Want to live in Los Angeles County? We hope this overview helps you find the perfect community.
We live in the South Bay, and we love to work there. But Los Angeles County has fantastic neighborhoods beyond the South Bay. Some are even on the beach!
But First, That South Bay Life…
Ok, we know we said it’s not all about the South Bay. Still, if you’re looking for casual luxury and a coastal lifestyle, there truly is no better place to start. With 15 distinct cities, the South Bay probably has at least one vibe that vibes with your vibe!
Manhattan Beach: South Bay Does Family Friendly
Manhattan Beach has a population of 35,500 and an average age of 44. It’s known for its long, wide, sandy shoreline and it’s family-friendly culture. We’ve already told you why we adore this little city—clean beaches, car-free walk-streets, a walkable downtown, ultimate access to beach sports, great schools and amazing food. In this post, we even offer a breakdown of some of our favorite Manhattan Beach neighborhoods.
El Segundo: “Mayberry By The Sea”
El Segundo is Manhattan Beach’s sleepy neighbor, with a population of about 16,700 and an average age of 37. It has a small-town atmosphere, with restaurants, coffee shops and parks, in addition to some of the highest rated public schools in Los Angeles County.
The city was built in 1911 by Standard Oil, as a company town, and it retains some of that early 20th-century charm. Locals call it “Mayberry By The Sea,” as in The Andy Griffith Show. It’s an “everyone knows everyone” kind of place. There is a shared affection for Little League and high school sports, a plethora of mom-and-pop shops, and every year since 1949, an extravagant holiday light display. The city has a walkable Main Street, a farmers market, local breweries, and some of the least-crowded beaches in Los Angeles County.
El Segundo is also more modern than its nickname may lead you to believe. It offers easy interstate access, as well as access to LAX, and is fueled by a business community with a bevy of aerospace companies and tech start-ups. It also has a recent crop of citizen activists, who promote racial diversity and are working to ensure that all residents and visitors feel welcome.
Shades of South Bay: Palos Verdes, Hermosa & Redondo Beaches
We cover several South Bay towns in this post. Here’s the takeaway:
Palos Verdes is rugged, coastal terrain, merely 25 miles from the US’s second-largest city. It’s John Muir’s wilderness, on the fringes of everything urban you could ever want or need.
Redondo Beach offers more racial and economic diversity than many other South Bay towns and has a low-key feel that many residents appreciate.
Hermosa has a rich So-Cal cultural history and a thriving art and music scene.
The South Bay’s Not The Only Play…
Venice Beach is located within the City of Los Angeles. It has a hipper attitude because of this. It even looks edgy, with public graffiti walls and murals of some of its best-known residents, such as Jim Morrison and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Canals with endearing foot bridges run through the community, and the beach and boardwalk is always hopping with vendors, tarot card readers, skateboarders, skate-dancers, work-out aficionados, and sun-bathers. If you’re looking for a bustling beach community with live music, beachfront cafes, and a vibrant bar scene, Venice might be your neighborhood.
Part-suburban retreat, part college-town, Westchester is the Los Angeles neighborhood best known for LAX and Loyola Marymount University. Although it’s technically part of the big city, Westchester feels self-contained. Its roughly 41,000 residents have an average age of 35, which means there are plenty of recent college grads and young families. There’s a cool shopping vibe, with record stores and cafes, in addition to tree-lined neighborhoods. Multiple beaches are a short drive away. If you’re looking for safety and a diverse community, Westchester is worth exploring.
What If The Beach Is Silicon?
Santa Monica and Culver City are suburbs of LA. They’re part of an area called “Silicon Beach.” This area hosts media companies, production houses, tech start-ups, and venture capitalist firms.
Formerly a resort town, Santa Monica now has a mostly year-round population of over 91,000, with an average age of 40. The city focuses on sustainability and has many initiatives to encourage water conservation, waste reduction and minimized energy usage. It’s also one of the most bike-friendly areas in So-Cal.
Santa Monica offers good public schools and a well-balanced blend of coastal and cosmopolitan. It supports multiple museums, theaters,and music venues, as well as unique shopping opportunities and a large mall. Notable green spaces include Palisades Park, along the bluffs overlooking the Pacific, and the six-acre Tongva Park, with walking paths and sculptures. The beloved Santa Monica Pier is the Coney Island of the West, with a ferris wheel, roller coaster, and carnival games.
Culver City has about 40,000 people and lots of restaurants and entertainment options. Culver City is connected to both LA and Santa Monica via the Metro light rail. It’s a great place to live if you’d rather skip the interstate traffic. The average age is 42, the schools are highly rated, and the neighborhoods are walkable. There’s a farmers market, an arts district, and plenty of parks and green space—including Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, a 58-acre park that offers views of the entire Los Angeles area.
Interested in building in one of these areas?
Thanks for reading,
Hawlie Ohe heads White Sands Interiors, and she and her husband are raising two boys along the South Bay coast. Hawlie brings the curiosity that fueled her first career, as a journalist, to her interior design approach: Who are you, who do want to be, and how can this space get you there? Great design makes you feel present and engaged, and Hawlie is here for it. Because she wants to help you be “here” (in this space, in this moment), too.