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Situated 27 miles northwest of Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley, Sylmar is a charming, diverse, suburban neighborhood with breathtaking views of the Tujunga Canyons. Known for its public parks and olive groves, Sylmar draws in nature lovers with its trails and open spaces that create ample opportunities for hiking, hang-gliding and horseback riding. Temperatures remain dry and warm like the rest of the valley, but the breeze from the hill wipes away the smog, resulting in some of the cleanest air in the region.
Families move here to enjoy peaceful suburban living, and a thriving student population attending Los Angeles Mission College adds some zest to the neighborhood. Residents also enjoy affordable housing and easy access to public transportation and major freeways.
As of October 2017, the average apartment rent in Sylmar, CA is $978 for a studio, $1,372 for one bedroom, $1,603 for two bedrooms, and $2,026 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Sylmar has increased by 6.7% in the past year.
As you walk down the sidewalk the savory aroma of tacos and tostados greet you from the neighborhood's rich collection of Mexican restaurants. A few cafes and bistros give some extra color to the dining scene, creating an eclectic selection for your Saturday lunch. Take a drive down Foothill Boulevard or San Fernando Road to explore Sylmar's unique restaurant spread. Tucked away in the back of a shopping center, you might miss Sylmar's Fix if you're not looking carefully. Stop here when you're craving a fresh panini, and be sure to try the specialty flavors like chicken pesto and tuna melt. Satisfy your sweet tooth with an apple delight smoothie to solidify this grill's place as your new favorite sandwich shop. Sylmar's Fix has plenty of parking and seating, but be prepared for a longer wait during the lunch hour when the cooks get swamped with call orders. For authentic Mexican cuisine, Los Equipales serves up some of the best dishes in the Valley. If you're feeling adventurous, try the goat meat entrees like the birria tacos and birria en caldo. Hand-made tortillas and chips complete the experience for a home-cooked flavor infused with fresh spices. Stop by Buffalo Bruce's Mercantile, a little cafe that's never hard to find thanks to its funky decor. Enjoy a fusion of American BBQ and Mexican cuisine with favorite menu options like BBQ chicken and homemade quesadillas. As you appreciate the interior's vintage decor, be sure to get a cup of the OMG Maria coffee which easily trumps Starbucks according to locals. You find few nightlife options in this neighborhood with most locals gathering at neighbors' homes, but you always have a lively crowd at Hideaway Bar & Grill, a hidden treasure resting off the beaten track. This Western-themed local hangout serves up cheap drinks on the outdoor patio and hosts live music and karaoke nights.
Sylmar was long a site for olive groves since the Spaniards began cultivating them there in the early 1800s. After San Fernando became a city in 1874, the unincorporated area was named Sylmar, a name meant to represent the Spanish term for "sea of trees." Sylmar became well-known for its olive production until housing development were built over many of the groves in the 1950s and 1960s.
Sylmar's rich history stands strong in historical sites like the Pioneer Memorial Cemetery, but you can also stroll through the past at the Nethercutt Collection and Museum with its antique cars.
However, nothing embodies the community's spirit and heritage like the Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore. Grab some cheap coffee and a new book, get involved in the arts programs or listen to local artists. Don't miss annual events like the Sylmar Olive Festival with its Olive Queen pageant and parade.
Despite its remote location, Sylmar remains well-connected to the rest of Los Angeles via freeways and public transportation for an easy commute. The 5 and 210 freeways skirt the neighborhood, and commuters have access to the 405 and Ronald Reagon Freeway. If you're driving into downtown L.A., expect a drive of about an hour. Enjoy plenty of free street parking and spacious lots when you go out for a cup of coffee. If you need a quick ride into downtown, call up Uber or the local Alcala's Taxi Service.
The Metrolink train services the neighborhood at the Sylmar/ San Fernando Station for a quick ride into the central city area, but you also have a host of Metro buses making stops on the major streets. If you prefer to bike, take advantage of the bike lane on Polk Street and a bike trail along San Fernando Road. However, Sylmar's scattered layout makes running errands on foot a bit of a challenge.
Sylmar residents enjoy a treasure trove of affordable housing and an overall cost of living that falls well below average for the L.A. metro area. If you're looking to rent, find a one-bedroom apartment for an average of $1,013.
When you go out for a pint at Hideaway, expect to pay around $5 to $6. Gas prices generally hover 12 percent above the national average, and reaching central L.A. via Metro bus costs you around $1.75 for a one-way trip with free transfers.
Sylmar residents head to nearby San Fernando or Northridge for high-end fashion and big shopping centers, but you find a pleasant array of amenities and shops without leaving the neighborhood. Sylmar is a bargain-hunter's haven with a host of trendy thrift shops and discount stores while unexpected specialty shops like bonsai nurseries add some unique flavor. Take a stroll through the Sylmar Towne Shopping Center and other strip malls, or just take a drive down Foothill and San Fernando to experience Sylmar's humble retail scene. For gently used clothing from top brands, stop into Dress On a Dime to browse tables and round racks stuffed with thousands of items. Find an Anthropoligie shirt or a Talbots handbag for a fraction of its value, and dig through accessories and shoes up to 90 percent off the original price. Stop by on Sunday for an extra 50 percent off, but bring cash for purchases totalling under $20. Head over to Fuji Bonsai Nursery to buy a pine, maple or olive bonsai tree from a true bonsai master who is happy to help you choose the perfect bonsai and give you expert tips. Explore a beautiful collection of these stunted trees with some nearly a century old. Fuji also holds bonsai classes for beginners every Saturday. Grab your weekly groceries at trusted stores like Fresh & Easy. If you're craving local goods, be sure to stop by the Sylmar Farmers Market held at the college.
Sylmar's mountainside location makes for a host of outdoor recreation opportunities, and the neighborhood's public parks create the perfect environment for kicking back on a sunny day. Head to Stetson Ranch Park to walk your pooch through the grassy meadow, or take horse to Saddletree Ranch Trailhead for an exciting trek.
Another local favorite, Veterans Memorial Park has a series of hilltop trails that offer a beautiful sunset view. Also stop by for your morning jog on the paved trail, or let your kids enjoy the playgrounds and disc golf course.
Be sure to visit the Wildlife Learning Center to see dozens of wild animals on exhibit for just a few bucks. Say "hello" to Zeus, the blind, starry-eyed screech owl before exploring this L.A. favorite that has hosted celebrities like Zac Effron and Betty White.
Apartments for Rent Under $1,000 in Sylmar, CA
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