Los Angeles is a sprawling Southern California city famed as the center of the nation’s film and television industry. Not far from its iconic Hollywood sign, studios such as Paramount Pictures, Universal and Warner Brothers offer behind-the-scenes tours. On Hollywood Boulevard, TCL Chinese Theater displays celebrities’ hand- and footprints, the Walk of Fame honors thousands of luminaries and vendors sell maps to stars’ homes.
To outsiders, Los Angeles is just L.A. But to those who live here, L.A. is more. It’s an incredibly diverse collection of smaller cities, communities, and neighborhoods, each with its own unique character. And that’s great news for residents a little bored of the routine—why not explore the possibility of booking a vacation rental in your own city, and experience a new side of L.A.? Here are ten reasons you should.
1. Try Before You Buy
See what life is like across town before you move there. You may fall in love with the new community, or find that your new commute doesn’t suit you. Booking a few vacation rentals would allow you to audition several new cities and neighborhoods before choosing the one that works best for you.
2. Ride to Work
If you work in a cycle-friendly city like Santa Monica or Culver City, see what it’s like to live so close that you don’t have to get up an hour early just to make the drive. Eliminating a long commute can cut down on stress, save on gas money, and give a little more time back to your day.
3. Live By the Sand
Millions of people move from all over the nation to L.A. just to live by the beach. If your dream is to wake up and go to sleep to the sound of the surf, booking a vacation rental lets you live it, at least for a while. Beach communities like Hermosa Beach tend to be quiet, relaxing, and close-knit, providing a strong sense of community on top of the unbeatable views.
4. Head for the Hills
If the beaches aren’t for you, what about the mountains? Whether what works best for you is finding some snow in Big Bear or the views from the Duarte foothills, explore vacations rentals in the areas that can give you the altitude and attitude you’ve been craving.
5. Hooray for Hollywood
If you want to experience L.A. nightlife, Hollywood is a great place to start. See what it’s like to live off Sunset. Live for the concerts and turning late nights into early mornings at the clubs, or just so you can tell stories to friends that begin with, “When I was living in Hollywood…”
6. School Days
Reclaim some youth or give your teens a taste of college community life in a neighborhood like Westwood. As the home of UCLA and the Westwood Village, this town caters to the younger crowd with cultural opportunities, coffee shops, and diverse, inexpensive restaurants to give you something to do every night. Not a Bruin fan? Claremont works just as well, too, but feels more like a small town than L.A.
7. Go Downtown
Live in the heart of L.A. to become a sports superfan, spending your evenings at the Staples Center or just up the road at Dodger Stadium. Check out the MoCA, the Arts District, and see what’s happening at the Convention Center. Do all the things you’ve always meant to do in L.A., but you’ve never actually done.
8. A World Tour in Your Backyard
Experience the culture of one of L.A.’s Asian communities like Chinatown, Little Tokyo, Koreatown, or Historic Filipinotown. Each has its own historical and cultural attractions, and those who love Asian food might never want to go back home. Take an extended stay of each community, or feel as if you’re spending each night in a different country.
9. Embrace Your Inner Valley Girl (or Guy)
The Valley is close enough to L.A. itself to keep your commute simple, but far away enough to feel almost like Ventura County. It’s a bit more laid back than L.A., but still loaded with great restaurants and places to go on the weekend, like Griffith Park or the Sherman Oaks Galleria. Like OMG, right?
Nothing says “classic L.A.” more than a bungalow. Live in Raymond Chandler’s Los Angeles—Pasadena’s small Bungalow Heaven historic district. While the homes may be small, their charm makes up for it, as do nearby cultural opportunities like the Pasadena Playhouse and the Norton Simon Museum.