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Westwood is one of L.A.’s most glamorous neighborhoods. It’s home to some of the nation’s wealthiest people in its Holmby Hills area, but also has a large representation of more modest incomes. Situated in western L.A., the neighborhood features Beverly Hills to the south, Sunset Boulevard to the east, and Santa Monica Boulevard to the west. The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) creates a strong student presence in the area. The famous streets, posh restaurants and high-end shops are interspersed with historic film theaters, museums and playhouses.
Residents of the area tend to be young and well-educated, with the expectation of living in a highly sophisticated, prosperous neighborhood where everything practically glitters with a Hollywood sheen. Don’t expect cheap frills and low-budget eateries. The Playboy Mansion is more its style—Hugh Hefner famously resides in Holmby Hills.
The charming district of Westwood Village is a favorite spot for visitors and residents to take in the 1930s and 1940s-era architecture, including New Orleans Revival, Mediterranean, French Regency and Classical Revival. A keen eye will bring you to Westwood Village Memorial Park, a tiny cemetery near UCLA where you can visit the graves of some of the most famous stars in Hollywood, including Marilyn Monroe, Natalie Wood, Dean Martin, Walter Matthau, and Roy Orbison. The area is also home to Hammer Museum and its radical modern art, and the second-largest Latter Day Saints’ Mormon Temple in the nation.
While various movie premieres run throughout each month, window-shopping in Westwood Village could last a lifetime. Music also rings strong—the annual JazzReggae Festival has become legendary on the UCLA campus. To catch a play, head to the Geffen Playhouse, owned by UCLA, which has featured actors like Neil Patrick Harris and Carrie Fisher on its stage.