Beachwood Canyon is a charming little slice of Europe in the heart of Los Angeles. Just east of the 101 freeway and stretching north off Franklin Avenue, Beachwood Canyon's original architects and landscapers drew inspiration from the southern regions of France, Italy and Spain. The quaint, hilly neighborhood features its own market, cafe, and horse stables – all located about one mile North of Franklin on Beachwood Drive in the Hollywood Hills.
Beachwood Cafe (2695 N Beachwood Dr) - A hidden gem with a cozy and stylish interior. With vivid blue and yellow geometric flooring, exposed wooden beams, and mid-century style chairs, this is Hollywood lunching at its best. Locally sourced, seasonal and organic foods make the experience even more rewarding. Sunset Ranch Hollywood Stables (3400 N Beachwood Dr) – Big, rustic barns reminiscent of the Wyoming countryside are nestled at the very top of Beachwood Canyon. Here residents and visitors can take in the majesty of the surrounding hillsides on horseback during 1 hour tours, Sunset Dinner tours or BBQ tours. Beachwood Market (2701 Belden Dr) – This charming institution not only sells all the grocery staples local residents need; they also carry rare British and Canadian candies. They also employ butchers who custom cut meat and make their own sausages. Open since 1933, the Beachwood Market was redesigned in 1952 by legendary architect John Lautner, who added its remarkable glass facade. Monastery of the Angels (1977 Carmen Ave) – Visitors to this modest gift shop run by about 20 Dominican nuns can purchase homemade confections, including hand-dipped chocolates and pumpkin bread.
The Garden of Oz – Open only to children of Beachwood Canyon residents, this is a mosaic wonderland. Local lore has it that The Garden of Oz's creator sent random keys to neighborhood children that allowed them to access the garden. It's an exquisitely executed mini-paradise, right down to the mailbox where children can send a letter to The Grand Ol' Oz himself.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) (Look for the screeching hoards of people scrambling down Belden Drive.)
Beachwood Canyon is now part of an Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (click to read about that here), meaning that any newly built structures are subject to a design review and must conform to a certain aesthetic standard. All over Los Angeles, homes in HPOZs have shown strong growth in property values. An HPOZ designation is a common thread that creates a sense of community among residents. It’s also a comfort knowing that a cherished neighborhood aesthetic will remain intact for years to come thanks to HPOZ rules.
The now famous HOLLYWOOD sign was originally erected in upper Beachwood Canyon by Los Angeles Times publisher Harry Chandler and spelled out “HOLLYWOODLAND”. It was a $21,000 billboard advertising the 500 acre upscale real estate development by the same name. Tourists love to stand in the middle of Beachwood Drive and snap pics of the iconic landmark. But for residents, it's just an everyday backyard prop! Check out this page about Hollywoodland and its History. Photo credits: Downtowngal, Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository