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A Renter’s Guide to Westwood, L.A.: Live Large in the Center of It All

It can be difficult to find the perfect location in a city with more than eighty-eight different communities, but everyone deserves a place to call home and Westwood is the ideal choice for students, recent grads, as well as young business professionals. It offers convenient access to other popular Los Angeles areas including Bel Air, Century City, Brentwood, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills.

Where is Westwood?

Anchored by Wilshire Boulevard and its high-rise residential towers, Westwood is located in the middle of several affluent neighborhoods including Bel Air to the north, Beverly Hills to the east, Century City to the south and both Brentwood and Santa Monica to the west.


The atmosphere of Westwood is a mix of student enthusiasm and business-oriented lifestyles, which accounts for much of its charm. Developed on the lands of the historic Wolfskill Ranch, the neighborhood is now very sought after and home to the University of California, as well as a host to the many entertainment spots, including the very popular Westwood Village.


What to Do

The area includes all of the UCLA campus and offers a great variety of activities from great shopping and dining to a vibrant cultural life. Westwood is also home to the Fowler Museum at UCLA where you can explore art and culture from around the world from ancient to modern times, as well as The Hammer Museum at UCLA, a progressive cultural center featuring dynamic exhibitions and programs, including lectures, symposia, film series, readings and musical performances.

Due to the overwhelming student presence throughout the year, the area can feel like an overextended college campus with students walking in groups to the local Bruin Theater (designed by S. Charles Lee and named after the mascot of UCLA) and In-N-Out restaurants.

As a premier shopping destination, the popular Westwood Village features a wide array of shops and retail services: clothing chains, electronics stores, gift shops, grocery and home furnishing stores, snack stops and more.

The neighborhood features a unique mixture of historical sites and cultural venues including the Billy Wilder Theatre, The Crest Theatre, the Federal Building, the Geffen Playhouse, the Los Angeles Public Library Westwood branch and the Sinai Temple. There is also the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery, the final resting ground of many of Hollywood’s biggest stars.

Additionally, the area offers convenient access to many of LA’s most popular attractions. The Grove, Santa Monica Pier, 3rd Street Promenade, LA Live and the Getty Museum are all within easy reach of Westwood, providing residents with countless entertainment options 24/7.

Where to Eat & Drink

Dining options are as diverse as the neighborhood itself. Whether you’re in the mood for some fine Mediterranean flavors, spicy Asian cuisine, or traditional American fare, there’s something for everyone here.

Sichuan Impression, Hamasaku, Saffron & Rose, Shamshiri Grill, La Bruschetta and Ramayani are just a few of the local favorites. Middle Eastern cuisine lovers will be glad to know that several Persian and Lebanese restaurants have set up shop in the neighborhood.


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Moving to Westwood

Real Estate Snapshot

The majority of Westwood residents are students attending UCLA or Mount Saint Mary’s University in Brentwood. However, the area has been growing in affluence and prestige in recent years, witnessing an influx of new residents from different backgrounds, many moving into the high-rise apartment buildings on Wilshire Boulevard.

Aside from young professionals and students who mostly live in rental apartments, Westwood is also home to nuclear families and empty-nesters who generally prefer single-family living on the east side of the neighborhood, around The Los Angeles Country Club, an area that features a more relaxed and spacious feel.

The cost of living in Westwood apartments is perhaps the least agreeable aspect of living here. However, it tends to be less than living in the surrounding neighborhoods of Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Century City or Brentwood.

When it comes to housing, the Westwood area is split into two separate factions. The west side offers mid-rise and high-rise apartment buildings that house students in an exciting and stimulating environment. The east side on the other hand tends to have single-family homes with prices rising the further north one goes.


Public transportation is via bus and is accessible but not as helpful as many people might like. On the other hand, Westwood is known as a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood and you can walk to most of the major local attractions.

Schools & Employment

Westwood’s schools are one of the best reasons to live in the area. There are elementary and high schools and charter schools that offer exceptional teachers and strong college preparatory programs. The UCLA University is also nationally renowned. In 2014 the popular “U.S. News and World Report” ranked it second among the nation’s public universities and 23 overall.

Jobs are also abundant in the area, with many opportunities available in construction and entertainment.

Ready to move to L.A.’s Westwood neighborhood? Check out all the listings in the area on RentCafe and start packing.

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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