Collect this idea
Rooftop lounge at The Dylan in Hollywood

Rooftop lounge at The Dylan in West Hollywood

As the second-largest city in the U.S. with the biggest population in California, Los Angeles has mountains, beaches and deserts all within a short driving distance. In addition to a multitude of outdoor activities, L.A. offers job opportunities galore; its diverse economy is the third largest in the world, after Tokyo and New York.

Some of L.A.’s biggest industries include culture, fashion, education, sports, entertainment, medicine and a booming startup tech field that is thriving on the Westside (nicknamed Silicon Beach). Los Angeles is often called the creative capital of the world, as one in six residents works in the creative industries of music, TV or film.

Not surprisingly, the city has a thriving arts scene. There are more than 800 museums and art galleries in Los Angeles County — more per person than any other city in the world. And for night owls, the nightclub and restaurant scene offers plenty of entertainment. With so many opportunities, L.A. attracts a large population, which has led to its legendary heavy traffic. Public transportation is limited, but improvement is in the works.

We spent more than 40 hours conducting extensive research on Los Angeles’s apartments, neighborhoods and residential options. We looked at more than 140 apartment complexes in the L.A. area, categorizing them by location and comparing them with a set list of criteria. Besides basic information such as year constructed, number of units and average rent prices, we factored in community amenities such as outdoor spaces and fitness facilities.

We delved into the interior design, looking for features such as hardwood flooring, stainless steel appliances, balconies and other modern features. We also placed strong consideration on Walk Scores and accessibility to their respective neighborhoods, all to make confident decisions to determine the best of the best.

From the hippest hangouts in Hollywood to the laid-back vibe of the area’s beach towns, we explored 10 of the most popular Los Angeles neighborhoods. Whether you’re looking to move to the city or just checking out the hot spots, we hope that our Los Angeles apartments guide helps steer you to your next home.

Neighborhoods covered in this guide to Los Angeles apartments:

Downtown Los Angeles

During the early 20th century, Downtown was a thriving area with beautiful architecture and extensive public transport options. But as in many cities nationwide, it suffered a downturn that lasted for decades.

Its recent renaissance began in the early 2000s, when old buildings started being repurposed as hip hotels, restaurants, loft living and offices, and skyscrapers were built. Today the area is one of the best places to live in Los Angeles and increasing in value quickly.

A 2013 study found that Downtown is home to more than 500,000 jobs in fields like government, fashion, retail and tech. It currently has dozens of tech-oriented firms specializing in mobile apps, digital media and clean-tech companies. Parts of Downtown include the Fashion District, the Arts District and Little Tokyo.

Things To Do

The L.A. LIVE entertainment complex includes attractions like the Grammy Museum, Lucky Strike Bowling Lanes and Regal Cinemas. Nearby STAPLES Center is home to the Lakers, Clippers, Kings and Sparks sports teams; it also hosts major music concerts.

For culture fans, The Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall is the anchor for an area consisting of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Ahmanson Theatre and Mark Taper Forum. They all were part of a recent $1.8 billion revitalization.

The Museum of Contemporary Art and the newly opened The Broad Museum are Downtown. Historic Exposition Park is home to the California Science Center, the California African American Museum, the L.A. Memorial Coliseum and Sports Arena, and the Natural History Museum. The 12-acre Grand Park, surrounded by government buildings, is the perfect place to lounge on a sunny day.

For foodies, Restaurant Row runs along Ninth Street and offers a variety of casual gastropubs, upscale dining and trendy trattorias. Bottega Louie was the pioneer and is still a favorite. One of the best pizzerias in LA is 800 Degrees Downtown and features a full bar. Bestia serves updated modern Italian cuisine. Many of the modern, hip hotels like The Standard have beautiful rooftop bars with great sunset views.

For Asian inspiration, Little Tokyo has a variety of boutiques and great sushi restaurants. Nearby Chinatown is the hub for Chinese food, cheap Asian wares and Chinese New Year parades and events.

Transportation

Downtown is a pedestrian-friendly area and the hub of the city’s Metro rapid transit system. This makes it the easiest place to live in Los Angeles without depending on a car. For drivers, parking is expensive, and traffic in and out of Downtown is heavy at all hours.

The region’s growing rail-transit system has six commuter lines operated by Metrolink, two subway lines, three light-rail lines, and local and regional bus service operated by Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro). The rail-transit network is the best way to reach Hollywood and the Westside. The FlyAway airport shuttle to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is $7 each way.

