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A Quick Guide to Living in Hollywood, a Vibrant LA Neighborhood with Celebrity Status

It’s not unusual to see a superhero wandering the streets or spot a red carpet rolled out along a sidewalk when you’re a resident of Hollywood. While you might find celebrity impersonators and A-list award shows as you turn a corner, this much-hyped LA neighborhood also has its normal side, offering plenty of practical advantages for those in search of a vibrant place to call home.

Along with a wide array of housing options, Hollywood features a great shopping and dining scene, including international retailers like Zara and H&M and quaint vintage shops like Iguana Vintage Clothing. Additionally, its central location means you can easily get to other areas of Los Angeles in a heartbeat, including Downtown and Santa Monica.

Where is Hollywood?

Hollywood is situated in Central L.A., with the heart of the neighborhood being the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue. Traveling along Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood is just over two miles from the trendy West Hollywood neighborhood. The community is also about four miles from the beautiful Hollywood Hills, home to outdoor venues such as the Hollywood Bowl, as well as many A-list celebrity residences. To the south of Hollywood is stately Hancock Park.


Present-day Hollywood is home to more than 61,000 residents, but it got its beginnings in the late 1800s as a farming community.

The Hollywood Hotel opened in 1902. In 1911 the place saw its first movie studio, on the southeast corner of Sunset Boulevard and Gower Street. More film-makers arrived, attracted by the weather – and the distance from Thomas Edison and his restrictive copyrights! – building the industry for which Hollywood has become famous. In 1923, the original Hollywood sign went up and beginning in the 1930s big name movie studios moved into town including MGM and Warner Bros.

While most of the movie studios have since moved out of the neighborhood, with the exception of Paramount, Hollywood is still home to plenty of reminders of its glitzy history. Attractions like Madame Tussauds and the Walk of Fame mean Hollywood is often the first stop for LA tourists.

In the 1980s Hollywood experienced a bit of a decline, but since 2000 there’s been a resurgence of businesses coming to the area, including major TV networks like MTV and Comedy Central.


Hollywood has long been a mecca for artistic types and keeps attracting young, eclectic crowds from different racial and ethnic backgrounds. If you enjoy cultural diversity and don’t mind the constant hubbub of the streets, this is definitely the place to be.


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What to Do

Hollywood’s attractions are perhaps some of the world’s most popular. The neighborhood includes pop culture staples such as the Roosevelt Hotel, the Chinese Theatre, the Hollywood Museum and the Dolby Theatre, which is the venue for the Oscars. The neighborhood is also home to the Hollywood Christmas Parade, the Hollywood Farmer’s Market and the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Hollywood & Highland is one of the premier shopping destinations in Hollywood. This popular tourist attraction is where you’ll find retailers ranging from Louis Vuitton to Oakley.

If you’re searching for the opportunity to connect with nature in the heart of the city, visit Runyon Canyon. The park’s southern entrance is located in Hollywood. Dogs are allowed off-leash in the park, and a hike to the park’s highest elevation point, Indian Rock, provides you with excellent city views.


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Where to Eat and Drink

For a bit of Hollywood decadence, there’s the Musso & Frank Grill, featuring classic food and drink items such as steaks and martinis. This traditional Hollywood restaurant was a favorite of celebrities including Charlie Chaplin and Steve McQueen. Eateries around the neighborhood include national chains such as California Pizza Kitchen and the Hard Rock Cafe.

If you’re looking for a Hollywood nightlife experience, visit Three Clubs. This dark, long-standing hangout features a menu of traditional cocktails as well as a variety of entertainment, ranging from burlesque performances to live music.

Moving to Hollywood

Real Estate Snapshot

Rents in Hollywood are slightly lower than the LA city average and sit somewhere around $2,340/month. The best thing about Hollywood is that it’s as eclectic as LA itself, even when it comes to housing choices. There are in fact many affordable options, for every taste and budget, you just need to set your priorities straight and be ready to act if a good opportunity presents itself.

As a renter in Hollywood, you’re likely to find primarily mid-rise apartment buildings, many of which have a distinctly retro style, which is a throwback to the long history of the neighborhood. You’re not going to find as much new development or the sleek high-rise rental options in other parts of the city.


Many residents of Hollywood rely on the excellent public transportation options rather than the use of a personal car. Some of the options in the neighborhood include the Redline Subway, the Dash bus line and the Starline bus line. Since Hollywood is centrally located in L.A., it’s fairly simple to get to most other areas of the city using public transportation.

Schools & Employment

Hollywood is part of the Los Angeles Unified School District, and is home to schools like the Vine Street Elementary School and Hollywood High School.

As for job opportunities, the neighborhood is probably the best place in the country for aspiring actors or for those who simply wish to have a career in entertainment.

Are you ready to find your dream home in Hollywood? Start by exploring RentCafe’s extensive database for the best Hollywood apartments.

Florentina Sarac
Florentina Sarac
Florentina Sarac is a creative writer, editor, and researcher for RENTCafé. She covers a variety of topics, from real estate trends, demographic shifts, housing industry news and multifamily construction to homeownership, smart-home technology, personal finance and business. With a 9-year background in the real estate industry, Florentina has also penned articles for publications such as Multi-Housing News, Commercial Property Executive and the National Apartment Association Magazine. You can connect with Florentina via email. Florentina’s work and expertise have been featured in several major U.S. and international publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bisnow, The Mercury News, Curbed, The NY Post, CBS News, Business Insider and She holds a B.A. in English and Spanish, as well as an M.A. in Multilingual and Multicultural Communication, which serve as a testament to her love of literature and language.

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