Highland Park ($400K – MID $1.1M)
Northeastern Los Angeles has never looked so good! To call this neighborhood an up-and-comer would be a definite understatement. Ethnically diverse and nestled in the San Rafael hills, Highland Park is the largest of the Los Angeles boroughs. This peaceful gem has gone through a LOT of changes in the past 15 years. In the early 20th century, it (along with neighboring Pasadena) became havens for artists and intellectuals who led the Arts and Crafts movement. It’s now building a reputation as a mecca for artists/hipsters with trendy shops, galleries and watering holes popping up everywhere. And for the freshest, local produce, there’s Old LA Farmers’ Market next to the Highland Park Gold Line Station. Don’t forget to stop by Café de Leche on York Boulevard for anhorchata con espresso! Highland Park has done an incredible job reinventing itself as an epicenter of creativity and place for artists to call home.
Mount Washington ($500K – $1.2M)
If the great outdoors and hiking is more your thing, Mt. Washington just might be the place you’d like to call home. An old railway town that claims one of the finest elementary schools in the city, hilly Mt. Washington boasts magnificent views and has so much to offer. Hidden in the hills, you may be in disbelief that you’re still in the city. Access to downtown LA couldn’t be easier, by train or by car. While shopping and restaurants leave a bit to be desired (though, El BuenSabor on Figueroa is quite tasty), that is precisely what makes this out-of-the-way community so special. Peace and quiet. Historic and mid-century homes dot the landscape and views from atop steep roads such as Eldred street are truly breath-taking. Elyria Canyon Park has an outstanding hiking path for jogging, or just enjoying nature in such an otherwise urban setting. Scenic and serene, this tucked away hood is perfect for singles and families alike.
Silver Lake ($700K – $2.5M)
Moving over to what is largely considered the hip side of town, Silver Lake continues to be renowned for the ‘happening place to be’. Looking to have a fun night out? Countless bars, restaurants and shopspopulating Sunset Junction will do the trick, and then some. By day, the undulatingMeadowthat sits at the feet of Silver Lake Reservoir offers a wonderful treat outdoors to play, skip or just relax in the grass to watch the clouds pass overhead (just make sure you leave the dog at home, they’re not permitted). By night, treat yourself to a romantic dinner at Cliff’s Edge. Exercising around the much more level Reservoir, meeting friends at Cafe Tropical and visiting a tavern reminiscent of a German Bierstube (The Red Lion Tavern)are all steps away. It’s trendy, it’s chic, it’s amazing how centrally located it is to everything Los Angeles has to offer. Also, for those who love Hollywood history, Silver Lake is home to Walt Disney’s first animation studio (now a Gelson’s, of all things).
Echo Park ($500K – $1.3M)
If you want diversity, look no further than Echo Park. Travel up the steep hill to Dodger stadium or down Sunset Boulevard to enjoy everything from vinyl shops to cute fashion and cupcake boutiques. Handcrafted food and smoothies abound, it truly caters to whatever you’re looking for. If Echo Park Lake (off Glendale Boulevard) is the proverbial heart, Echo Park Avenue and Sunset Boulevard are surely what pumps life into the neighborhood. From CrossFit to pizza (Masa is not to be missed if you prize Chicago-style deep dish), from brioche to boats, eating and exercising are nearly inseparable everywhere you look. And let’s not forget the hip music epicenter The Echo. It’s easy to find something for everyone in this cool eastside locale. Take a leisurely walk or a brisk run around the lake, and afterward celebrate a job well done at the hole-in-the-wall Gold Room tavern.
Atwater Village (HIGH $500K – $1M)
Atwater Village rests on the Los Angeles River flood plain, bringing with it fertile, deep soil… and rich culture! Travel northeast on the Glendale-Hyperion bridge and you’re presented the bulk of “downtown Atwater” at your feet. Flanked to the West by Griffith Park (excellent for views and hiking alike) it’s central to all things LA, with a more suburban feel. You can take a tour of the LA River by bike path or walk for hours (the area is mostly flat) along Glendale Boulevard, stopping wherever your heart’s content. If hot yoga is your thing, Bikram has a studio in Atwater (which, by the way only added “Village” to its name in 1986). After you’re done sweating the morning away, stroll down to the Farmers’ Market (at Glendale and Larga Avenue) on Sundays. Perhaps Canele is more your style, if you’re in the mood for the most decadent French toast you’ve likely ever had. A Runner’s Circle, pilates, there’s even a canine club to keep your pooch healthy and happy. Atwater has a little bit of everything.