Downtown Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $2,522

Collect this idea
Loft living at The Roosevelt

Loft living at The Roosevelt

The Roosevelt

  • Year Built: 1927
  • Number of Units: 221
  • Number of Layouts: 43
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: This newly renovated building features “boutique hotel styling,” evident in the design features including European-style kitchen cabinetry with Bosch appliances, Kohler fixtures and a modern color palette. Residents also gain access to a fitness center with yoga/spin space and “The Roosevelt Club,” which includes a pool, outdoor kitchen and fire pits.
Collect this idea
White kitchen at Watermarke Tower

Kitchen at WaterMarke Tower

WaterMarke Tower

  • Year Built: 2010
  • Number of Units: 214
  • Number of Layouts: 18
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: Across from Downtown’s only supermarket, this 35-story residential tower boasts a rooftop pool, fitness center and dog park. Interiors include Italian soft-close cabinetry, hardwood flooring and private patios.
Collect this idea
Alcove bedroom at AVANT

Alcove bedroom at AVANT South Park

AVANT South Park Apartments

  • Year Built: 2015
  • Number of Units: 193
  • Number of Layouts: 7
  • Rent: $1,950-$3,525
  • Highlights: These new units in South Park feature kitchens with maple cabinets and white quartz countertops, along with private balconies and built-in Harman Kardon Bluetooth speakers. Community outdoor space is on both the second level and the rooftop, which includes a pool, grilling areas and panoramic city views.

The Runners Up

Marina del Rey

Marina del Rey is a seaside community four miles north of LAX. The skyline is dominated by high-density condominiums. Many flight attendants and aviation employees live in the city to be close to the airport.

Its marina is the world’s largest man-made harbor, consisting of 19 marinas with capacity for more than 5,000 boats. The area includes the University of Southern California (USC) Information Sciences Institute and the UCLA Marina Aquatic Center.

Things To Do

Fisherman’s Village offers a view of the marina, which is surrounded by high-rise condos, apartments, hotels, shops, and restaurants. The Beachside Bar and Restaurant, right on the sand, offers beach and harbor views. Salt Restaurant and Bar at the Marina del Rey Hotel is another great location, with outdoor fireplaces and views of the marina.

The Marina del Rey Summer Concert Series is held Thursdays and Saturdays from June to August at Chace Park. Water activities are a big draw when the weather is good. The beach is a great place to try stand-up paddleboarding. Or rent an easy-to-navigate electric boat at one of several boat rental shops at the harbor to check out the marina at a slow, relaxed pace.

Transportation

Marina del Rey is a good spot for a car. Many locations offer parking, and the community is accessed by the three-mile-long Marina Freeway (known as the 90), which connects to I-405 leading to nearby Culver City. The WaterBus water-shuttle service runs through the large harbor between the Fourth of July and Labor Day.

Marina del Rey Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $2,481

Collect this idea
Contemporary white kitchen at Breakwater at Marina

Contemporary kitchen at Breakwater at Marina del Rey

Breakwater at Marina del Rey

  • Year Built: 1969
  • Number of Units: 224
  • Number of Layouts: 21
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: Overlooking Marina del Rey, residents can enjoy the water views from the two swimming pools and outdoor patio with fire pits. Apartment interiors also include patios, as well as floor-to-ceiling windows and walk-in closets.
Collect this idea
Kitchen and dining at Avalon Marina Bay

Kitchen and dining areas at Avalon Marina Bay

Avalon Marina Bay

  • Year Built: 1968
  • Number of Units: 205
  • Number of Layouts: 8
  • Rent: Starting at $2,715
  • Highlights: Avalon’s waterfront location allows residents to enjoy access to the MDR water shuttle and private boat slips, in addition to the community’s pool, sundeck and BBQ area. One- and two-bedroom units are available with private balconies, walk-in closets and stainless steel appliances.
Collect this idea
Open living space at Waves MDR

Open living space at Waves MDR

Waves MDR

  • Year Built: 1968
  • Number of Units: 149
  • Number of Layouts: 4
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: Near the north end of the Marina, Waves MDR is within walking distance of shops, dining and the beach. Renovated apartments offer floor-to-ceiling windows, dark modern cabinetry and open floor plans. A new fitness center, swimming pool and multiple outdoor deck spaces are highlights of the property.

