The hazy Los Angeles skyline at sunset

L.A. Moving Guide: The Ultimate Guide to Los Angeles Neighborhoods

Los Angeles California

by Heather Magness Posted on February 29, 2024

Whether you’ve locked down a new job in La La Land or you’re just ready for a more relaxed lifestyle, you’ll find a neighborhood in Los Angeles suited to your tastes. As one of the nation’s largest and most diverse metropolitan areas, Los Angeles is so much more than the Hollywood and Beverly Hills you see on TV. It’s full of culture, great dining, unique Los Angeles neighborhoods, outdoor recreation, and hidden gems around every corner. 

Planning a move to Los Angeles? Start by getting a quote from PODS.

Moving to Los Angeles?

If you’ve started your research, you’ve probably discovered that Los Angeles is like a small country — figuring out where in this huge city to start apartment or house hunting can be daunting. Los Angeles County includes 88 cities and over 400 neighborhoods! But if you’re wondering where to live in L.A., you’ve come to the right place. In this L.A. neighborhood guide, we’ll take a close look at some of the best Los Angeles neighborhoods and cities, so you can find your perfect place to put down roots as a new Angeleno.

Best Los Angeles Neighborhoods

First things first, it’s important to keep in mind that the best neighborhoods in Los Angeles are honestly determined by your own tastes! Everyone wants something different out of their community, so as you start your search, consider why you’re moving to Los Angeles. Are you hoping to live by the beach, or do you want a short commute to work? Are you hoping to bump into celebrities in your day-to-day, or would you prefer easy access to hiking trails? Do you want a big-city feel, or would you be happier with tree-lined streets and the convenience of nearby strip malls? (You’d be surprised by the creative cuisine and character you can find in L.A. strip mall restaurants, by the way.)

If you’re moving to Los Angeles from out of town and haven’t had the chance to explore the city in person, it’ll help to first get familiar with the different Los Angeles neighborhoods. So what are the neighborhoods of L.A.? Well, there are a lot of them — over 400, if we’re looking at all of L.A. County. For the sake of this article, we’re just going to cover our favorite best neighborhoods in L.A. If you want to get a feel for where everything is, start with this comprehensive Los Angeles neighborhood map, prepared by Eric Brightwell of Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography, featuring all 472 neighborhoods. Or for a more general Los Angeles neighborhood guide, check out this map organized by region, from the Los Angeles Times.

Now, let’s dive into the best neighborhoods in Los Angeles. We’re going to look at the average rent (for a one-bedroom), typical home value, transportation, and more, so you can find the perfect place for you in the City of Angels.

Hip L.A. Neighborhoods

Aerial view of Los Feliz, Los Angeles. Homes are built into the hills, and Griffith Park and the Hollywood sign can be seen in the distance.

It’s worth exploring Los Feliz on foot: Take in the beautiful homes, shady streets, the old Hollywood-glamor Los Feliz Theater, and more.

1. Los Feliz

As neighborhoods go, Los Feliz is pretty hard to beat. Nestled just south of Griffith Park (arguably one of the city’s greatest treasures), it manages to hit the balance of being cool and interesting without trying too hard or being over the top. In Los Feliz, you’ll find all kinds of eclectic shops and cafes, diners and more, mainly on Hillhurst and Vermont Avenues. Home to Thai Town and a whole mess of delicious hidden gems, Los Feliz is a diner’s paradise. It’s worth exploring Los Feliz on foot: take in the old homes, shady streets, the old Hollywood-glamor Los Feliz Cinema, and more.

