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Safe and walkable neighborhood in Los Angeles?

I'm thinking about moving to Los Angeles in a few months, but I know next to nothing about the city. What's a safe and walkable neighborhood to move to for a newcomer like me?

15 Answers

top answer by
Jillian from Los Angeles

I moved to LA knowing very little, and quickly realized you first need to ask yourself: West or East side? 

You can find walkable, safe neighborhoods all across the city, so it will likely come down to the location of your work, and the type of lifestyle you prefer (laid back, in the scene, family life, etc.).

I live on the west side myself, so I'll speak to this area. My top recommendation for a walkable, trendy area is  Venice Beach right off of  Abbot Kinney.

In my opinion, it's not as crowded or sterile as  Santa Monica, and has more charm and character to it. With this being said, I would recommend looking for housing close to Abbot Kinney or on or north of Rose Ave, as there can be some interesting pockets in Venice. Honestly, I feel really safe as a female living alone, and love walking out my door and being two blocks from the beach, while also enjoying the boutiques and trendy restaurants just as close. I also like that it's not too south, so I can get to other areas 'in the scene' faster.

Although a different feel, I'd also highly recommend  Manhattan Beach for a clean, safe beach town with plenty of charm and tasty eats. I almost feel as though I'm in a dream world when I'm walking the strand--it's really that beautiful. One of my favorite parts is all of the little walk streets close to the beach, and walking out to the Manhattan Beach Pier to take in the views. 

Hope this helps, and let me know if I can help further in any way. :)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Venice Beach (city)
  2. Santa Monica (city)
  3. Rose Ave (attraction)
  4. Manhattan Beach (city)
  5. Manhattan Beach Pier (attraction)
  6. Abbot Kinney (attraction)
12 thanks

answered first by
Susan from Manhattan Beach

I'm biased because I live in Manhattan Beach, but I believe the South Bay is the safest, most walkable place to live in LA. The "walkable" South Bay is Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Manhattan Beach and they are on the southern side of Los Angeles County. If you live in one of these beach cities, it does make your commute harder (if you work in any other part of the city) but it's worth it if you like to live near the beach, have a community feeling, have a walkable lifestyle, and reap all the benefits of living in LA, without actually dealing with all the LA BS.;)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Manhattan Beach (city)
  2. Redondo Beach (city)
  3. Hermosa Beach (city)
9 thanks

answered by

Los Angeles is enormous and where you live will be influenced greatly by where you work and your tolerance for commuting. Depending on traffic flows it's not hard to spend over an hour commuting 15 miles.

Most areas on the west side ( West Hollywood, Culver City, Beverly Hills) and to the north ( Silver Lake, Los Feliz) have very walkable areas are all relatively safe. Downtown LA still has a sketchy history but in reality is very safe these days. It's one of the places in the city where there are legitimate lofts. Near the beach there are lots of very nice communities in Santa Monica, Venice Beach, and Manhattan Beach.

The grimier parts of the city you'll probably want to avoid are East LA and South Central (everything between the 110 and 710 highways south of the 10) and basically anything you've heard from rap lyrics.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Los Angeles (city)
  2. West Hollywood (city)
  3. Culver City (city)
  4. Beverly Hills (neighborhood)
  5. Silver Lake (neighborhood)
  6. Los Feliz (neighborhood)
  7. Santa Monica (city)
  8. Venice Beach (city)
  9. Manhattan Beach (city)
6 thanks

answered by
Courtney from Los Angeles

I second Susan's advice--those are really lovely areas. I would also suggest Los Feliz. There are lots of fun places to eat, bars, and some great little stores. It's become a lot more expensive but you can still find a reasonable apartment there.

I'd also suggest Larchmont Village which isn't cheap, but very centrally located which is nice. Again, lots of cute stores and restaurants and some really good people watching. Neither of my suggestions are close to the beach, though, so don't expect any great natural scenery. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Los Feliz (neighborhood)
  2. Larchmont Village (neighborhood)
5 thanks

answered by

Culver City is a nice area. Lots of nice restaurants, movie studios, etc. Decent deals on apartments as well. Plus you're located between downtown and the beach. My friends live there and they really love it. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Culver City (city)
4 thanks

answered by
Allie from Los Angeles

Hey Sherilynn! Santa Monica area near Montana Ave is a great, walkable neighborhood. There are tons of great restaurants like Father's Office and cute shops ala Michael Stars. Another great area is Abbot Kinney in Venice, that has renowned restaurants such as GjelinaTasting Kitchen, and Intelligentsia Coffee. It's also conveniently located blocked from the beach for a great "strand stroll" along famous Venice Beach Boardwalk!  