The Runners Up

Westwood

Home of the University of California, Los Angeles, the neighborhood developed when UCLA was completed in 1926. The area of Westwood known as Holmby Hills is one of the wealthiest residential areas in Los Angeles; it’s best known for Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion.

Things To Do

The Westwood Village shopping district, which opened in 1929 and retains its small-village atmosphere today, is within walking distance of the UCLA campus.

Several affordable restaurants serving international fare are concentrated in one small, walkable area; they feature Indian, Persian, Chinese, Thai, Korean, Greek, Japanese and Mexican.

For American food, no one does traditional pie and burgers better than the little, old-fashioned Apple Pan, just across from the Westside Pavilion shopping mall.

Transportation

Even with the opening of several municipal parking structures in the 1990s and 2000s, parking spots are difficult to find in this densely populated neighborhood.

Transportation options include walking, biking or a slow commute via car or Metro bus. The Expo light-rail line is set to open in spring 2016. The neighboring city of Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus offers 10 lines through Westwood to Santa Monica Beach, Downtown and LAX.

Westwood Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $2,373

Collect this idea
Living room at Legacy at Westwood

Living room at Legacy at Westwood

Legacy at Westwood

  • Year Built: 2000
  • Number of Units: 187
  • Number of Layouts: 18
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: Just south of UCLA, the Legacy at Westwood offers community features including a fitness center that hosts yoga classes, a tropical pool and guest parking. These units feature both travertine tile and hardwood flooring, as well as high ceilings and balconies.
Collect this idea
Kitchen at The Palazzo

Kitchen at Palazzo Westwood Village

Palazzo Westwood Village

  • Year Built: 2008
  • Number of Units: 350
  • Number of Layouts: 19
  • Rent: $2,990-$6,225
  • Highlights: In the heart of Westwood Village, these apartments and townhomes feature ceilings up to 18 feet, fireplaces and granite countertops in both the kitchens and bathrooms. Outside there’s an edgeless infinity pool, and inside is a full-service fitness center that includes cardio and weight machines, as well as free weights.
Collect this idea
Kitchen at Westwood Village

Kitchen at Westwood Village

Westwood Village

  • Year Built: 1977
  • Number of Units: 91
  • Number of Layouts: 3
  • Rent: $2,900-$4,500
  • Highlights: Located in the shopping district, Westwood Village apartments come furnished or unfurnished. The interior amenities include breakfast bars, fireplaces and patios. Residents also will find a rooftop pool, fitness center and laundry facilities on the property.

The Runner Up

Santa Monica

Santa Monica is a beachfront city north of Marina del Rey and adjacent to famed Venice Beach. It’s the gateway to the northern beach communities for the rich and famous, such as Pacific Palisades and Malibu. Santa Monica is home to a mix of celebrities, college students, entertainment executives, surfers and families.

It’s one of the most environmentally conscious cities in the nation, with goals for complete water and energy independence by 2020. It’s part of Silicon Beach’s tech boom and home to the headquarters of many established and young companies, including Universal Music Group, the RAND Corporation, Lionsgate Films, TOMS shoes and hundreds of startups.

Things To Do

Arts, culture, outdoor activities, special events and shopping offer plenty of options for Santa Monica residents. Bergamot Station houses the Santa Monica Museum of Art and hosts art festivals throughout the year. Other special events include the Santa Monica Film Festival and the Taste of Santa Monica food festival on the Pier.

The Santa Monica Pier is a tourist hot spot offering a Ferris wheel, shops and restaurants. Palisades Park along the crumbling bluffs is a favorite walking area with views of the Pacific. The beach boardwalk below has 26 miles of bike access. Roads north lead to Malibu and south to Venice Beach, a funky, bohemian area featuring trendy boutiques and dining.

Coast at Shutters on the Beach hotel is the perfect place for happy hour while enjoying beautiful beach views and sunsets. Chez Jay restaurant is a 50-year-old institution in a casual setting for great drinks and seafood. The Santa Monica Farmers Market is arguably the best in L.A.

Santa Monica has three main shopping areas. The Downtown District features the pedestrian-only Third Street Promenade; it ends at Santa Monica Place, a three-level outdoor mall with upscale stores, bars and restaurants. The two others areas are upscale Montana Avenue to the north and eclectic Main Street to the south.

Transportation

The city’s planned bike access make this a great place to live car-free. The Big Blue Bus runs from Santa Monica to West L.A. and Downtown. The Expo light-rail line is expected to be ready by 2016, making travel to Downtown possible in 45 minutes.

