A walkway in Santa Monica, California at sunet. Palm trees line the walk and downtown Los Angeles hangs in the background

The Best Cities Near Los Angeles To Live in 2024

Los Angeles California

by Matt Lyons Posted on February 12, 2024

What is it about living in Los Angeles that draws you in? Is it the accessibility to world-class entertainment? The abundance of diversity and culture that’s on display every day? The ability to enjoy perfect weather and outdoor activities year-round? Whatever it is, it’s no shocker that the City of Angels has a hold on you. It has that same effect on more than 3.8 million people.

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But it also doesn’t come as a surprise that you may be considering your options just outside the city limits. After all, L.A. is huge, and living within the city doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have shorter commute times — or that you’ll be in the most family-friendly neighborhood. And, of course, if you’re looking for more affordability, a larger home, or more of a suburban lifestyle altogether, you’ll likely find that on the outskirts. But what places should you consider? Start with our picks for the best cities near Los Angeles.

Best Cities Near Los Angeles, California – FAQs

Q: Which cities are close to Los Angeles?
Santa Monica, Pasadena, and Glendale are just a few of the cities closest to Los Angeles.

Q: What is the closest city to LAX?
Santa Monica is a mere 20 minutes away from LAX.

Q: What cities are in the L.A. area?
Santa Monica, Torrance, and Pasadena are among the most popular cities near Los Angeles.

Q: How many cities make up Los Angeles County?
88 cities can be found in Los Angeles County. 

10 Best Cities Near Los Angeles

With commute times of no more than one hour and many of the same amenities you’ll find in Los Angeles Proper, these are some of the best cities near Los Angeles worth checking out.

Streets and highrises along the Santa Monica beaches

1. Santa Monica, CA

Just a short drive away, Santa Monica is considered the best suburb to live in the L.A. area, according to Niche. The heart of the city is its downtown area, which is full of nightlife and entertainment. It’s also where you'll find the popular Ocean Avenue and can’t-miss Santa Monica Pier.

Although tech jobs are prevalent throughout the state, Santa Monica is one of those headquarter hotspots. Several companies, including Snapchat, ZipRecruiter, and Hulu all call Santa Monica home. And the town’s strong job market scene equates to a fabulous housing market!

Outdoor enthusiasts can also revel in Santa Monica’s outdoor recreation spots, including Will Rogers Park and Tongva Park with trails, climbing structures, and the most scenic views. And aside from outdoor recreation, you’ll find some of the best places to shop around L.A. in Santa Monica, including the 3rd Street Promenade, which is home to a variety of retailers and farmers markets. 

2. Pasadena, CA

A city that exudes plenty of classic Southern California charm, Pasadena is situated in the beautiful foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. Tourists come from afar to explore the wondrous outdoor beauty in the area at parks like Central Park and Memorial Park. (Fun fact: The city used to be an area of farm and ranch land!) But the best part? You can commute into Los Angeles from Pasadena in under 20 minutes.

Pasadena attracts a younger population, in particular, due to the various educational institutions within the city, such as the California Institute of Technology and Los Angeles College of Music. And when it comes to culture, there are lots of museums and art galleries to explore in the area, such as the Norton Simon Museum, where you can find the most unique styles of European and Asian art. 

3. Burbank, CA

With one of the best public school systems in the entire country, the city of Burbank is an excellent choice for families. It’s also referred to as the “Media Capital of the World”, and some of the biggest companies in the entertainment industry are headquartered there, such as The Walt Disney Studios (since 1940!) and ABC.

Situated right near the Verdugo Mountains, you’ll never get bored of all the outdoor activities surrounding the Burbank area! The mountains are home to magnificent hiking and horseback riding trails, for example, while other places like as Wildwood Canyon Park show off the most picturesque views. 

And calling all foodies! From cafes to vibrant bars, there’s a place on just about every corner that will surely satisfy your palate. Porto’s Bakery, for example, is an ideal place to stop for anyone who loves flavorful treats (you’ll have to try out the famous Cuban sandwich!). And for a fun drive-in experience, be sure to head to Bob’s Big Boy.

Rolling green hills in Irvine, California

4. Irvine, CA

The family-friendly city of Irvine is perfectly located between two of the state’s most notable cities, San Diego and L.A. And although the commute from Irvine to L.A. of around an hour may be a little bit longer than some other cities, the amenities sure make it worthwhile!

When looking for job opportunities in Irvine, you can expect to find work in a variety of different fields. Some of the top sectors in the Irvine area include technology, healthcare, and education. Jobs are available at companies ranging from Blizzard Entertainment to the University of California in Irvine

But what makes Irvine stand out from many of its surrounding neighbors is the strong tight-knit community feel. Celebrations and community events are quite popular within the city throughout the year, and the Irvine Global Village Festival, in particular, celebrates the diverse community in Irvine with live music, cultural exhibits, food, and more!

