Which LA Community is Right for You?

  • Colette Dornblum
  • 09/30/21

Los Angeles County and the namesake city at its heart are both well known for the diverse collection of communities and neighborhoods that populate the region. 

According to the Los Angeles TimesMapping LA project, the county features 158 cities and unincorporated places. The city of Los Angeles includes 114 distinct neighborhoods. As one might expect in a region covering 4,000 square miles, alongside the better-known cities and towns are several hidden gems that fly under the radar of those relocating to the area.

One such place is the area around the Verdugos Mountains, northeast of Downtown Los Angeles. Home to the celebrated city of Pasadena, there are several neighboring communities that should be on any luxury home shopper's must-see list.

The only question is, which one of these LA communities is right for you?


Who's it right for
: Those who appreciate a rural, small-town vibe within arm's reach of the big city.

Directly north of Pasadena and a 30-minute drive from Downtown LA, Altadena offers the rarest of Los Angeles County lifestyles—rural small town. With the Angeles National Forest as its northern boundary, this census-designated place offers an abundance of nature and nearly 700 miles of trails mere footsteps from your front door. Christmas Tree Lane and a number of historic mansions are favorite points of interest.

Eagle Rock

Credit: Compass

Who's it right for: Singles and young families in search of an eclectic, offbeat place to lay down roots.

Vintage boutiques and hip, trendy cafes. The creative hive of Occidental College and many famous and infamous filming locations. Hillside estates, Art Deco abodes, and designer California Craftsmans. Access to hiking and forests and mountains. Fine eating and casual hole in the walls. Barbeque and burger joints, sushi, craft breweries, and wine bars. It sounds like a microcosm of Los Angeles, but it's the even better experience of fashionable Eagle Rock. 

Highland Park

Credit: Compass

Who's it right for: Anyone that loves living amongst a perfect mix of old and new.

Though it shares a lot of similarities with the equally eccentric Eagle Rock, Highland Park features a unique historical lineage as LA's first official suburb. History permeates practically every street with shops, eateries, and architecture dating back decades. Countering those old school venues is a number of new homes and business establishments which give Highland Park a wonderful "walk through time" aesthetic. 


Credit: City of Pasadena

Who's it right for: City dwellers that cherish living in a historic, culturally rich big city without actually having to live in a big city.

The most widely known of the communities on our list Pasadena is famous for being a major cultural hub in the shadow of LA but proudly boasting its own unique personality. The area is home to the Rose Bowl and Rose Parade, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the world-renowned Norton Simon Museum. The 22-block Old Pasadena entertainment district is the heart of the city and the Verdugo region as a whole. Add in a diverse collection of luxury homes and neighborhoods, and Pasadena stands as one of LA County's best places to call home.

San Marino

Credit: Compass

Who's it right for: Property seekers looking for a refined, affluent, and natural setting to call home.

As one of the wealthiest communities in the nation and one of the most exclusive places in LA to call home, San Marino occupies rarified air on the level of Beverly Hills and Bel Air. Nestled in the San Rafael Hills, the area is almost exclusively residential, thanks to strict codes on commercial development. It does, however, play host to several cultural institutions, including the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens. The residential properties are equal parts historic and grand, with several richly detailed architectural styles.

South Pasadena

Credit: Compass

Who's it right for: Commuters who adore coming home to the calm and comfort of small-town suburbia.

It may not grab the same attention as its sibling city to the north, but South Pasadena has long been a popular landing spot for those wanting a quaint, quiet suburban lifestyle. Lush, tree-lined streets and an unpretentious, laid-back vibe make this area a prime filming location for Hollywood productions depicting Anytown, USA. The city is also home to five celebrated parks covering over 90 acres and the outstanding South Pasadena Farmers Market.

Contact Colette Dornblum today to start your home buying or selling journey. From homes for sale in serene South Pasadena to the grandeur of San Marino real estate, allow Collette's experience and expertise to be your guide to Pasadena's luxury real estate market. 



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