Santa Monica Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $2,500

Collect this idea
Living space at AO Santa Monica

Living space at AO Santa Monica

AO Santa Monica Apartments

  • Year Built: 2001
  • Number of Units: 359
  • Number of Layouts: 6
  • Rent: $2,782-$5,232
  • Highlights: This Mid-City apartment building has seen extensive renovations to include features such as an indoor/outdoor fitness complex, a pool and sundeck and a resident clubhouse. Units themselves also have been renovated to include walk-in closets, Roman-style bathtubs and sweeping views of the ocean and city.
Collect this idea
Kitchen at Sway Santa Monica

Kitchen at Sway Santa Monica

Sway Santa Monica

  • Year Built: 2015
  • Number of Units: 122
  • Number of Layouts: 24
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: Sway’s style blends California coastal with a sleek city vibe, played out in amenities like a zero-edge pool with underwater speakers, fitness club and entertainment areas that include indoor and outdoor lounge spaces. Units ranging from studios to multi-level townhomes include kitchens with soft-close cabinetry, Bosch appliances and waterfall-edge countertops.
Collect this idea
Open living space at The Gibson

Open living space at Gibson Santa Monica

Gibson Santa Monica

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 106
  • Number of Layouts: 6
  • Rent: $2,200-$5,838
  • Highlights: Earning a 91 Walk Score and located 15 minutes on foot from the beach, Gibson residents can enjoy the best of Santa Monica before returning home. Units feature high-efficiency dual-paned windows, built-in Bluetooth wall speakers and private balconies. A rooftop deck, dog wash and surfboard lockers can all be found on the property.

The Runners Up

Culver City/Palms

Culver City has been an important motion-picture center since the 1920s. It’s the home of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios (MGM) and was the headquarters for the Hughes Aircraft Company from 1932 to 1985.

Culver City launched a successful downtown revitalization program in the early ’90s around the same time that Sony’s motion-picture operations moved into the historic MGM lot. This brought a combination of jobs, young professionals and a pedestrian-friendly arts and restaurant district, making the city an attractive place to live and work. The billion-dollar company Beats by Dr. Dre recently moved its headquarters into a contemporary, 50,000-square-foot complex here.

Palms, one of the most populated parts of Los Angeles, is more affordable and culturally diverse than Culver City. The neighborhood is popular with graduate and undergrad students from UCLA and Loyola Marymount University (LMU).

Things To Do

Downtown Culver City is called the Culver City Art District. The area has a collection of galleries, boutiques and gastropubs, including local favorite City Tavern. The 75-year-old dive bar Backstage Bar & Grill, across the street from Sony Studios, is a local landmark serving stiff drinks and good food at cheap prices. For a speakeasy vibe, visit Blind Barber; get a shave and then walk through a utility closet to the hidden bar in the back.

The Helms Bakery District, a converted 1930s industrial bakery, is Culver City’s home-design center, housing furniture stores such as H.D. Buttercup, Thos. Moser and Room & Board. Other interesting boutiques are located on the streets around the Helms Bakery, creating an area that’s a one-stop shopping destination for home design.

Palms has a large number of Indian restaurants and businesses. Tara’s Himalayan offers good, inexpensive Himalayan and Indian food. The Hare Krishna Cultural Center and Temple is a great place to get inexpensive vegetarian food and ethnic clothing such as cotton tunics and inexpensive scarves. The area also has a large Brazilian population; Cafe Brasil is a favorite Brazilian restaurant, with locations in both Palms and Culver City.

Transportation

The Expo light-rail line runs through Culver City and Palms, from Downtown Los Angeles westward to Santa Monica. Culver City Bus operates bus service here.

