Westwood & Los Angeles
UCLA is located in Westwood, a neighborhood of West Los Angeles and adjacent to Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Brentwood and Santa Monica. On a typical day, you can find college students, professionals, residents, and tourists wandering Westwoods’ collection of stores, restaurants, and theaters. The weekends attract Angelenos from across the city for dining or entertainment.
Los Angeles is the second largest city in the United States, with an estimated population of four million. Residential development is booming, cultural institutions are multiplying, and retail and entertainment options are thriving on an unprecedented scale. As America’s most populated county, L.A. County is the third-most racially diverse county in the United States. UCLA students, staff and faculty have the incredible opportunity to take all that Los Angeles has to offer and use it as a laboratory for understanding the complexity of cultures, images and industries.
Restaurants and eateries walking distance from campus
In addition to all-day and late-night offerings on campus, UCLA students often head into Westwood to step away from campus and eat at one of Westwood’s many restaurants, coffee shops, food stands, bars, and ice cream and frozen yogurt shops.
Some UCLA favorites include BJ’s Restaurant and Brewery, California Pizza Kitchen and the famous Diddy Riese with fresh-baked cookies and ice cream sandwiches for $2.00. Popular venues to watch sports include Rocco’s and Barney’s Beanery, and more upscale bars and restaurants include Napa Valley Grille, Palomino and the new Glendon Bar & Kitchen.
And, of course, the Village is home to a plethora of coffee shops from Starbucks to the Coffee Bean and Peet’s Coffee – all popular study locations for the dedicated student.
For a fantastic guide compiled by students at the UCLA Law School, click here.
Everything your Bruin needs
In addition to the clothing chains, electronics stores and gift shops, Westwood Village grocery stores include a 24-hour Ralph’s, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. Drug stores with toiletries, office supplies, housewares, snacks and first-aid include CVS and Rite Aid. Bruins can also purchase many of these items in on-campus marketplaces, but Westwood stores have extended hours, and often cheaper prices.
For a directory of stores in the Village, click here.
What to do on an evening or weekend
Between sporting events, film screenings, arts performances and lectures, students do not have to go far for a night of entertainment. However, Westwood also offers plenty of options.
Movie theaters: National and international movie premieres frequently take place at Westwood’s own historic Fox Theater. Students often head down to the Village to catch a glimpse of their favorite stars walking the red carpet, or just to catch a movie at one of the Village’s many movie theaters.
- Hammer Museum: This UCLA-run museum is always free to UCLA students, staff and faculty. The museum’s Billy Wilder Theater hosts nightly events and screenings open free or discounted for the UCLA community.
- Geffen Playhouse: Located just down the street from campus, the Geffen offers world-class theater performances.
- The Improv Space: UCLA alumni and student owned and operated, the Improv Space features improv shows throughout the week and the year, and classes for aspiring performers.
UCLA in the Community
Forging the bond between UCLA and Los Angeles
UCLA has always made it a priority to engage with the Los Angeles community through campus-wide initiatives, faculty research and student projects. To learn about how UCLA is making a difference in Los Angeles, click here.
Arts, Culture & Entertainment
A cultural capital
UCLA’s creative community is undoubtedly reflective of the city itself. Los Angeles is the international center for film, television and music, home to working and aspiring writers, performers, artists and producers at every turn.
In addition to endless film screenings, music and theater performances, TV tapings, poetry and literature readings and comedy shows, Los Angeles is home to almost 1,000 museums and art galleries, leading California’s cultural growth with more museums per capita than any other city in the nation.
Some of the most well-known centers for culture and arts include:
The Getty Museum (near Westwood) and Getty Villa (Malibu)
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Mid-City)
The Museum of Contemporary Art (Downtown)
Walt Disney Concert Hall (Downtown)
Hollywood Bowl (Hollywood)
Meanwhile, The LA Opera, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Center Theatre Group are among the nation’s largest and most respected companies in their disciplines.
The UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture strives to bring the UCLA and Los Angeles arts communities together in collaboration and cross-appreciation. Visit their site for a schedule of arts events.
Getting around Los Angeles
Undoubtedly, you have heard the nightmares about Los Angeles traffic. Sadly, they are all true!
But the fact is that your Bruin does not need a car on campus. Many amazing neighborhoods and attractions are only a simple bus ride away. Since routes and schedules are always changing, the best bet is to map a route using Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority’s planning website.
With BruinGo!, UCLA students can ride any Santa Monica Big Blue Bus or Culver City Bus line for 50¢ and a swipe of their BruinCard (student identification card). Go Metro is a quarterly bus pass that gives eligible Bruins half-price fares on all Metro Bus and Metro Rail lines, and LADOT Commuter Express, City of Santa Clarita Transit, and Antelope Valley Transit Authority commuter bus services are also part of our reduced-fare public transit options.
While Los Angeles is not the most bike-friendly city, UCLA Transportation also suggests that students use their bikes by biking to their destination or biking to the bus stop and then taking the bicycle on the bus (nearly all buses provide bicycle racks).
For the most updated news and information about public transit from Westwood across Los Angeles, click here.
Top Attractions for Bruins
Venturing outside of Westwood
Encourage your Bruin to step outside the UCLA community and explore Los Angeles for all that is has to offer. Here is a short list of top activities and attractions your Bruin should take advantage of while in Los Angeles, or for you to experience while visiting your Bruin:
The Getty Museum: The Getty Center presents an extensive collection of Western art from the Middle Ages to the present against a backdrop of dramatic architecture, tranquil gardens, and breathtaking views. The trip is great for an afternoon trip with friends, a romantic date or a spot for relaxing self-reflection.
The Grove: Just a few miles east of the UCLA campus is the upscale outdoor shopping center affectionately known as The Grove. Students can enjoy the dancing fountain, take in a movie at the theater, or try one of the many cuisines provided by the historic Farmers Market. It is also frequented by many local celebrities.
Griffith Park and Observatory: For those who like the outdoors, astronomy, or simply an amazing view of the city, Griffith Park features hiking trails and picnic areas, views of the city and the Hollywood sign, and a world-famous observatory at the top with an accompanying museum.
La Brea Tar Pits and the Page Museum: Located in Mid-City, the La Brea Tar Pits is a registered National Natural Landmark and home to live tar pits where creatures of all kinds have been preserved over the last thousands of years. Also located next to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).
Hollywood Boulevard: Take a walk or drive down Hollywood Boulevard to get a great view of the Hollywood sign, see the hundreds of stars of the Walk of Fame, stop by the famous TCL Chinese Theatres and take in the sights and sounds of the tourist center of LA.
LA Live and Downtown LA: LA Live is the new center of an up-and-coming downtown Los Angeles, home to restaurants, clubs, theaters and (at the center of LA Live) the Staples Center. A night out in downtown may be a bit pricey, but definitely an experience.
Beaches: Make sure to hit the quirky and vibrant Venice Beach at least once, but your Bruin can hang with other Angelenos at beaches up and down the coast. Some of the more popular beaches include Santa Monica, Manhattan, Hermosa and a few in Malibu.
Rodeo Drive: Take a stroll down the world famous Rodeo Drive where internationally known designers hold their boutiques for celebrity clients.
Theme Parks: The UCLA Central Ticket Office offers discounted tickets for students to theme parks, including Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood, Six Flags Magic Mountain and Knott’s Berry Farm. All of these parks require a car, but all are well worth the trip!