Los Angeles Neighborhoods to Stay for Your Beautiful Trip

Los Angeles Neighborhoods. From Hollywood to Venice and from the city center to the beach, this guide has them all.

With a size of 4,751 square miles (12,310 sq km), Los Angeles is home to some of the most interesting areas.

And within some of these areas lie great neighborhoods that are perfect for all types of travelers.

As a result, in this guide, I’m focusing on the perfect neighborhoods for tourism, families, couples, and solo travelers.

So, if you’re planning a trip to L.A., come along for a trip through popular neighborhoods.

L.A. City versus County

L.A. City versus County

Did you know that California is home to some of the largest counties in the world? In fact, the largest, San Bernardino, is next door to Los Angeles!

Los Angeles is truly a sprawling metropolis, including diverse neighborhoods that each come with their own distinct character.

L.A. neighborhoods like Hollywood and Venice can give you opposite vibes, with Hollywood being super glamorous while Venice is bohemian.

Meanwhile, L.A. County includes regions like Long Beach, with its waterfront charm, and Pasadena, with its historic architecture.

Plus, popular areas of L.A., including Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, are actually different cities scattered around the city of Los Angeles.

In other words, the city of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County may be “different” legally, but they are blended across the area.

Variations in demographics, culture, and lifestyle distinguish each area. Malibu, for instance, is home to the super-rich, while Compton is the poorest city in the county.

So, in this guide, I’m going to be zigzagging across Los Angeles County just to give you a heads-up.

Tourist Neighborhoods in L.A.

Los Angeles is naturally made for tourism with all of its beaches, and tourists often gravitate towards famous neighborhoods in Los Angeles.

Hollywood, for example, is synonymous with the entertainment industry. As a result, this neighborhood attracts visitors to the Walk of Fame and the Hollywood Sign.

You will notice that Hollywood is pretty competitive, and even its hostels are expensive.

On the other hand, nothing beats walking down the street to famous entertainers memorialized on the ground you walk on.

Of course, Santa Monica, with its beachfront allure, is home to the famous Santa Monica Pier and Third Street Promenade.

You could have a late breakfast, go for a quick mid-morning shopping, and head to the beach to cool down.

In Downtown LA, attractions like the Walt Disney Concert Hall and The Broad Museum draw attention.

Plus, this is a perfect city life during weekdays when the area is buzzing with 20+ million people who visit for fun and business.

For those of you who have some money to drop, Beverly Hills is popular for luxury. This neighborhood appeals to those seeking upscale shopping on Rodeo Drive.

Honestly, it also has world-class eateries where you may rub elbows with Hollywood stars of the past and present.

Of course, there is a bohemian side to L.A., too. Venice Beach is famous for its eclectic boardwalk.

This neighborhood gives you a colorful, fun atmosphere. It has interesting vendors, a young crowd, and an alternative vibe altogether.

So, yeah, these tourist-centric Los Angeles neighborhoods capture that L.A. mix of entertainment, culture, and scenic vibes.

L.A. Family-Friendly Neighborhoods

L.A. Family-Friendly Neighborhoods

For a serene or family-friendly time in Los Angeles, especially if you’re traveling with kids, consider Studio City.

This area is nestled in the San Fernando Valley and has a suburban atmosphere, including family-oriented amenities.

For instance, it’s super close to the famous Universal Studios Hollywood theme park, which kids absolutely love.

And Sherman Oaks, neighboring Studio City, is another peaceful option with parks and excellent schools.

Of course, Culver City has a quieter environment while maintaining proximity to attractions.

Meanwhile, Pasadena is popular for its tree-lined streets and community events. This area really appeals to families seeking a more laid-back setting.

The Rose Parade is a great event to take the kids to if you’re here on New Year’s Day.

Finally, I really like La Cañada Flintridge. This is near the foothills, has a peaceful atmosphere, and has top-rated schools.

So, yeah, these Los Angeles neighborhoods are a quieter escape while still giving you access to the L.A. city life.

Romantic Neighborhoods in L.A.

Are you a couple heading to L.A. for some romantic time? Great, because I have some Los Angeles neighborhoods for you to consider.

Let’s start with Culver City. This area’s historic charm and cozy cafes make it a romantic spot.

