Los Angeles is now the second largest city in the nation. UCLA commands a prime location in Westwood, a desirable neighborhood in West Los Angeles. Despite high rents and competition for housing near campus, two-thirds of UCLA's students choose to live within five miles of campus, half of that number within a mile. We've compiled descriptions of some of the most popular rental neighborhoods near UCLA.
Westwood (zip code 90024)
Students may find rooms to rent in the fashionable area east of campus, or in the apartments on Hilgard Avenue, along which most sororities are also located. However, the area west of campus is dense with apartments (“North Westwood Village”). The campus evening vans and security escort program operate in this area. Expect high rents, though sharing helps keep costs down. Street parking is hard to find.
Aside from campus, the nearest services are in Westwood Village, just south of campus. There are lots of restaurants, movie theaters (including the Fox Theater, home to many movie premiers), clothing, drug and convenience stores. No laundromats located in Westwood Village, although the nearest laundromat is south on Westwood Boulevard, right past Santa Monica Boulevard. Four supermarkets are conveniently located in Westwood: on Le Conte Avenue, Gayley Avenue, Glendon Avenue, and Westwood Boulevard at Ohio Avenue.
Apartments south of Wilshire drop in price and are close to the free UCLA Campus Shuttle located at the UCLA Wilshire Center (pick up at Midvale Avenue and Ashton Ave). Many students find rooms to rent east of Westwood Boulevard, but they may not be close to buses that run to campus.
Transportation options direct to UCLA: Walking, Biking, Big Blue Bus #1, #8, #11, #12/Super 12, UCLA BruinBus Campus Express and Wilshire Center routes.
West Los Angeles (90025)
West L extends south of Westwood and west of Veteran Avenue (1.5 to 5 miles from campus). Much of this area is within walking or biking distance from campus. East of the 405, students may find rooms to rent. Apartments are clustered near Santa Monica and Olympic Boulevards. The area west of the 405 is popular with students. It has many small apartments, slightly less expensive than those in Westwood, and good bus access to campus along Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevard. Supermarkets, Laundromats and restaurants line these streets as well. The Nuart Theater and The Royal - both on Santa Monica Boulevard - show foreign, classic, new, and cult films.
Transportation options direct to UCLA: Biking, Big Blue Bus #1, #2, #8, #11, #12/Super 12, Culver City Bus #6
Rancho Park (90064)
Rancho Park is a residential area south of West LA (about three miles south of campus), where many students find rooms, and sometimes houses, to rent. Nearness to Westwood Boulevard, shopping, ethnic restaurants and bus lines to campus are pluses. The Westside Pavilion, one of two major malls near Westwood, is located at Pico Boulevard and Westwood Boulevard.
Transportation options direct to UCLA: Biking, Big Blue Bus #8 and #12/Super 12, Culver City Bus #6; Big Blue Bus #5 (Olympic) and #7 (Pico) connect with the #8 and #12.
Brentwood is two miles west of campus, separated from it by the Brentwood VA complex and the 405 Freeway. You might find rooms or guest houses in the country-like roads in the northern section of Brentwood, but most apartments are in the triangle bordered by Wilshire, San Vicente Boulevard and Bundy. This area has been hard hit by condo conversions, but there are still many apartments to rent or share. The main street in Brentwood is San Vicente Boulevard. Buses to campus are on Wilshire, Montana and Sunset Boulevard. Many students bike to campus.
Transportation options direct to UCLA: Biking, Big Blue Bus #2 and #3, Metro line 2; Big Blue Bus #4 (San Vicente) connects with Big Blue Bus #2 and #3.
Bel Air (90077)
President Reagan retired to this exclusive neighborhood directly north of campus, but there's not much here for students. There is no bus service; minimal shopping is available on Roscomare near Mulholland, or on Beverly Glen Boulevard. The only notable point of interest is the UCLA Japanese Garden, one mile north of campus. On the other hand, if you do find a room in a Bel Air house near UCLA, you will be very close to campus.
Transportation options direct to UCLA: Walking or biking.
Santa Monica (90401-2-3-4-5)
Not only is this incorporated beach city near campus (four to seven miles), but it has the beach, great parks, good libraries and schools, buses to campus, clean air and rent control—the ideal life, it would seem. However, low turnover, long waiting lists, condo conversions, and stiff competition make finding an affordable place here difficult. Still, there are opportunities to share houses or apartments, or to rent guest houses or rooms. Rental turnover is greater and rent is cheaper on the south side (Ocean Park) and the inland area off Santa Monica Boulevard than in the exclusive northern part of Santa Monica between Wilshire Blvd and Sunset Blvd, centered on trendy Montana Avenue.
Santa Monica’s main attraction is Downtown, consisting of the 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica Place (a mall), and the Santa Monica Pier. Additionally, there are boutique shops and upscale restaurants lining Montana Ave, although there is plenty of retail and restaurants throughout Santa Monica. Located south of the 10 freeway are Santa Monica Municipal Airport and Santa Monica College (SMC).
Transportation options direct to UCLA: Big Blue Bus #1, #2, #3, #8, #11, and Metro line 2.
Pacific Palisades (90272)
West of Brentwood and north of Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades is an upscale community five to six miles from campus. Centered along Sunset Boulevard as it winds its way to the Pacific, most of this neighborhood is in the hills and canyons overlooking the ocean. There are apartment shares and rooms in homes here. With limited bus service to UCLA, this area might be considered hard to get to and isolated by some students, but it is beautiful and near the beach.
Transportation options direct to UCLA: Metro line 2.