Nearby neighborhoods to consider: Atwater Village, Silver Lake

2. West Hollywood

  • Average rent (one-bedroom): $3,225
  • Average home value: $1.05M
  • Great for: Outdoor activities, nightlife, diversity, weather, commuting
  • Transportation: The 2 runs through WeHo, and the 101 is nearby in central Hollywood.
  • Looking for a quiet, suburban existence? West Hollywood (WeHo) is not for you. Trendy and bustling, L.A.’s LGBTQ+ capital boasts some of the liveliest nightlife the city has to offer. Home to L.A.’s famous Sunset Strip and the fabled Chateau Marmont, the entire city (yes, West Hollywood is technically a city all its own) only covers about two square miles and is worth exploring on foot. Neighboring Central Hollywood, you’re just a short distance from some of the city’s most recognizable landmarks: Grauman’s Chinese Theater (now called TCL Chinese Theatre), the Capitol Records building, etc. Touristy? Absolutely. But still worth seeing.
    Nearby neighborhoods to consider: Hollywood, Mid-City

    3. Silver Lake

    Silver Lake earns its reputation as a haven for hipsters. But is that so bad? It depends on your point of view. Trendsetting and yet somehow fairly calm, Silver Lake is home to boho-chic bars, artisanal coffee shops, and delicious eateries. The neighborhood is centered around Silver Lake itself — which is, in fact, a reservoir built in the early 1900s. The partially paved 2.2-mile trail around the lake is a popular spot for locals to walk, jog, hike, or run.

    Nearby neighborhoods to consider: East Hollywood, Echo Park

    Aerial view of Echo Park with Dodger Stadium in the foreground and the Downtown L.A. skyline in the distance.

    Echo Park is home to Dodger Stadium and the expansive Elysian Park area (technically its own very small neighborhood).

    4. Echo Park

    Head southeast from Silver Lake, cross under the 2, and you’ll find yourself in Echo Park. Mid-century apartments, Spanish-style homes, and craftsman houses line the streets of this trendy neighborhood. Here you’ll find Dodger Stadium and the expansive Elysian Park area (technically its own very small neighborhood). And living up to its name, Echo Park has a lovely green space surrounding a lake (Elysian Reservoir), with biking and walking paths — all part of a recent renovation. With such close proximity to essential L.A. hangouts, from Chinatown to DTLA, this is an ideal place to set up your home base. Echo Park has a bit of a scruffy feel in places and is still somewhat affordable, which makes us love it even more.

    Nearby neighborhoods to consider: Silver Lake, Los Feliz

    Beachy L.A. Living

    View of the colorful roller coaster and ferris wheel on Santa Monica Pier on a sunny day in Santa Monica, California.

    From great shopping and dining to the iconic Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica is a picturesque city to call home. 

    5. Santa Monica, CA

    Moving to Los Angeles so you can hit the beach after you get off work? You need to head west to either Santa Monica (a city just west of DTLA) or Venice. With great shopping, the iconic Santa Monica Pier, restaurants galore, and lovely (expensive) neighborhoods, Santa Monica is a picturesque city to call home. And with proximity to the Pacific, you can count on cooler temperatures and clearer air. To top it off, the school district in Santa Monica is one of L.A. County’s best.

    Nearby areas to consider: Pacific Palisades, Venice, Brentwood

    6. Venice

    Venice is like the younger, bohemian sibling of Santa Monica who studied abroad and came back really “into” art and pour-over coffee. A little much sometimes? Sure, but dang — they’re having fun with it! Move here and your friends will definitely want to visit. With colorful murals and staircases around every corner, Venice is a walkable blast with so much to discover. Great shopping, great food, beachfront… need we say more?

    Nearby areas to consider: Mar Vista, Marina Del Rey, Santa Monica

    Relaxed Suburban Areas in L.A.

    A couple is walking side by side while pushing their bicycles down a sidewalk in Pasadena, California, on a sunny day.

    Not only does Pasadena rank as one of the top 10 healthiest cities in America, but it’s also one of the most diverse and one of the best for young professionals.

