Westlake Village, CA

Overview

The Westlake Village neighborhood, 35 miles west of Los Angeles, California on the Ventura and Los Angeles county line, has long been known as one of the nicest neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Large homes, ornate landscaping and a man-made lake make Westlake Village one of the more popular suburban neighborhoods to live in outside of Los Angeles. The favorable weather also helps with the neighborhood's popularity, since the ocean breezes coming into the area allow it to stay up to 10 degrees cooler than the neighboring San Fernando Valley.

Restaurants & Nightlife

Westlake Village provides the community with many places to eat including Japanese, Italian and a wide range of American, most of which you'll find on Agoura Road. Boccaccio’s Restaurant provides the perfect setting for a date night or a romantic party. The restaurant, which borders the lake, has been in the neighborhood since 1968. The must-try Mediterranean chicken has unbelievable flavor and comes covered in roasted peppers, onions, capers and olives. Boccaccio's also serve over 75 different types of fine wine. For sushi lovers, Tomodochi on Agoura Road serves authentic sushi and Asian fusion cuisine. Sushi fans and regulars love the signature Tomodochi roll filled with tuna and fresh crab. Zin Bistro Americana also sits on lakefront property and serves all kinds of seafood dishes as well as ribs and filet mignon. The huge bar area and outdoor patio overlook the lake where you can enjoy live music playing on the weekends, making it a great place for a date, event or even a party. When you want a night out, head to The Stonehaus winery in its large stone mansion. With outdoor fire pits, bocce ball, and live music on the weekends, The Stonehaus puts everything in place for you to have a great time. Enjoy a wine and cheese pairing during happy hour. The lively atmosphere at Bogies sparkles with live music every weekend ranging from folk to dance music with live DJs. The dance floor always stays filled, and the bar serves great food when you need a break from dancing and drinking.

History & Culture

Westlake Village was originally occupied by Chumash Indians over 3,000 years ago. The first European colonization of the land occurred in the 1700s, when it was included in Spanish land grants, and it actually became Mexican territory for a short period of time after Mexico won its independence from Spain in 1821. The land then became part of California when the state was incorporated in 1850, and remained mostly a private ranch for cattle until the American-Hawaiian Steamship Company bought the 12,000 acre plot in 1963. Head to the Chumash Indian Museum to see exhibits on the Chumash people to learn about the land’s original inhabitants. The Westlake Civic Center also pays host every October to the City Celebration, which features local music performances, fresh food and even a magic show for the kids.

Transportation

While you can walk through many parts of Westlake Village to run errands or grab a bite to eat, most of the residential areas sit further away from the shops, and you'll probably need to drive. Hop on your bike if you prefer, as almost all the roads in Westlake Village have bicycle lanes. The Ventura Freeway, or state route 101, runs straight through Westlake Village, allowing for direct connections to Ventura to the north and downtown Los Angeles to the south. You can find free parking on most streets, and many businesses provide their own lots, though they do get busy on weekends. Westlake Village provides a free village trolley system that runs from the main restaurant and shopping areas every hour on Fridays and Saturdays. If you need a ride, you'll have to phone for a taxi or an Uber pickup.

Cost

The cost of living in Westlake Village runs around 37 percent higher than that of Los Angeles. Gas prices typically line up with prices in most of metropolitan Los Angeles, usually about 12 percent above the national average. The median rental for a one-bedroom apartment in Westlake Village runs about $2,200 per month, also well above the Los Angeles median. Getting to downtown Los Angeles via public transportation can be complicated, but using two separate bus lines, the trip can be made in about two hours for under $5. When you stop at a pub for a beer, expect to pay between $6 and $8 for a pint on tap.

Shopping

When Westlake Village locals pick their most popular shopping destination, they choose the Oaks Mall, which has over 120 stores including high-end favorites Coach, Banana Republic, Coach and many more. The Westlake area also houses several high-end specialty and boutique style stores including Raffia Boutique and Sugar Store Boutique. The eclectic Raffia Boutique not only sells high-end women’s clothing, but also home decor items, candles, jewelry. Enjoy some fresh coffee and snacks while you shop. Sugar Store Boutique charms as soon as you walk in with the large red French doors and stylish clothing displays. The involved owners at both shops hand-pick all their inventory, keeping all the clothing and jewelry stylish as the seasons change. Locals head to Gelson’s supermarket for fine foods, organic produce and fresh cut meats. Westlake Village also has a Costco in the area. When you want fresh, locally sourced produce, head to the Agoura Hills Farmers Market on Agoura Road. You can also pick up seafood, and fresh prepared foods here.

Parks

Two free parks sit close to Westlake Village: South Shore Hills Park and Bennett Park. South Shore Park, which stretches over 4 acres contains a playground, outdoor basketball courts and a softball diamond, as well as a picnic area with a barbecue grill. Parents love to bring their kids to Bennett Park because of its huge playground area filled with bridges and climbing walls, plus a smaller section scaled down for younger kids. The park also includes a full-sized basketball court and a covered picnic area. Bring your dog as long as you keep him on his leash. Bennett park hosts the annual Saturday in the Park concert series that runs through the summer months with live music, food and family activities.
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