Hancock Park is a lovely, historical neighborhood known for rolling front lawns and magnificent homes built primarily in the pre-WW II era. Originally Hancock Park was developed in the 1920s by the Hancock family who garnered their fortune from oil drilling in the Rancho Park area. With 440 acres in the area, G. Allan Hancock allowed much of this to be subdivided into the neighborhood that exists today, and the La Brea Tar Pits occupy the land on which the original family home was situated. With its close proximity to the studios, Hancock Park soon became Hancock Park soon became the neighborhood of choice for Hollywood’s power elite, and some of the pre-eminent architects of the time such as Paul Williams, A.C. Chisholm and John Austin were hired to build the stately Mediterranean manors that stand today. Hancock Park today greatly benefits from the foresight of these original developers and is one of the few neighborhoods in LA that retains such a strong sense of history. Many of the homes are set far back from the streets, something you don’t see in most of Los Angeles, and most of the power lines were buried. In addition, most of these sprawling homes do not fence themselves off from the homes next door, creating a stronger sense of community. Though many homes here have been updated since they were built, quite a few residents have striven to maintain the charm of the original details of these magnificent homes, such as the hardwood flooring and built-in cabinetry. The technical boundaries of Hancock Park are Rossmore Avenue to the East, Melrose Avenue to the North, Highland Avenue to the West, and Wilshire Boulevard to the South, though many of the surrounding neighborhoods consider themselves a part of Hancock Park. Larchmont Village is a stone?s throw from Hancock Park and often confused with the neighborhood. Larchmont boasts several great neighborhood restaurants, shops, yoga studios, coffee shops and hosts a farmer’s market on Sundays. Other amenities of the immediate area include the Los Angeles Tennis Club and the Wilshire Country Club, the Wiltern Theater and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The business district along the ?Miracle Mile? of Wilshire Blvd. and Beverly Hills are both just a quick drive away. The Public Schools in Hancock Park are a part of the LA Unified School District. Though the following schools serve the area, LA Unified should always be contacted to ensure that a property falls within the desired school boundaries as well as to gain any further knowledge of the school district. LAUSD 333 South Beaudry Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90017, 213-241-1000; www.lausd.k12.ca.us High schools: * Los Angeles High School * Fairfax High School Middle schools: * John Burroughs Middle School * Bancroft Middle School Elementary schools: * 3rd Street Elementary School * Melrose Elementary School
The Hollywood Hills is situated in the Santa Monica Mountains and offers notably the most breathtaking views in the entire city. From Downtown to Catalina Island, the views are endless and truly worth millions of dollars. Hollywood Hills is divided into two sections, Hollywood Hills West and Hollywood Hills East.
Besides the remarkable views, the endless maze of streets throughout the hills provides its residents with privacy all while being minutes away from the vast city. The style of homes in the hills include but are not limited to Mid-Century Modern, California bungalows, Spanish and ultra modern, all worth anywhere from $1 million to $10 million+.
The following is a list of neighborhoods within the Hollywood Hills: Franklin Village, Beachwood Canyon, Hollywoodland, Hollywood Dell, Whitley Heights, Hollywood Heights, Outpost, Mount Olympus, Nichols Canyon and Sunset Hills.
A few reasons to love the Hollywood Hills
Another unmistakable Los Angeles icon is the Hollywood Bowl. With a seating capacity of almost 18,000 it’s the largest natural amphitheater in the United States. The bowl opened on July 11, 1922 and within its first 7 years it underwent three architectural updates, twice by Lloyd Wright and once by the Allied Architects whose work remained until 2003. Unfortunately each new design did not bring improved acoustics. The current shell was built in 2003 by Frank Gehry and after a series of subsequent modifications the bowl has its finest acoustics ever, plus large video screens. Concerts at the bowl are an enduring tradition and a must for all Angelenos. Pack a meal and listen to your favorite music live as the sun goes down and the stars rise.
