Mar Vista is a small but active neighborhood located between Venice and Culver City. The neighborhood is so laid-back and tranquil that even locals have a difficult time pinpointing its exact boundaries without the assistance of a map.
However, like many neighborhoods in Los Angeles’ Westside, Mar Vista has been undergoing a lot of new development and change over the past few years. Thanks to the recent advent of the tech-fueled Silicon Beach over the past couple years, new eateries, shops, residential developments, and specialty boutiques have popped up all around Mar Vista.
Today, residents and visitors enjoy plenty of community benefits, including great dining and shopping options. Situated mostly on Venice Boulevard bordering Centinela Avenue, the neighborhood is only a short distance from the beach as well as the downtown centers of Santa Monica and Culver City.
With a great location and plenty of entertainment options, activities, and amenities, Mar Vista is one of the best neighborhoods on the city’s Westside.
Parks and Recreation
While the Westside has more to offer in terms of park space compared the LA’s Eastside, there still aren’t too many parks around. However, residents of Mar Vista have access to one of the area’s largest recreational parks and facilities for jogging, playing sports, or walking their dogs.
The neighborhood’s most well-known park is Mar Vista Park, a recreational area that’s so popular it’s even shared with surrounding communities. It’s filled with athletic spaces including a community center, swimming pool, baseball field, soccer field, volleyball court, hockey rink, basketball court, and a multipurpose field. Residents can also explore the park’s many amenities, such as its jogging trails, picnic spaces, playgrounds, and barbecue pits.
For families who live around the area, this welcoming park also offers an on-site pre-school as well as a summer camp for toddlers.
With the popular college neighborhoods of Sawtelle and Palms located a short distance away from the community, it’s no wonder why Mar Vista is great for millennials. The neighborhood is packed with coffee shops and specialty dessert shops, which makes it an ideal area for students on the prowl for their latest study spot.
For those who are out of school and working, Mar Vista also has several dive bars and trendy establishments to enjoy a beer or handcrafted cocktail. With some of the hippest sit-down restaurants available, such as Little Fatty and Rustic Kitchen Market & Café, millennials from all over the city head towards this neighborhood for a bite to eat.
Events and Community Gatherings
Despite being a low-key and relaxing neighborhood to live in, residents of Mar Vista often frequent the neighborhood’s weekly farmers market, which is considered one of the best that LA has to offer. The market happens every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the corner of Grand View and Venice Boulevard, and features fresh produce, specialty goods, kids arts & crafts, live performances, and even an art walk that attracts both locals and visitors.
The Mar Vista Art Walk is a collaboration between the environmental nonprofit group, Green Communications Initiative and local artists, and it brings art lovers from all over the city. Although the art walk is currently on a hiatus, it’s expected to return in March 2019.
Home Styles and Prices
There are a variety of homes available in the Mar Vista neighborhood, many of which include residential buildings, townhomes, duplexes, and single-family homes. The neighborhood has a selection of modern and upscale homes, while other older homes retain their classic charm.
The median home price in Mar Vista is relatively high compared to the rest of the city, hovering at around $1.4 million. These high prices are attributed to several reasons, including the neighborhood’s highly desirable location near both the beach and city, its variety of amenities, its historical architecture, and its overall pedestrian-, transit-, and cycling-friendliness. Due to the area’s high demand, many Mar Vista homeowners choose to rent out their homes.
What It’s Like to Live Here
While there’s still day-to-day traffic, which is typical throughout Los Angeles, the neighborhood is both peaceful and thriving. Residents in the neighborhood are rather diverse, ranging from students and entertainment professionals to tech professionals and families. It’s typical to see children heading to one of the area’s top-rated local schools, people walking their dogs in residential areas, or couples heading out to eat.
With a tranquil and friendly community, high walkability, easy access to restaurants and amenities, and several options for entertainment, it’s no surprise that Mar Vista is one of the best places to live in LA.