5. Newport Beach, CA

Looking for the best beach town to live near Los Angeles? Newport Beach might just take the cake! As one of the wealthiest cities in Orange County, Newport Beach offers just about every amenity that a beachfront city should. Great weather year-round, easy commute times into other major cities, entertainment, and lots of fun events. 

And while you can visit Newport Beach at any time during the year and still get the ideal experience, the summertime is when most of the exciting events take place. Catch some lovely live music at the Newport Beach Jazz Festival and Sunset Jazz Series. And did we mention Fashion Island is the go-to place for high-end dining and shopping?

6. Arcadia, CA

Although it’s one of the smallest and cheapest cities near Los Angeles, Arcadia still offers lots of amenities that you would expect in a big city. Museums, art venues, parks, and fabulous restaurants are all among the city’s best highlights. Aside from the Gilb Museum of Arcadia Heritage and the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens, for example, you can check out vibrant concert halls like the Arcadia Performing Arts Center. Arcadia Park is also perfect for a breath of fresh air, and Cabrera’s Restaurant never disappoints when it comes to grub! Fun fact: Arcadia was the home of Seabiscuit, a famous racehorse during the Great Depression area.

Mediterranean-style homes lining a residential road in Torranca, California

7. Torrance, CA

One of the most prized coastal gems in Los Angeles County, the city of Torrance is the ideal location for those seeking more of a laid-back atmosphere situated close to the beach. While you may not hear of Torrance Beach as often as Santa Monica or Venice Beach, this area is truly a hidden gem. Not only is it one of the most affordable areas near Los Angeles, but it’s also perfect for families and retirees. And did we mention it has a mile and a half of gorgeous coastline and a long bike path for residents to take advantage of? The Madrona Marsh is another underrated hotspot where you can be surrounded by a beautiful urban oasis and lots of wildlife. 

Shopaholics, you’re definitely going to want to hear all about this next place! The Del Amo Fashion Center, located in Torrance, is the sixth largest shopping mall in America (2.6 million square feet)! Shop, dine at restaurants, check out the cinema, or simply enjoy the relaxing outdoor space.

8. Fountain Valley, CA

Just a quick drive away from the beautiful Huntington Beach, the town of Fountain Valley is a great community for those who prefer less-populated areas. Fountain Valley is an area filled with rich agricultural history, and there are many options when it comes to exploring both art and culture. 

Whether you prefer relaxing strolls or longer walks to get more exercise, the area has plenty of parks to help you get in a workout. Some of the best parks in the area include Mile Square Regional Park and Ellis Park

And for all the foodies out there, there are many fabulous eateries to choose from, including Mai Thai Restaurant, Brodard Restaurant, and the Islands Restaurant of Fountain Valley

9. Thousand Oaks, CA

Thousand Oaks is one of the best places to live near Los Angeles with a variety of family-friendly attractions. At places like the Gardens of the World, for example, visitors can explore a variety of gardens that were designed to replicate the environment in several countries, such as Japan, Italy, France, and England. And for more beautiful outdoor views, the local Paradise Falls is home to a 40-foot waterfall and amazing hiking trails. 

Thousand Oaks also has a thriving local economy, with companies like SAGE Publications, Baxter Healthcare, and Management Resource Solutions. The biopharmaceutical giant Amgen also has its headquarters in the city. 

And with an average home value lower than the other communities on this list, Thousand Oaks is not only one of the best cities to live but also one of the most affordable cities near Los Angeles!

10. Glendale, CA

Approximately 20 minutes away from the Los Angeles area, the city of Glendale is situated southeast of the Verdugo Mountains and southwest of the Angeles National Forest. Home to a rich history that started in the early 1900s, there’s no shortage of museums in the area. Glendale is even home to the Museum of Neon Art and the Autry Museum of the American West — unique places to catch the very best in modern and indigenous art! Golfing is also a popular pastime among local residents, and you can check out some lovely amenities and scenic views at spots like Scholl Canyon Golf Course and the Chevy Chase Country Club

A man loads a PODS container sitting in his driveway

PODS Can Help With Your Move to the L.A. Area

When relocating to one of the best places to live near Los Angeles, consider using the services of PODS to help you get to your final destination. PODS will deliver a portable moving container right to your driveway, where you can pack and load your belongings on your own schedule. And when you’re ready, PODS will pick it up and deliver it to your new residence. It doesn’t get much easier than that!

Editor’s note: For ease of reading, monthly rental prices were rounded to the nearest $25 and home values were rounded to the nearest $100.

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