Runyon Canyon Park
Runyon Canyon Park is a 160-acre part right in the center of Los Angles and is managed by the L.A. Dept. of Recreation and Parks. A relatively young park, it was created in 1984. With a network of easily walkable trails, the park is a highly popular destination for hiking and dog-walking (off-leash is permitted) by local residents. The park is also a popular location for outdoor yoga classes. The highest point in the park at 1,320 ft (402 m) is known as Indian Rock.
There are five ways to enter Runyon Canyon: two gates at the bottom of the park in the south at Fuller and Vista Streets; a gate at the top of Runyon Canyon Road at Mulholland Drive, in the north; one at the northwest at Solar Drive; and a spine-ridge footpath from the top of Wattles Garden.
Bronson Canyon Park
Bronson Canyon, or Bronson Caves, is a section of southwest portion Griffith Park which has become famous as a filming location for a many movies and TV shows, especially westerns and science fiction, from the early days of motion pictures to the present. Its craggy and remote-looking setting, but easily accessible location, has made it a prime choice for filmmakers, particularly of low-budget films, who want to place scenes in a lonely wilderness. Perhaps the most well known appearance of the tunnel entrance is its use as the entrance to the Bat Cave in the Batman television series of the 1960s.
Sunset Ranch and the Hollywood Sign
Sunset Ranch is a full-service horse ranch offering instruction and rentals for riding along the scenic trails of Griffith Park and Mt. Hollywood. The ranch is famous for its dinner, BBQ, and evening rides. Many are drawn to the ranch and its rides for its unique way of seeing the famous Hollywood sign.
Sherman Oaks is an affluent, tree-lined neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley bordered by Encino on the East, Studio City on the West, the Santa Monica Mountains to the South and Van Nuys to the North. Sherman Oaks is much sought after because while it is considered a neighborhood where one can get a lot more house for the money than is possible on the “West Side”, it is still surprisingly convenient to so many other areas of Los Angeles ‘ Hollywood via the 101, Santa Monica and the Pacific Palisades via the 405, and Beverly Hills and Westwood via various Canyon routes. Sherman Oaks was first sub-divided in the early 1900′s. largely by General Moses Hazeltine Sherman who sold parcels for $780 an acre. While prices aren’t quite that low today, one can find an updated Valley Ranch home for well under $1,000,000, a feat not always possible in other areas. That being said, there are many palatial estates in the “Hills” of Sherman Oaks that range into the millions. The condo market has also boomed in Sherman Oaks over the last few years, with many new construction developments popping up that offer luxury finishes and amenities. Today Sherman Oaks offers many wonderful amenities, from well-kept public parks like the Sherman Oaks/Van Nuys Park which boasts a gymnasium, tennis courts and Olympic sized pool in addition to the outdoor track and sports fields to high-end shopping in unique boutiques along Ventura Blvd and at the Fashion Square Mall to some of the best restaurants in Los Angeles. And Valley residents will be quick to point out that they have some of the best sushi in all of Los Angeles. The school system is also a draw to Sherman Oaks. The Dixie Canyon Elementary School has a rising reputation, challenging that of the famous nearby Chandler Elementary School in Studio City. There are also and abundance of Private Schools in the area that draw in students from all around Los Angeles, including The Buckley School. Below is a list of Public and Private Schools in the area. Public schools Public elementary schools in the area are: * Chandler Elementary School * Dixie Canyon Elementary School * Kester Avenue Elementary School * Riverside Drive Elementary School * Sherman Oaks Elementary School Public secondary schools in the area are: * Millikan Middle School * Van Nuys Middle School * U. S. Grant High School * Van Nuys High School  Private schools Private and parochial schools in the area are: * The Buckley School * Church of the Chimes * Notre Dame High School * Emek Hebrew Academy * St. Francis DeSales * Sherman Oaks Lutheran * Sherman Oaks Presbyterian * The Nurtury * Armenian Evangelical Schools of California * Bridges Academy * Cambridge School * Ferrahian Armenian High School.
