LA’s answer to Silicon Valley
This area is aptly named from the rise of tech company startups that helped brand the area, starting most notably with Google, and now including other giants like YouTube, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon. It covers a wide net of areas – Culver City, Del Rey, Marina del Rey, Playa Del Rey, Venice, and even Santa Monica (which gets its own section). Each one has its own unique vibe, and not all pockets are the same.
The furthest east on the west side, this area is home to Sony Pictures Studios, Culver Studios, and more recently Amazon Studios. The expansion of media giants into the area has caused a surge in the downtown with new restaurants, bars, and shops popping up among long-standing favorites. Depending on where you plant your roots, there are affordable options in Fox Hills, and pricier ones in the hills of Culver Crest with everything from apartments and condos to one bedroom cottages and single family homes. While it’s a great community for young families, there is still a significant nightlife for those unattached as well.
Del Rey is often confused with Marina del Rey, but it’s a much quieter pocket with single family homes and local businesses and restaurants. There are good coffee shops, plenty of healthy and vegan options, and the Venice Japanese Cultural Center. It’s a short bike ride to the beach in Playa Del Rey, and the tech headquarters in Playa Vista.
Marina Del Rey
Marina Del Rey is a pretty spectacular waterfront neighborhood with large condo towers and luxury apartment buildings featuring every amenity possible. There is less personality here as most things are modern construction, but the location and views of sailboats on the marina are unmatched. There are a few decent restaurants in the area all with waterfront views, and it’s a short 30-minute stroll to Venice for more variety.
Playa del Rey
Playa del Rey is a funky beach community with an easy going vibe. Local advocates have long fought against big development in the area, hoping to preserve it as the last true beach community in Los Angeles. There are no chains, no Starbucks, and no high-rise buildings. Only treasured, quintessential dive bars like the Prince O’ Whales and the hamburger joint The Shack. There are apartments, townhomes, and single-family homes all reasonably priced. The residents are slightly more established in years, having moved here and never left, so it’s a tight-knit community where everyone knows each other well.