Culver City/Palms Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $1,773

Collect this idea
Kitchen at Victor on Venice

Kitchen at Victor on Venice

Victor on Venice

  • Year Built: 2006
  • Number of Units: 116
  • Number of Layouts: 15
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: Walking distance from downtown Culver City and a good location for commuting, Victor on Venice boasts a swimming pool, fitness facilities, theater room, and yoga studio on site. Homes include private balconies and walk-in closets.
Collect this idea
Loft interior at R2 Lofts

Loft interior at R2 Living Lofts

R2 Living Lofts

  • Year Built: 2008
  • Number of Units: 143
  • Number of Layouts: 4
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: Near the Del Rey Arts District, R2 offers lofts and flats as well as apartments. Boasting a creative vibe, the steel-and-concrete exterior houses units with open floor plans, concrete and plank flooring and stainless steel appliances. The property also features a fitness center and a rooftop deck with a pool, spa, cabanas and fire pits.
Collect this idea
Kitchen and living space at M Lofts

Kitchen and living space at M Lofts

M Lofts

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 115
  • Number of Layouts: 10
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: In Palms, M Lofts are outfitted with floor-to-ceiling windows, Moen kitchen and bath fixtures and private patios. An energy-efficient building, this property also provides amenities such as a dog run, 24-hour fitness center and outdoor lounge area with fireplaces.

The Runner Up

Playa Vista

Playa Vista, along with neighboring Santa Monica and Venice, is known as Silicon Beach. Located on property once occupied by Howard Hughes’ aircraft plant, runway and hangars, the family-friendly community is the location of choice for businesses in tech, entertainment and media.

The area, bordered by Marina del Rey to the northwest, began development in 2002 as a planned community with residential, retail and commercial offerings. In 1998, President Bill Clinton named it one of six U.S. locations to be part of the National Pilot Project of the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH).

Playa Vista was designed to be “one of the most technologically advanced communities ever planned” and “fully connected via telecommunications and broadband capabilities,” according to Clinton.

The community is a sports enthusiast’s dream, thanks to its many parks and sports facilities. Many athletes live in the area, as the L.A. Clippers basketball team’s training facility is based here.

Things To Do

Residents have access to two community fitness centers, CenterPointe Club and The Resort. The Resort, a 25,000-square-foot glass-and-steel structure, is the newest of the two; it includes a two-level fitness center with indoor/outdoor spaces and a modern pool deck with an outdoor fireplace, cabanas, junior Olympic pool, spa and kids’ pool. The Resort’s catering kitchen and chef-inspired demonstration kitchen host gourmet parties and events.

Runway at Playa Vista is an outdoor shopping, restaurant and cinema center; the Century Theaters serves cocktails with your movie. Lyfe Kitchen is a popular healthy eatery to offset the booze and popcorn available at the movie theater.

Transportation

Living and working in Playa Vista is a great option for stress-free living. As a planned community, developers created a pedestrian- and bike-friendly spot. The free Summer Beach Shuttle offers travel between Playa Vista, Marina del Rey and Venice Beach during the summer. If a commute is required, prepare for gridlock, since some of the nation’s heaviest traffic is concentrated in West L.A.’s 405 highway corridor outside Playa Vista.

Playa Vista Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $2,473

Collect this idea
Open kitchen at Villas at Playa Vista

Open kitchen at Villas at Playa Vista

Villas at Playa Vista

  • Year Built: 2015
  • Number of Units: 309
  • Number of Layouts: 37
  • Rent: $2,515-$4,995
  • Highlights: Residents here can relax in cabanas at one of five pools or an outdoor lounge space with fire pits, or hit up the yoga studio. The new apartments include quartz countertops, Viking kitchen appliances and Kohler kitchen and bath fixtures.
Collect this idea
Modern living space at Runway

Modern living space at Runway

Runway Apartments

  • Year Built: 2015
  • Number of Units: 203
  • Number of Layouts: 9
  • Rent: $2,795-$4,885
  • Highlights: You’ll find beach-modern style in this new building, including two-story lofts with 18-foot ceilings. Residences include window walls, balconies and recessed lighting. Surrounded by retail, shopping and dining, the property itself has two fitness centers, two pools and two outdoor theaters.
Collect this idea
Kitchen and entertainment space at Accent

Kitchen and entertainment space at Accent

Accent

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 196
  • Number of Layouts: 12
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: Close to some of the most popular shopping and recreation of the Westside, Accent’s residents gain access to an indoor/outdoor fitness center, a resort-style pool and several outdoor entertainment areas. Inside, these apartments include hardwood-style flooring, kitchen islands with granite countertops and balconies.

The Runners Up

West Hollywood

West Hollywood is L.A.’s nightlife hub. It’s most famous for the Sunset Strip and a large gay population. The small city is affluent and well maintained, with outdoor cafes and tidy landscaping. It neighbors Beverly Hills, for those who need a luxury fix and a day of window shopping on Rodeo Drive.