From its world famous boardwalk and beautiful beach to the shopper’s paradise of Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice offers a unique and vibrant mix of activities and attractions. Originally called “Venice of America,” Venice was founded in 1905 by developer Abbot Kinney as a beachfront resort town. Kinney’s initial vision of creating a cultural mecca was set aside to accommodate the public, and Venice became the “Coney Island of the Pacific,” complete with an amusement pier and a miniature steam railroad. Kinney also created a system of canals and imported gondolas and gondoliers from Venice, Italy.
Today, Venice is one of the most popular destinations in Los Angeles for visitors and locals alike. From its days as home to Beat Generation poets and artists, Venice continues to be an important Los Angeles cultural center. Whether you’re looking for some fun in the sun, a unique shopping experience, or a sophisticated evening of art and music, find out more about one of L.A.’s top neighborhoods.
The world famous Venice Ocean Front Walk (aka “the boardwalk”) beckons from the doorstep of the Hotel Erwin. The boardwalk is one of the best places in L.A. for people watching—everyone from colorful locals to visitors from around the globe. There’s something for everyone on the concrete boardwalk: on one side there are specialty shops, restaurants and uniquely designed residences, and on the other a myriad of street performers, artists, fortune tellers and much more. For inside info on how to explore this feast for the senses, read our Local’s Guide to the Venice Ocean Front Walk.
With 75 miles of county coastline and numerous world-famous surf spots, Los Angeles is the quintessential city of the Endless Summer. Venice Beach is one of many great L.A. beaches, and the only one where the lively boardwalk upstages the Pacific Ocean. The acclaimed Venice Breakwater is a favorite local surf spot, built by Abbot Kinney in 1905 to protect his amusement pier. The artificial barrier is located north of the Venice Pier and Lifeguard Headquarters, and south of the Santa Monica Pier. The breakwater is the only place on the beach where waves break on both sides, while the sand is reportedly the finest for creating sand sculptures. Go Surf LA offers beginner and intermediate surfing lessons all year long at Venice Beach, as well as Zuma, Malibu, Santa Monica and Manhattan Beach. Lessons are offered seven days a week, and run 90 minutes. Wetsuits and soft-top surfboards are included with each $80 surfing lesson.
Venice certainly marches to the beat of its own drum. On Saturdays and Sundays, that beat is heard loud and clear at the Venice Beach Drum Circle, an improvisational jam session that takes place on the sand where Brooks Avenue meets Ocean Front Walk. Hundreds of people from around the world gather to play their drums, shakers, congas and more, while others dance and chant. The drum circle begins around noonand lasts until sunset. The event is free and open to all ages. Please note that smoking of any kind, alcohol consumption and glass bottles are not permitted.
Besides surfing, other iconic Southern California activities can be found at the nearby Venice Beach Recreation Center, which features a number of facilities located between Ocean Front Walk and the bike path, Horizon Ave. to the north, and N.Venice Blvd. to the south. The center includes several children’s play areas with a gymnastics apparatus, as well as handball courts, tennis courts and volleyball courts, all unlighted. The outdoor basketball courts are renowned for games that feature some of the best streetballers in the country, as depicted in the 1992 film White Men Can’t Jump. Numerous NBA players developed their games or were recruited from these courts, yet another example of why Los Angeles is Hoops Heaven.
The $2-million Venice Beach Skatepark opened in 2009, and is one of L.A.’s many excellent skateparks. Located on the sand near Windward and Ocean Front Walk, the 16,000-square-foot facility features a variety of street skateboarding elements. A concrete bowl evokes the empty Venice and Santa Monica swimming pools where the legendary Z-Boys would skate and revolutionize skateboarding in the 1970s. The Venice Beach Skatepark is free and open from 9 a.m. to sunset. Safety gear is required.