    7. Pasadena, CA

    Technically its own city, Pasadena sits northeast of Los Angeles and is a popular L.A. suburb. This area is charming, low-key, and family-oriented, making it a great place to settle if you prefer a relaxed vibe to the hum of the big city. Not only does Pasadena rank as one of the top 10 healthiest cities in America, but it’s also one of the most diverse and one of the best for young professionals, according to Niche. With great shopping and eating options — and only 20 minutes from DTLA — this urban-suburban locale is an awesome place to live.

    Nearby areas to consider: Northeast L.A., Glendale

    8. The Valley

    • Average rent (one-bedroom): From $1,625 in San Fernando to $2,925 in Calabasas, rental costs vary.
    • Average home value: From $701,900 in San Fernando to $1.68M in Calabasas, home values vary.
    • Great for: Outdoor activities, weather, public schools, families, diversity
    • Transportation: The Valley is serviced by the 5, the 405, the 101, and the 210. Be aware that being somewhat removed from the city can mean very long commutes — especially if you work downtown and have to travel during rush hour.

    Encompassing a number of neighborhoods and incorporated cities (including Glendale, Burbank, Hidden Hills, and Calabasas), the San Fernando Valley is still in L.A. but feels a little removed from the big city with more of a relaxed feel. Beware — without those coastal breezes, temperatures can elevate more than 10 degrees compared to other western parts of Los Angeles. And while strip malls are prevalent throughout L.A., they’re truly everywhere in the Valley… and hiding some of the best restaurants (sushi, especially) in the city.

    Neighborhoods and cities in The Valley: Sherman Oaks, Burbank, Calabasas, Studio City, and more.

    Aerial view of the UCLA University Campus in Westwood with the rest of L.A. sprawling out in the background.

    Home to the University of California Los Angeles campus, Westwood is one of the more affluent L.A. neighborhoods. 

    9. Westwood and Brentwood

    Divided by the 405, Westwood and Brentwood (north of Santa Monica) are two of the richest neighborhoods in Los Angeles, boasting great shopping, beautiful residential areas, and lovely cultural centers like The Getty. Westwood is also home to UCLA, so don’t be surprised if your coffee-shop neighbors are students and professors.

    Nearby areas to consider: Bel Air, Pacific Palisades, Beverly Hills

    Q: What is the nicest neighborhood in Los Angeles?
    Westwood is rated #1 among the best Los Angeles neighborhoods, according to Niche, and it’s not hard to see why it’s one of the best neighborhoods in L.A. Home to UCLA, the Getty art museum, and shopping and residential areas aplenty, it has it all — including steep rent to match.

    Urban L.A.

    Angelenos cycle through sunny Downtown Los Angeles between tall city buildings.

    DTLA features a flourishing arts community, from the Walt Disney Concert Hall to the Fashion District.

    10. DTLA/Downtown

    Downtown L.A. has undergone a significant renaissance in the last decade or so. Formerly an area with stagnation, Downtown is now a place where Things. Are. Happening. With a flourishing arts and design community and people everywhere you look, Downtown now features incredible restaurants and cultural landmarks such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Here you’ll also find Little Tokyo, Angels Flight Railway, and the Fashion District. If you’re moving from SF or NYC and want to maintain the feeling of living in a bustling downtown, DTLA might be the perfect place for you.

    Nearby neighborhoods to consider: Echo Park, Historic Cultural District

    Q: What is the safest area in L.A.?
    According to Neighborhood Scout, Encino is one of the safest neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Other neighborhoods on their list include Bell Canyon, Deer Lake Highlands, and Fern Ann Falls — all located northwest of Downtown L.A.

    Lavish L.A. Living

    11. Beverly Hills, CA

    When you think of movie stars and famous people living it up in Los Angeles, you probably think of Beverly Hills (even though, technically, it's a city of its own, surrounded by Los Angeles). Wealthy, extravagant, and (somehow) clean, Beverly Hills features the legendary Rodeo Drive, stuffed with designer boutiques, and somewhere you might spot a celebrity having lunch. Beautiful, wide, palm-lined streets are made for cruising in a new convertible, scarf tied in your hair. If you’ve got the cash, why not? With fantastic schools and a peaceful vibe, it’s not hard to see what the other half sees in Beverly Hills.