As the area gentrified through the years, many residents worried that they could no longer live in beloved West Hollywood. In 1984, a coalition of residents teamed up to incorporate the city and issue one of the strongest rent controls in the country.

West Hollywood is the most walkable city in California, with a Walk Score of 89. WeHo is well-planned, with most commercial business and entertainment clustered in walkable sections such as the Sunset Strip.

Things To Do

Most retail, dining and nightlife is concentrated in the areas of the Sunset Strip and Santa Monica Boulevard. The western stretch of Melrose Avenue offers every interior design shop imaginable. The enormous blue-glass Pacific Design Center, known as the “blue whale” because of its size and color, is the shopping destination for top interior designers.

Some of the best-known nightlife spots in L.A. are located here; they include the Sunset Marquis Hotel’s legendary Whisky Bar, House of Blues, the Troubadour and the Viper Room
. Celebrity hangouts such as Soho House, Formosa Cafe and The Abbey Food & Bar are also in West Hollywood.

The West Hollywood Halloween Carnival is an international annual event. It’s the largest Halloween street party in the United States, spanning over a mile and drawing more than 350,000 people.

For a likely run-in with paparazzi and the fame-loving starlets they stalk, the several-block-long Robertson Boulevard is the place. Most celebrities with the need to see themselves in US Weekly frequent The Ivy restaurant or the fashion boutiques of Kitson and Madison, where photographers wait for the shot.

Transportation

The city of West Hollywood offers a free shuttle, cleverly named the PickUp, on Friday and Saturday nights to ease traffic and connect the eastern and western parts of the city. Rail lines are under consideration for future planning, leaving most residents to drive or take Metro buses.

West Hollywood Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $1,995

Collect this idea
Alcove layout at The Dylar

Alcove layout at The Dylan

The Dylan

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 184
  • Number of Layouts: 11
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: Look out over West Hollywood from the rooftop deck at The Dylan, where a 93 Walk Score means most everything residents need is steps away on the ground level. The building features a pool and fitness options for residents and their dogs, and interiors include floor-to-ceiling windows, Caesarstone countertops and finishes by Zauner Manhattan Designs.
Collect this idea
Contemporary living space at The Huxley

Modern living space at The Huxley

The Huxley

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 184
  • Number of Layouts: 8
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: Window walls draw the sunlight into these centrally located apartments, also equipped with walk-in closets and balconies. Here, residents can work out in the fitness center, swim in the pool and entertain friends on the rooftop terrace.
Collect this idea
Living area at The Crescent

Living area at The Crescent

The Crescent at West Hollywood

  • Year Built: 1985
  • Number of Units: 130
  • Number of Layouts: 6
  • Rent: $2,439-$3,122
  • Highlights: Wood flooring, private balconies, and granite countertops and fireplaces make The Crescent a desirable place to call home, especially with community features that include an outdoor fireplace lounge, movie screening room and swimming pool. It’s a block from the Sunset Strip, major grocery stores and public transportation.

The Runners Up

Koreatown/Wilshire Center

Located between Downtown and Hollywood, Koreatown is the most populated L.A. district; 120,000 residents live in less than 3 square miles. But don’t let the name fool you; the area is culturally diverse. Half the residents are Latino, and a third are Asian.

The neighborhood features several Art Deco buildings. The famous Ambassador Hotel hosted the Academy Awards in the 1930s, and then gained infamy as the place where Robert Kennedy was assassinated in 1968. During the ’60s, the area was one of the few places in L.A. offering affordable housing, and it attracted Koreans in large numbers.

Koreatown has become a travel and international consulate center representing its demographic mix of Latin and Asian. Asiana Airlines, TACA and Korean Air’s headquarters are located here, as well as the South Korean, Chinese and Guatemalan consulates.

Wilshire Center also has a culturally diverse demographic. Nearly all residents (94 percent) are renters who live in the neighborhood’s high-rise and low-rise apartments and condos.

Things To Do

The area has a vibrant nightlife and many restaurants and clubs, especially Korean barbecue restaurants and karaoke bars including ShrinePOT Lobby Bar at the hip Line Hotel is a fascinating mix of businesspeople, locals and those dressed up for a night on the town. Moo Dae Po is a busy hangout for all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue.

Shatto 39 Lanes in Wilshire Center is the place to go for old-school bowling. If billiards are more your thing, it has 17 pool tables, and the bar serves inexpensive beer and cocktails for a fun night out on a budget.

