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Family Friendly Neighbourhoods in Los Angeles

Are you thinking about becoming an Angeleno? Moving to Los Angeles could be the biggest change in your life, especially if you have a family.

Family friendly neighbourhoods in Los Angeles

Finding a place to live in Los Angeles - that is affordable, where you and your children will thrive, with exceptional schools and super low crime rates - can look like a Mission Impossible project.

However, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. There are plenty of neighbourhoods around Los Angeles that are exceptional for families; some of them are even among the top in the country for schools and safety.

Here are some family friendly LA neighbourhoods to consider when choosing where you want to live in Los Angeles.

Eagle Rock

Locals don’t just get pleasure out of living in Eagle Rock; they work and go to school with enthusiasm making the community upbeat and positive.

Source: Flickr | Jeremy Levine

Eagle Rock is in a great location, west of Pasadena, and even though you are close to Hollywood and Downtown LA, it has a small-town feel and is a great location for a commuter.

Eagle Rock ranks high for its schools nationally; there are nine public and six private schools, as well as a branch public library. There is a Recreation Centre and a wonderful certified Farmer's Market on Fridays to go along with Eagle Rock’s positive atmosphere.

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This LA neighbourhood is considered highly diverse ethnically and socioeconomically, and has a bit of a funky bohemian feel. Eagle Rock has grown increasingly popular because it has so much to offer.

Average rent for a family of four: rentals start from $2,000 per month for a three-bedroom.

Pasadena

The City of Roses, Pasadena, located 10 miles northeast of Downtown LA, is way safer and cleaner than the heart of Los Angeles. The city is stocked with historical charm while being only a short drive from mountainous wilderness.

Source: Flickr |Prayitno

Pasadena is best known for hosting the iconic Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl. It is also home to notable scientific institutions, cultural places, shopping venues, and a wealth of family friendly activities. You'll find more great things to do in Pasadena than almost any other area of Los Angeles.

The highly rated Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) covers 26 respective schools. There are also several parochial and private schools.

Pasadena is an ethnically diverse community (55.8% of Pasadenans are white, 33.0% Latino, 13.4% African-American and 12.7% Asian).

Average rent for a family of four: $3,000 per month depending on the location.

Glendale

Glendale is located 10 miles north of downtown, at the juncture of two large valleys, the San Fernando and the San Gabriel, though is not as diverse as much of LA.

Source: Flickr | Chris Yarzab

It has a fairly vibrant downtown area, and its famous mall is the ultimate destination for shopping. Parents can find a variety of family friendly activities in the surrounding areas combined with local mountains and wilderness for non-city life.

The Glendale Unified School District (GUSD) operates the city’s public schools that have a good reputation.

Glendale is not as dense as many neighbouring cities, such as Burbank, Pasadena, and it is considered very safe in regards to most crimes. A good rule of thumb is that, the further north you go towards the hills, the nicer (and more expensive) it gets, with fewer public transit options.

Average rent for a family of four: outside of city centre is $2,000 per month; $2,500 per month in the centre of the Glendale.

Burbank

Just a few miles northeast of Hollywood, lies Burbank, where dreams come true and a lot of money comes from the local movie industry. Burbank is great for families, it is quite a safe community with its well-run municipal services.

Source: Flickr | B Garrett

The Burbank Unified School District offers many special instructional programs and supplemental services, so students can have more options according to their needs and talents. There is also a plethora of private schools for students, who prefer a specialised and religion-based curriculum.

Burbank is always throwing some type of event or festival. From the Downtown Burbank Car Classic in July to the Burbank International Film Festival in September, and of course the Downtown Burbank Farmer's Market every Saturday, locals love to get together for recreation and shopping.

Average rent for a family of four: around $2,300 a month.

Culver City

Culver City, an entertainment business centre, is a city within the city of Los Angeles. Some of the most famous films of all time were shot here, including Citizen Kane, The Wizard of Oz, and Gone with the Wind.

Its downtown is a wonderful mix of historic buildings, theatres, galleries, and unique restaurants opening on to tree-lined streets.

With its own school system and public services, it has some of the best schools in Los Angeles making it popular among families with nice residential neighbourhoods and parks.

The diverse population means that you have a variety of religious institutions to choose from, everything from churches to synagogues to mosques.

With the addition of the Expo Line, Culver City now has direct train transportation to Downtown LA and will connect to Santa Monica giving Culver City much needed relief from Los Angeles’ famously gridlocked roads and freeways. This makes it a great spot for couples who work at separate companies and want a place that is sort of in between.

Average rent for a family of four: from $3,500/month for a three-bedroom apartment.

Santa Monica

Santa Monica is the perfect beach town on the western edge of Los Angeles County, quite safe and there is a large British community. If you are a lucky family living here, finding the fun is not hard.

Family friendly neighbourhoods in LA - Santa Monica

Fill your days with museum-hopping and world-class shopping, or relax on the beach and watch the world go by. When one thinks of Santa Monica, the attraction of the Pier inevitably comes to mind.

By early 2016, the Expo light rail will connect Downtown Santa Monica, Downtown Los Angeles, USC, Culver City, and other important regional destinations.

Santa Monica has award winning schools belonging to the Santa Monica-Malibu School District (SMMUSD). If you can afford private school, you have plenty of choices here.

Average rent for a family of four: start at around $4,000/month and the closer to the beach the more expensive.

Los Feliz

This hamlet is nestled in an area just south of the famous Griffith Park and is generally considered a safe neighbourhood. The residents here enjoy its village-like atmosphere and a lifestyle that provides for every need within a few minutes’ walk.

Griffith Park near family friendly Los Feliz

A subway stop at Vermont/Sunset will take you straight to Hollywood or Downtown. Los Feliz even has its own little Farmer’s Market on Sunday mornings.

There are also several schools, the private ones being fairly good, and a fair amount of diversity; lots of people from the creative professions and many different cultures live here.

Average rent for a family of four: anywhere from $2,400 per month on up.

San Marino

A small town located northeast of LA. From its prestigious botanical gardens to the vibrant landscaping, San Marino offers scenic beauty all around, with expansive properties surrounded by beautiful gardens, wide streets, and well maintained parks.

As one of the safest neighbourhoods in the entire country, it also boasts one of the highest-ranked school systems. The 2013 California Academic Performance Index report named San Marino Unified School District as the top performing unified school district in California for the 11th consecutive year, with a score of 953 points out of 1,000 possible.

In San Marino, you’ll find a sizeable Asian population, since more than 50 percent of the residents identify with one or more Asian backgrounds. Being a quiet and safe city comprised mostly of houses, it is difficult to find any apartment.

Average rent for a family of four: start at $4,000 per month for a 3 bedroom family house.

When moving to Los Angeles, or “LaLaLand,” have in mind that you are in a similar boat to many families moving here, and even people who have lived here all their lives go through a similar research process.