    Nearby areas to consider: Bel Air, Westwood, WeHo (West Hollywood)

    Q: What is the best city to live in Los Angeles?
    It may not come as a surprise to you, but Beverly Hills is one of the nicest cities to live near Los Angeles — and since it sits in Los Angeles County, it feels like one of the Los Angeles neighborhoods. From the palm-lined neighborhood streets to the opulent mansions and the uncannily clean parks and roadways, this is definitely one of the nicest places to live in L.A..

    View of the Pacific Coast Highway and the hills in Malibu seen at night. The road is lit up with streams of headlights, and the glow of a city can be seen in the distance.

    Under 30 miles from Los Angeles, Malibu is the place to be if you’re looking to land your dream beachfront home.

    12. Malibu, CA

    Technically, Malibu isn’t in L.A. … but it might as well be. Long a destination for a beautiful beach-day escape or — for the more wealthy or famous among us — the ideal place for a beachfront dream home away from prying eyes, Malibu really is heavenly. With gorgeous beaches, tons of great hiking trails, and fabulous restaurants, Malibu is worth the 40-minute drive to spend a day, or the investment to buy property.

    Nearby areas to consider: Santa Monica, Hidden Valley

    Q: Where do most celebs live in L.A.?
    Wondering where to spot celebs in La La Land? Though you may not be able to see beyond tall fences and gated communities, local knowledge has it that many celebrities live in well-to-do Los Angeles neighborhoods and surrounding areas such as Malibu, Los Feliz, Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Hollywood Hills, and Calabasas.

    What Is the Most Affordable Area in Los Angeles?

    If you’re moving to L.A. and your budget is your only concern, then Vermont Vista and Vermont Knolls are two of the most affordable neighborhoods in L.A. Roughly 20 minutes south of Downtown, both neighborhoods boast a surprisingly low average rent (just $1,550 a month). However, if you’re looking for an affordable rental and an awesome neighborhood, we recommend checking out Northeast L.A., sometimes called NELA. With generally lower rents than many other areas of the city, there’s still so much in NELA to love — all while not being too far from the action. Here are a few of our favorite neighborhoods in Northeast L.A.

    Highland Park

    One of the oldest neighborhoods in L.A., Highland Park offers up a rich mix of old and new and has an average rent of $2,100 for a one-bedroom apartment.

    Eagle Rock

    Between Glendale and Pasadena and home to Occidental College, the laid-back neighborhood of Eagle Rock will quickly feel like home. The average rent here is $2,175.

    Glassell Park

    Nestled beside Mount Washington and the Los Angeles River, Glassell Park has an average rent of $2,050. Unpretentious but lovely, you’ll also find the Rio de Los Angeles State Park here.

    Transportation in Northeast L.A.: The neighborhoods are small, so getting from one to the next is just a quick drive. You’re also between a few major freeways, so the rest of the city is still within reach.

    Looking for more tips for moving to L.A.? Check out our article on how to find an apartment in Los Angeles.

    A man is smiling while he sits on his porch and talks on his cell phone. Behind him, in the driveway, is a PODS portable moving and storage container, which he is using to move to one of the best Los Angeles neighborhoods.

    When you’ve picked your personal favorite of the Los Angeles neighborhoods, call on PODS to make the move an easy one.

    Making the Move to Your New Los Angeles Neighborhood

    Once you’ve figured out where to live in Los Angeles, it’s time to make the move. PODS can help you get to your new L.A. neighborhood with flexible moving and storage options for local and long-distance moves. PODS even has moving services specifically designed for big-city moves, so you don’t have to stress about navigating busy L.A. streets with a rental truck. 

    Heather Magness is a member of the PODS Blog creative team. When she’s not formatting images and blog layouts, you can find her writing a song, watching a movie, or enjoying the great outdoors.

    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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