The area of Los Angeles known as the Westside encompasses a diverse range of multicultural, historic and luxury neighborhoods. In this second part of our guide to the Westside, we cover Brentwood to Westwood and Sawtelle Japantown, including hidden gems of culture, history, shopping and nature.
The Mid-City area of LA’s Westside is a treasure trove of art, culture, shopping and dining. The wide range of the area's multicultural residents is exemplary of what Los Angeles is all about - there are pockets and enclaves of each that contribute to the city's beautiful patchwork quilt. And while there's no shortage of museums to see, shops to browse, or restaurants to dine at, you may want to get to know a lesser-known dimension of this side of town. Whether you're a visitor or a resident, there's something new to be learned about this area at the center of Los Angeles.
To the north of the Los Angeles Basin lies the San Fernando Valley, a bastion of suburban living with network and movie studios, parks, art galleries, shopping centers, sushi restaurants, theme parks and much more. Often referred to simply as "The Valley," it's a good idea to go beyond the stereotypes and visit a few lesser-known attractions to get a more intimate picture of the 260 square-mile region. We’ve gathered some great locations that fly under the radar in dining, recreation and culture, so you can get a good feel for what The Valley is really all about.
Originally a Spanish ranch that grew lima beans, Beverly Hills is now one of the most famous neighborhoods in Los Angeles, recognized for Rodeo Drive, its high-value real estate, and multiple references in film and television. Investors came looking for oil but found water instead, making it a prime location to build a town. Beverly Hills was incorporated in 1914, named after Beverly Farms in Massachusetts and the hills in the immediate area. The city’s glamour and appeal to Golden Age Hollywood movie stars were established when Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford bought land to build Pickfair, their legendary 56-acre estate. Explore the hidden gems of Beverly Hills and you’ll soon become an expert on an LA neighborhood that’s known around the world as the epitome of luxury and style.
Downtown Los Angeles has undergone a revitalization the past several years, growing beyond the city's business center to becoming a cluster of various neighborhoods with their own distinct personalities. From the Arts District to the Historic Core, and Chinatown to South Park, every enclave makes Downtown rich with culture and opportunity. Check out a few of the lesser-known attractions, which highlight the best of Downtown's history, its exciting present and bright future.
While West Hollywood flourishes as a tight-knit community and neighborhood, its official status goes beyond that as a city in its own right. Famous for passing legislation such as same-gender domestic partner benefits for city employees, and bans on fur sales and declawing of cats, West Hollywood represents not only much of LA’s entertainment history but also a beacon of social justice.
The legendary Sunset Strip has been undergoing a revival of sorts as the home of go-to music venues, and many of LA’s top destination restaurants lie within West Hollywood’s borders, but there are other spots that fly under the radar. Whether you're a longtime resident, or are visiting this bustling city beneath the hills for the first time, there's always something new to discover in WeHo. Take advantage of its rich, creative history and vibrant culture by going off the beaten path.
Named one of the Top 10 Beach Cities in the World by National Geographic, Santa Monica is one of L.A.’s most popular destinations for domestic and international visitors alike. Beat the crowds and go on a trek less-traveled to some of the hidden gems in sunny Santa Monica. Included are historical structures with incredible backstories, as well as cultural bastions of Santa Monica life today. You'll enjoy getting to know the real city by the beach by visiting these places.
When it comes to Tinseltown, you'll never run out of things to do, including world famous attractions like Universal Studios Hollywood, Hollywood Bowl and Pantages Theatre to name just a few. But there's a whole world of under-the-radar attractions and activities you may be missing. They include music, hikes and other features that Hollywood locals frequent to enjoy their city as one would a neighborhood. Check out the following attractions, shops and weeklies that will have you experiencing an entirely different side of Hollywood.
Pasadena is a historical enclave of culture, education and athletics, a beautiful city filled with the riches of generations past and present. Visitors from near and far make their journey to Pasadena for a glimpse of the sweeping mountain landscapes, priceless art collections, archetypical Craftsman architecture, world-class education, research and athletic facilities.
We've got a list of hidden gems in Pasadena that will help you get a feel for the city while going off the beaten path. Whether you take an eating tour featuring lesser-known places, explore a secluded garden at The Huntington, or attend a show in Old Pasadena, we've got just the things for you to do.