You can’t miss the outdoor weightlifting area at Muscle Beach Venice: just look for the giant concrete barbell atop the roof. Hardbodies and spectators alike congregate at the workout mecca, located at the south end of the Venice Beach Recreation Center. “Muscle Beach” also refers to the numerous gyms and fitness studios in the area. Foremost among these is the original Gold’s Gym, where Arnold Schwarzeneggerand other legendary bodybuilders pumped iron in the 1970s. Today, Gold’s Gym is considered a sports landmark and was once ranked No. 39 on ESPN’s list of America’s 100 most important sports venues.
Located a few blocks from Venice Beach, Abbot Kinney Blvd. is a vibrant collection of boutiques, salons, galleries, restaurants and bars that attracts visitors from all over L.A. and beyond. In its first-ever “Style Bible” issue, GQ Magazine named Abbot Kinney “The Coolest Block in America.” That’s quite a step up from its earlier condition as a rundown strip of old cottages and empty industrial buildings, when it was known as West Washington Blvd. In the late 1980s, community activists and property owners pushed for the street to be renamed after Venice’s founder, an action that many consider the beginning of its renaissance.
Los Angeles is a shopper’s paradise, and for shopaholics Abbot Kinney is a must. The eclectic clothing shops offer everything from surf tees and beach cruisers to vintage wear and modern designers. Collectors make frequent trips to Waraku for its limited-edition imported Japanese shoes and apparel. Abbot Kinney galleries include the C.A.V.E. Gallery and G2 Gallery, an award-winning wildlife and nature photography gallery. Art Deco fans will love Bazar, while Knibb Design showcases indoor/outdoor furniture and a sustainable garden concept. Along with its spiritual books and products, Mystic Journey Bookstore hosts frequent seminars and lectures by leading authors. Find more great stores with our Abbot Kinney shopping guide.
Located on Main Street, CHAYA Venice is part of a centuries-old history of restaurants in Japan and California that are owned and operated by the Tsunoda family. CHAYA Venice celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2010 with a tasteful renovation that made it better than ever. The casual French-Japanese menu that attracts longtime regulars and a new generation of guests alike. The lively bar hosts CHAYA’s popular happy hour, one of the best in the city. Every night of the week from 5 p.m.-close, the bar offers a variety of drink, sushi and appetizer specials.
Built in 1905 by developer Abbot Kinney as part of his “Venice of America” plan, the Venice Canal Historic District is famous for its man-made canals, which evoked the canals of Venice, Italy and likewise featured gondola rides. The canals originally covered the entire area between Abbot Kinney, Pacific Ave., and Venice Blvd. Because of the growing popularity of automobiles, most of the canals were filled in 1929 to create streets like Windward Ave. and Market St. The remaining canals fell into disrepair for decades, until they reopened in 1993 after a multimillion-dollar restoration. The residential district surrounding the remaining canals was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. Many of the old houses have been renovated, while large, modern homes have also been built. Visitors can walk along the canals in the area located within South Venice Blvd., Pacific, Ocean Ave. and Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles is one of the world’s capitals for street art, and murals throughout Venice add to the area’s vibrant energy. Famed muralist Rip Cronk has painted nearly a dozen Venice murals, including Portrait of Abbot Kinney, Venice on the Half Shell and Morning Shot, a portrait of Jim Morrison. The interior of the historic Danny’s Deli on Windward Ave. is decorated with the last original Venice gondola from 1904, as well as Cronk’s Hobnobbing in Venice, a 40-foot mural that depicts the last century of Venice with past and present celebrities observing the scene.
Artist Jonas Never completed Touch of Venice on the side of the Danny’s Deli building in April 2012. The mural was inspired by Touch of Evil, the classic 1958 film noir directed by Orson Welles and starring Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh and Marlene Dietrich. Touch of Evil was filmed almost entirely in Venice, which Welles chose as a stand-in for the fictional Mexican border town where the story takes place. The three-minute, 20-second opening tracking shot of Windward is regarded by film critics and fans as one of the greatest long takes in cinematic history. As an homage to that opening, Touch of Venice depicts Heston and Leigh walking down Windward, with numerous references to Venice throughout the mural.
