ice-cold beer. Challenge your buddies to a game of darts or ping pong, or release your inner superstar by belting out your favorite karaoke tunes. Sit outside on the patio to bask in the warm California sun or watch the breathtaking sunset. Be sure to check the website to stay updated on upcoming live music and comedy shows.

History & Culture

Playa Del Rey was the original location of the Port Ballona Harbor, the first dredged harbor in Santa Monica Bay, during the 1870s. The harbor was built for the purpose of shipping goods to the Orient, but it became inoperable soon after its construction due to intense flooding by large winter waves. The remains of the harbor currently serve as the regional public park known as Playa Del Rey Lagoon. In 1921, the original neighborhood developed by Dickinson & Gillespie Co. was known as Palisades Del Rey, later renamed Playa Del Rey. Each beach home was custom built, with residents such as Charles Bickford and Cecil B Demille calling the neighborhood home. As a known hub for all types of artists, residents have access to numerous museums and attractions, including the El Segundo Museum of Art, the Flight Path Learning Center-Museum in Westchester and the Roundhouse Marine Studies Lab and Aquarium in Manhattan Beach.

Transportation

Easy access to the 405 and 10 freeways makes getting around easy — just be prepared for heavy traffic throughout the day. It's always a good idea to plan ahead and allow yourself extra time to reach your destination, as most residents commute by car. The carpool lanes on freeways, which only require two people in the car, reward those who share rides, allowing carpoolers to move significantly faster than other traffic. With plenty of public parking in downtown Los Angeles, residents who travel by car safely park for the day and monthly passes average about $100. The Metro Green Line bus offers clean, quiet and safe public transport for the environmentally conscious. Cyclists often riding their bikes to the station, where they can safely attach their cycle to the bus during their route. For getting a cab it is recommended that you call ahead or hail an Uber. Cyclists, walkers and joggers can safely get around town via the bike path that runs along the beach and connects Playa Del Rey to the jetty between Ballona Creek and the Marina Del Rey.

Cost

Playa Del Rey carries a very high cost of living due to its proximity to the beach, running close to 21 percent higher than the state's average. Renters can expect to pay around $2,200 a month for a one-bedroom apartment. A one-way ride on the bus costs $1.75 — 75 cents for senior citizens — and the price of gas is roughly 10 percent higher than the national average. Be prepared to pay $10-15 for a pint of beer at the local pub.

Shopping

Shopping near Playa Del Rey could be regarded as sport. Visit Ulta or Macy's in Westfield Culver City for higher-end shopping before browsing the selections at H&M, Sephora and Forever 21. Grab a rich, toffee-flavored sucker as you peruse the sweet treats at See's Candies, then stop by the popular Sanrio store for the Hello Kitty fan in your life. Flamenco West, a specialty store open by appointment only, sells Senovilla Artesano flamenco dance shoes, as well as flamenco dance clothing and accessories, such as skirts, shawls and castanets. Multiple farmers markets give residents the pleasure of purchasing locally grown produce in this health-conscious town. Check times and days of operation for Playa Vista Farmers Market and Westchester Farmers Market, located on West Manchester. Howe Market on Pershing Drive and Gordon's Market on Culver Boulevard serve your grocery needs, with each store carrying plenty of healthy organic foods and fresh deli meats. For essentials head into near by Westchester to Ralphs or Bristol Farms.

Parks

Widely recognized as a fitness and health-oriented area, Playa Del Rey has plenty of parks to choose from. Pet-friendly Del Rey Lagoon has a little bit of everything, from playgrounds, and basketball courts to a historic duck-filled lagoon and bike trails that lead directly to the beach. The Ballona Creek Bike Path is built for biking, running or walking your dog. With only pedestrian traffic and stunning ocean views, this park is the ultimate in beach living.
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