Culver City is perfect for the modern couple, Jack and Jill, if you will.

Likewise, Pasadena’s Old Town, with its elegant architecture and romantic dining options, creates a charming atmosphere.

Perfect for those of you who want an easy evening after a long day of work over your computer during your trip.

Similarly, Malibu is popular for its breathtaking coastal views and secluded beaches. This is definitely a romantic escape.

You will find oceanfront restaurants, and it is a perfect area for strolling on the beach after dinner.

Meanwhile, Silver Lake is home to trendy boutiques and a picturesque reservoir. This is a neighborhood that gives you a hip yet romantic setting.

If you’re a tattooed-up couple, you will love this neighborhood!

Finally, don’t discount Downtown. The Arts District is adorned with art installations and unique dining experiences.

This neighborhood definitely adds a touch of creativity to romance, especially for art lovers.

So, yeah, these Los Angeles neighborhoods give you that romantic ambiance without missing out on anything else.

L.A. Solo-Friendly Neighborhoods

Los Angeles neighborhoods are also perfect for those of you traveling alone. Solo travelers can easily find comfort and adventure across the city.

For example, Venice Beach has an eclectic boardwalk and diverse street performers. I think this is a lively atmosphere for solo exploration.

Downtown LA, with its cultural venues, trendy bars, and diverse food scene, definitely caters to solo adventurers seeking urban experiences.

If you are a bohemian but trendy, Silver Lake’s artistic vibe might speak to you. This neighborhood’s independent vibe is ideal for those who enjoy exploring on their own.

For those of you who want to dance the night away, West Hollywood is probably where you want to head to.

With its lively nightlife and walkable neighborhoods, this area has opportunities for solo socializing.

So, yeah, these Los Angeles neighborhoods give you a mix of solo-friendly activities in this mega-populous city.

Budget-Friendly Stays in L.A.

Budget-Friendly Stays in L.A.

Los Angeles is definitely a pricey destination for accommodations, pushing budget-conscious travelers to the outskirts for affordability.

City center stays often come with a hefty price tag, forcing frugal travelers to compromise quality for cost.

While cheaper options exist in the city center, they often sacrifice comfort and amenities.

I mean, if you want $100 a night or less, you will have to expect to stay in rooms with outdated materials.

That includes stained sheets if they don’t have holes in them.

So, budget-friendly alternatives is something you can only find in more distant neighborhoods.

This means a trade-off between proximity to attractions and economical stays.

I’m so sorry to say that L.A. is not a budget-friendly city for most travelers.

That said, though, if you’re a backpacker and you don’t care, there are ton of ways to stay in the city for cheap.

For example, you can share 12-bed hostel rooms in Downtown, Koreatown, and Hollywood.

If you want to set up a tent, you can do in many parks around the city, including Griffith Park.

Yes, it’s “illegal,” but you can.

Neighborhoods to Avoid in L.A.

Oh, I don’t like writing this part, but it’s part of life. Crime is part of Los Angeles, with a violent crime rate of 732 per 100,000 people.

Just to give you a reference, that’s about 50% higher than the crime rate in New York.

So, while Los Angeles is generally safe for travelers, I would say you want to be wise and exercise caution in certain areas.

For example, South Central L.A. has experienced higher crime rates historically, and parts of Skid Row may pose safety concerns.

Likewise, parts of East Los Angeles, particularly around certain streets, may also have higher crime rates.

Similarly, Wilmington, near the Port of Los Angeles, has had some safety issues.

That said, please keep in mind that neighborhoods can change. Research the latest information and stay updated on local advisories.

Finally, exercise standard safety precautions and be aware of your surroundings, particularly during late hours.

Final Thoughts

In this guide, I covered all the essential information you need to know about Los Angeles neighborhoods.

I described how Hollywood and Santa Monica attract tourists, while Studio City and Sherman Oaks are quiet, family-friendly options.

I also said that Culver City and Pasadena exude romance, while Venice Beach and Downtown LA are better for solo travelers.

Finally, I reminded you to exercise caution in areas like South Central LA and certain parts of East Los Angeles.

So, I believe you’re ready to decide on where to stay for your many trips to this amazing destination.

Enjoy Los Angeles!

AJ Paris is a travel photographer based in New York. He is the editor of Caravanzers.

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