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Father's Office (restaurant)
  2. Michael Stars (attraction)
  3. Abbot Kinney (attraction)
  4. Gjelina (restaurant)
  5. Tasting Kitchen (restaurant)
  6. Intelligentsia Coffee (restaurant)
  7. Venice Beach Boardwalk (attraction)
4 thanks

answered by
Nina from Marina Del Rey

You can find walkable 'areas' throughout Los Angeles, and many are safe. A few of my reccomendations:Culver City (affordable) followed by Westwood Village and Brentwood

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Los Angeles (city)
  2. Culver City (city)
  3. Westwood Village (neighborhood)
  4. Brentwood (attraction)
4 thanks

answered by
Supun from Carson (California)

One cool spot to go for a walk in Los Angeles that I recently found was to park my car near the Silver Lake Dog Park on the corner of Duane and Silver Lake and take a walk in the little meadow there and then head south on Silver Lake Blvd to Sunset. The area by the dog park is residential. You'll find cafes and food as you get down to Sunset.

Also, another nice spot is above Dodger Stadium. The best place to park your car is on Park Drive between Academy Rd and Avon Park Terrace. You can go into the neighborhoods or follow the Elysian Park Trails. Sometimes you'll see a coyote or two, but don't be afraid as long as your in an area with other people. 

If you want to be closer to the beach, a nice hilly area with a nice view is Palos Verdes. You can park your car near Malaga Cove and walk past the school on Via Almar and go towards the ocean view.

If you're going to be North of LA, a neighborhood that I run in is by Brand Park in Glendale. You can park in between the Library/Art Center and Tea House. There's an old house that's been turned into a musuem at the park. You can walk into the neighborhood and walk south east on Mountain Street. There's some nice houses that you might recognize from some movies.

One last suggestion on a Sunday morning is to go to the neighborhoods by Bluff Park in Long Beach. There's a schedule for free yoga and you'll see people flying kites. Sometimes the studio that does the yoga will give a free lunch!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Silver Lake Dog Park (attraction)
  2. Dodger Stadium (attraction)
  3. Malaga Cove (attraction)
  4. Brand Park (attraction)
  5. Bluff Park (attraction)
3 thanks

answered by

La Mirada is a great city to live in, not to mention a great place to walk in :)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. La Mirada (city)
3 thanks

answered by
Rick from Buffalo, New York

Try Larchmont Village on the Eastern end of Melrose. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Larchmont Village (neighborhood)
2 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Blair from Los Angeles

Check out places around Montana Avenue
in Santa Monica.  It's very safe and has a lot of cool local shops and places to eat.  And if you're willing to mix in a bike ride, you'd be close to Brentwood Village, Downtown Santa Monica, San Vicente, and the beach.  

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Brentwood (attraction)
  2. Santa Monica (city)
  3. San Vicente (attraction)
  4. Montana Avenue (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
David from La Canada

You have many choices.  The best places for you depend so many things, such as: your preferences for commute (to what destination, car vs public transport, etc); proximity of different types of things (e.g. beach, mountains, cultural locations, parks, shopping), weather (there are HUGE differences here - like SF vs Daly City vs Walnut Creek); tolerance for crowds; budget,  etc.  I suggest that you tell us a bit more about what you want so you can get better, less scattershot responses.

1 thanks

answered by
Manuri from Los Angeles

If you want to live near the beach, popular ones are Hermosa BeachManhattan Beach, Laguna Beach, Santa Monica State Beach

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Hermosa Beach (city)
  2. Manhattan Beach (city)
  3. Laguna Beach (city)
  4. Santa Monica State Beach (park)

answered by
Jeff from Los Angeles

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Beverly Hills (neighborhood)
  2. Westwood Village (neighborhood)
  3. Santa Monica (city)
  4. Pasadena (city)
  5. Culver City (city)
  6. Studio City (city)

answered by
A from California

You have lots of options depending on price and other interests but to name a few from west to east: Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Brentwood, Westwood Village, Culver City, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Silver Lake.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Santa Monica (city)
  2. Venice Beach (city)
  3. Brentwood (attraction)
  4. Westwood Village (neighborhood)
  5. Culver City (city)
  6. Beverly Hills (neighborhood)
  7. West Hollywood (city)
  8. Silver Lake (neighborhood)

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