You wouldn’t think a neighborhood centered around one of the largest university campuses in America would also be one of the most sought-after landing spots on the West Coast, and yet, that’s exactly what Westwood is. Set in the lush foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains, this neighborhood is beloved by locals for its beautiful homes, extensive cultural and recreational amenities, and incredibly convenient location. “There’s just an amazing amount of cultural events, live performances and great restaurants in the neighborhood,” says local Realtor Mark Rogo of Compass. “Plus, it’s super walkable — there are great parks in the neighborhood, and UCLA’s campus is lovely.”

There’s a wide array of luxury-oriented housing options in the neighborhood. You can find elegant condos with amazing views for $900,000 to $2 million. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for something a bit more spacious, Westwood has a huge variety of options, ranging from lovely updated ranch-style homes to spacious Spanish Colonials and Craftsmans, which typically offer 2,000 to 5,000 square feet, and sell for between $2 and $5 million. There are also several truly palatial homes in the area, with prices frequently reaching eight or even nine figures. No matter where you are in the neighborhood, you’ll find wide, winding streets lined with beautiful, spacious yards, carefully manicured gardens and shade trees.

At the heart of the neighborhood, UCLA’s 419-acre campus offers locals countless opportunities for entertainment and cultural enrichment. Apart from the athletic events it hosts year-round, the school’s calendar is chock-full of lectures, musical performances and exhibitions, most of which are open to the public — not to mention the renowned Hammer Museum and Fowler Museum, which house the university’s impressive art collections. For many Westwood residents, the best thing about UCLA is the campus itself; it’s often counted among the most beautiful in the country and features historic architecture, lovely gardens and a network of paths perfect for strolling or jogging.

While the neighborhood’s residential blocks can feel tucked away in the Santa Monica foothills, the Westwood Village area is always bustling. It’s home to supermarkets like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, along with retailers ranging from local shops like stationary store Flax Pen to Paper to national chains like Target and Ulta Beauty. No matter what you’re looking for, from everyday goods to luxury items, you can find it in the Village.

Westwood Village is also at the center of the neighborhood’s out-of-this-world dining scene, which is among the best in LA (and, therefore, the entire country). No matter what you’re in the mood for, you can probably find an excellent version of it in Westwood. It isn’t possible to list every standout restaurant in the neighborhood; Turkish spot Nuka Cafe, classic Italian joints Pomodoro Trattoria and Lamonica’s, and high-end sushi bar Asuka are just a few of the amazing eateries you’ll find in the area. And when you’re feeling a bit snacky, you can grab a cookie at iconic local bakery Diddy Riese, or try some truly unique flavors at Persian ice cream shop Saffron & Rose.

As for schools in the area, there are a number of highly-rated options. The local public schools include some of the strongest in the LA Unified school district, like Warner Avenue Elementary, which is rated 9/10 on GreatSchools. There are also some impressive local private options, like the UCLA-affiliated Geffen Academy and the all-girls Marymount High School, which has taught Hollywood royalty like Mia Farrow and the Kardashian sisters, among others.

In many ways, Westwood embodies the California Dream – a place where aspiration and achievement intermingle, where art and culture flourish, and where people from all walks of life gather to create memorable experiences. It’s the kind of neighborhood that allows its residents to truly live their best lives.