Koreatown offers a variety of inexpensive shopping options and interesting boutiques. Kitchen Plus is a mecca for cooks, offering bargain prices and 15,000 cooking products imported from Korea.

Transportation

Two Metro subway lines service both neighborhoods: the Red Line, which runs from North Hollywood to Downtown along Vermont Avenue, and the Purple Line, which runs along Wilshire Boulevard, with expansion plans to connect to UCLA. Several bus lines run 24-hour service. The shorter, inexpensive, 50-cent neighborhood DASH routes service the community and Hollywood.

Bicycle lanes run through Wilshire Center, including a 3.7-mile-long designated bike route to Hollywood and a 4.2-mile-long route to Downtown.

Koreatown/Wilshire Center Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $1,446

Collect this idea
Ktchen with a view at The Vermont

Ktchen with a view at The Vermont

The Vermont

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 465
  • Number of Layouts: 3
  • Rent: Starting at $2,340
  • Highlights: The highlight of this apartment community is its SkyBridge Pool & Garden, followed by a fitness center, several club rooms and concierge services. Big-name retailers occupy the first floor; above, apartment units feature window walls, all-white kitchens and skyline views.
Collect this idea
Kitchen and dining space at The View

Kitchen and dining space at The View

The View

  • Year Built: 1970
  • Number of Units: 1965
  • Number of Layouts: 8
  • Rent: $1,925-$3,300
  • Highlights: These newly renovated apartments feature Italian tile, European-style cabinetry and hardwood flooring. Located in the heart of Koreatown, residents also have access to a resort-style pool and adjoining sundeck, fitness center and entertainment space.
Collect this idea
Open living and dining space at Wilshire Vermont

Open living and dining space at Wilshire Vermont

Wilshire Vermont

  • Year Built: 2007
  • Number of Units: 449
  • Number of Layouts: 3
  • Rent: $1,721-$2,727
  • Highlights: With the MTA Red Line and Purple Line right outside the door, commuting is a breeze at Wilshire Vermont. Apartment units include 9-foot ceilings, granite countertops and walk-in closets, while the building offers on-site retail and a fitness center; a new pool deck also is in the works.

The Runners Up

Hollywood

Hollywood is home of the film industry. It’s L.A.’s tourist destination, featuring the Hollywood Walk of Fame and TCL (Mann’s) Chinese Theater. The Dolby Theater is home to the annual Oscars.

After a serious decline during the 1980s, many Hollywood landmarks were falling apart. Columbia Square, at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Gower Street, is part of the ongoing revival of Hollywood. The famous 1938 Art Deco-style studio was once the Hollywood headquarters for CBS and is now home to MTV, Comedy Central, BET and Spike TV. The offices are part of a $420 million office, residential and retail complex.

Most Hollywood residents are in the creative arts working as actors, writers or performers, or for production or film companies. Despite the starving actors stereotype, the average annual salary of creative types is in the $100,000 range. According to a 2013 report, Hollywood’s film and video industry employed 310,000 workers and countless freelancers collecting $25 billion in compensation.

Things To Do

Hollywood is geographically spread out. To the east, Thai Town offers good, inexpensive Thai food. Along the Hollywood Hills, locals love hiking up Runyon Canyon Park‘s hiking trail to enjoy the sweeping city views. European-style outdoor cafes can be found on Beverly Boulevard, while famed Melrose Place is a great street to shop for funky clothing.

Design enthusiasts will love Hollywood’s mix of high-end and low-budget home-furnishings stores specializing in contemporary and mid-century-modern design. Modernica and Blueprint are two great places to start.

Nightlife, bars and restaurants are a dime a dozen, varying from gritty to luxe. Mexican food is an L.A. staple, and El Coyote in Hollywood is one of the top spots. Katsuya Hollywood is a sleek sushi restaurant and bar for the fabulous crowd and the celebrities they hang with. The hottest nightlife spots change often, depending on which celebrities have been seen exiting the location.

Transportation

The Metro Rail Red Line travels from Downtown Los Angeles to the San Fernando Valley, with stops along Hollywood Boulevard. Traffic is especially heavy in Hollywood, making the Metro buses unreliable and slow. Most locals have cars but dread the gridlock and parking inconvenience.

