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6.2 out of 10

Playa Del Rey

Ranked 37th best neighborhood in Los Angeles
33.9557229370181 -118.431136628533
Great for
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Parking
  • Clean & Green
  • Internet Access
  • Resale or Rental Value
Not great for
  • Nightlife
  • Public Transport
  • Cost of Living
Who lives here?
  • Beach Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Tourists


3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5

"It's weird that it's expensive here"

Ok, I understand that Playa Del Rey is a beach city. And, that it is more residentially zones than pretty much every other beach town in Los Angeles. These two traits would make Playa Del Rey extremely desirable and I understand why the area would be so expensive. But, there are way too many issues with Playa to justify it being as expensive as the nearby Marina and Manhattan Beach.
For starters, it is directly next to LAX. In fact, a huge chunk of Playa Del Rey has been seized through eminent domain to expand the airport. I, personally, would not want to pay a buttload of money to live under that much airplane traffic and next to that much car traffic because of the airport.
The other thing that's not ideal about the neighborhood is that it's built on wetlands. Translation: it's swampy. There are a ton of mosquitoes and it just has a marshy feel and smell to it. And, while areas of Playa used to have excellent surf, that was done away with in order to conserve the beach area. So, it's really calm water and while that makes it less dangerous for swimmers, it means there's not a lot of movement in the water which, to me, equals dirty water.
And, while I understand the appeal of living in a predominantly residential community, there aren't any restaurants or bars within walking distance. You have to drive to the Marina or Manhattan Beach to go out and that is pretty lame. For the prices you pay to live here, I would rather live in the Marina. Or, anywhere else that didn't have a huge international airport on top of it.
  • Proximity to the beach
  • Swampy
  • Remote
Recommended for
  • Beach Lovers
scotth17 JenMac sorry but I have to get the record straight.

First, no one lives "under" airport traffic (those dwellings were torn down when the airport took over the property many many years ago). The airport is on PDR's south border and it can get loud with planes taking off all day but almost all buildings have double-paned windows to help keep the noise down. Additionally, LAX goes to "over-ocean operations" from 11PM- 630AM so all takeoffs and landings go over the ocean, and the planes that take off during these hours depart from the south runway which borders El Segundo, so the noise in PDR dies down at night. Also, some people enjoy being that close to the airport since you can see planes taking off all day long. Who wouldn't enjoy watching an behemoth A-380 or A-340 barely 50-100 feet off the ground as it crosses Pershing Ave.?

Second, the car traffic isn't that bad unless you're driving on Lincoln/Sepulveda by the main airport entrance - which is not PDR. Traffic in PDR itself isn't bad, though morning traffic on weekdays can get backed up a little as a lot of people from the South Bay area choose to commute through PDR instead of Lincoln/Sepulveda and the 405.

Third, the Ballona wetlands is on PDR's north border, so yes, that area is swampy, but the rest of PDR is not. I've lived in PDR for over 7 years and have never - never - seen a mosquito. Further, the smell is no different than the rest of LA beaches. Sometimes there's a gas smell from processing natural gas somewhere nearby (not in PDR), sometimes there's a fishy smell, but it's not different than anywhere else on the LA coast.

Fourth, the water is not calm. There are plenty of surfers that go to PDR, especially in the winter months when the waves are at their best. Maybe you're thinking of the jetty that protects Marina Del Rey, but that does not impact most of the PDR coast. The water movement in PDR is just fine, and it no cleaner or dirtier than the rest of the LA coastline.

I somewhat agree with the lack of restaurants and bars, as there aren't many, but there are enough. Not like Manhattan Beach and the other South Bay beach cities, but it's a short drive from PDR to Marina Del Rey, Westchester, etc., where you can find plenty of places.
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Unranked Streets in Playa Del Rey

"Hidden gem in the middle of suburban Los Angeles"
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"Great, scenic alternative to Lincoln Blvd."
33.9538165904853 -118.440671408978
"Busy Playa Del Rey street, perfect for Otis/Loyola students!"
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