Beverly Hills Originally settled because of the fertility of the land due to the numerous streams cascading down the canyons, Beverly Hills became the home of choice for the rich and famous due to Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks’ decision to settle there in 1919. Soon more and more Hollywood elite followed them, and the reputation and desirability of Beverly Hills has never dimmed as it remains today one of the most sought after, and priciest, zip codes in the country. Beverly Hills is known as the gem of Los Angeles’ “Platinum Triangle” which also includes Bel-Air and Holmby Hills. It is bordered on the north by Bel-Air and the Santa Monica Mountains, on the east by West Hollywood and the Fairfax District of Los Angeles, on the south by Los Angeles’ Beverlywood neighborhood and on the west by Holmby Hills as well as Westwood Village and Century City. While culturally a major part of Los Angeles, Beverly Hills is in fact a separate city with its own services. The quality of the public schools, the police, fire department and other public services are a large part of the draw of Beverly Hills, but there is certainly a lot more to it than that.
Famous worldwide for its fabulous shopping, the district between Santa Monica Blvd to the North, Wilshire Blvd to the South, Canon Drive to the East and Linden to the West is the area most of the world thinks of when they hear Beverly Hills. It is home to some of the best restaurants and designers in the world, but you don’t have to be afraid to walk down the street if you aren’t among the rich and famous. From Versace to The Gap, Spago to the Cheesecake Factory, there is something for everyone in Beverly Hills. Residential Beverly Hills is known for its amazing architecture and the diversity of building styles. Here you will find everything from Mediterranean mansions built in the 1920′s to distinct modern designs built by some of the pre-eminent architects of the world. And of course many of these beautiful estates have a storied pedigree, with a long line of Hollywood royalty who have called them home over the years. The area between Santa Monica Blvd and Sunset Blvd is known as the “flats” of Beverly Hills and is characterized by generous lot size and wide, Palm Tree lined streets. Just North of Sunset Blvd are the “Hills” of Beverly Hills. With winding streets leading upward to the heavens, this area is coveted for the privacy one can find as well as the magnificent views of the city lights, the green trees of the canyons and on clear days, the blue line of the Pacific ocean.
Beverly Hills Post Office (BHPO) As you keep heading into the “Hills”, an important distinction occurs as you leave Beverly Hills proper and enter the area known as Beverly Hills Post Office or BHPO. While it shares the auspicious zip code 90210, BHPO is actually a part of Los Angeles and therefore a part of the LAUSD schools system and served by the Los Angeles Police and Fire Departments. The properties you will find here range from quaint canyon bungalows, mid-century modern masterpieces, to enormous, gated estates. They are sought after not only to boast the 90210 zip code, but also again for their privacy and for the amazing views. As you head higher into the hills, you are also conveniently located between Sherman Oaks/Studio City and their access to the studios and Beverly Hills and the entire Westside. Beverly Hills School System Public Education Beverly Hills is served by Beverly Hills Unified School District; the district’s sole high school is Beverly Hills High School. Los Angeles neighborhoods near Beverly Hills are served by Los Angeles Unified School District. Private schools Beverly Hills also has several private schools. Good Shepherd School, a PreK-8 school in Beverly Hills, is a part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Other Beverly Hills private schools include Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy, Emanuel Academy of Beverly Hills, and Page Private School. Marymount High School in nearby Westwood, across from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), is in close proximity to Beverly Hills. Some Beverly Hills Landmarks * Beverly Hills Hotel * Beverly-Wilshire Hotel * Burton Way – named for Richard Burton, city co-founder. * Greystone Mansion * Greystone Park * La Cienega Park * Pickfair * Beverly Hills Police department. * Roxbury Park * Will Rogers Memorial Park * Beverly Hills City Hall * Rodeo Drive * Via Rodeo and Spanish Steps * The Peninsula Hotel Beverly Hills