Hollywood Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $2,318

Collect this idea
Kitchen and living room at The Avenue

Kitchen and living room at The Avenue

The Avenue Hollywood

  • Year Built: 2011
  • Number of Units: 180
  • Number of Layouts: 8
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: These apartments and penthouses feature private balconies up to 300 square feet and ceilings as high as 25 feet, along with modern kitchens and oversized windows. A tranquil garden also includes a swimming pool and outdoor Viking kitchen for residents to use, as well as a dog park.
Collect this idea
Double-high living space at Rubix

Double-height ceilings at Rubix

Rubix Hollywood

  • Year Built: 2010
  • Number of Units: 218
  • Number of Layouts: 24
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: Residents boast about the views from the private balconies in these one- and two-bedroom units, including lofts. Kitchens are outfitted with espresso-finish cabinetry and ivory quartz countertops. Community amenities include an outdoor pool, a private courtyard with a fireplace, and a 24-hour fitness center.
Collect this idea
Open layout at Eastown

Open layout at Eastown LA

Eastown LA

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 535
  • Number of Layouts: 31
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: Located along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, these modern apartments and townhomes come with unique features — notably the cork flooring throughout and penny-tiled bathrooms. Community space includes a courtyard pool with outdoor entertainment lounge, a fitness studio and a bicycle repair shop.

The Runners Up

Mid-Wilshire

Mid-Wilshire is known for its public-use areas, shopping, world-class museums and research centers. Located between Downtown L.A. and Hollywood, it’s the most diverse neighborhood or city in Los Angeles County. According to a mapping survey by the Los Angeles Times, an almost even proportion of whites, Asians, Hispanics and blacks coexist here. The area is dominated by young (average age: 34), college-educated residents.

Things To Do

Sandwiched between Hollywood and Koreatown, this urban district has plenty to offer. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is a great place for an afternoon walk or coffee with friends. It shares open park space with the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum.

Just south of CBS Television City is The Grove, a large, outdoor shopping center built to enhance the historic Farmers Market, open seven days a week. The variety of exotic and nostalgic food makes the Farmers Market a great food destination. The Grove’s charming outdoor mall offers a variety of anchor stores and upscale boutiques such as Barneys New York, Nordstrom and a two-story Crate and Barrel.

The nearby West Third Street neighborhood consists of six blocks of trendy fashion, home furnishings and craft specialty boutiques. Cool, casual outdoor cafes and popular bars — such as Doughboys Cafe and Bakery, El Carmen Mexican Restaurant for giant margaritas and 3rd Stop for its eclectic crowd — round out the mix.

The area known as Little Ethiopia is lined with popular Ethiopian restaurants. One of the best in the neighborhood is Awash; you know it’s good when you see it packed to capacity by older Ethiopians enjoying tibs (beef), prepared by stewing, sautéing and searing the meat.

Transportation

The underground Red Line diverts in Mid-Wilshire and runs on the district’s edges. Besides the Red Line, several Metro buses — the Rapid Line, Local and DASH routes — are available.

Mid-Wilshire Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $2,408

Collect this idea
Kitchen and living area at Palazzo

Kitchen and living area at The Palazzo Communities

The Palazzo Communities

  • Year Built: 2005
  • Number of Units: 611
  • Number of Layouts: 24
  • Rent: $2,309-$8,497
  • Highlights: Just across from retail and entertainment complex The Grove, apartments at Palazzo include wood flooring, walk-in closets and contemporary design. Amenities here include a swimming pool, spa services, a fitness center and a penthouse rooftop with sweeping views of Hollywood.
Collect this idea
Kitchen area at 5550 Wilshire

Kitchen area at 5550 Wilshire

5550 Wilshire

  • Year Built: 2010
  • Number of Units: 163
  • Number of Layouts: 15
  • Rent: $3,040-$6,310
  • Highlights: Located on the Miracle Mile, 5550 Wilshire residents can enjoy the L.A. weather on several decks overlooking the city, the outdoor entertainment lounge or the resort-style pool. Inside, apartments are finished with floor-to-ceiling energy-efficient windows, bamboo and espresso wood cabinetry and 10-foot ceilings.
Collect this idea
Apartment interior at WIlshire La Brea

Apartment interior at Wilshire La Brea

Wilshire La Brea

  • Year Built: 2013
  • Number of Units: 478
  • Number of Layouts: 21
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: Dual-toned European-style cabinetry gives these apartments an ultra-modern look, while patios and balconies offer expansive views of the hills. The property features two swimming pools, two fitness centers and several indoor and outdoor lounge areas, including space to grill and look out over the city.

The Runners Up