Hail to the hills of Westwood, the land of the Bruins. With the charm of a college town, this west LA neighborhood is a haven that UCLA
students have claimed as their own. ‘The Village’ boasts historical landmarks and Mediterranean-inspired architecture, as well as charming streets lined with shops and food joints. Here, The Culture Trip brings you the best museums, theaters, and hidden gems to enhance your cultural experience of West LA
Perhaps the most iconic image of Westwood since its construction in the 1930s, the Fox Theater reminds onlookers of a different era of cinema culture in Los Angeles. The crisp white tower can be seen from miles away, a glistening art deco ‘Fox’ sign displayed atop. The Fox Theater has hosted countless movie premieres throughout the years and continues to do so. On any given weekend, the intersection at Broxton and Weyburn will be covered by a red carpet and flooded with glamorous Hollywood elites. When Fox Theater isn’t being used for a premiere, there are several showtimes a day for you to experience all that this theater has to offer.
Westwood Village Theater, 961 Broxton Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 208 5576
Hammer Museum | © Elon Schoenholz/Courtesy of Hammer Museum
Museum, University, Art Gallery
Westwood is home to one of LA’s best art museums, The Hammer. Offering a variety of exhibits, films, and talks, the Hammer Museum has something for every art lover. The majority of the featured artwork is modern, but you will also find pieces from Monet and Degas in their well-curated permanent collection. There are also several interactive exhibits, allowing visitors of varying interests to truly enjoy a relaxing afternoon of art. As a bonus, the museum offers free admission for the public, making a trip to the Hammer all the more tempting.
Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 443 7000
Located at the heart of UCLA’s campus, this internationally recognized museum primarily features works of art from Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Featuring several exhibits at any given time, there is also a lecture hall plus spaces for art workshops and musical performances. The Fowler is the perfect spot for those who love the global arts or for those who are interested in the intersection of art and culture. Admission to the museum is free of charge.
Fowler Museum, 308 Charles E. Young Drive N, Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 825 4361
Murphy Sculpture Garden | © Courtesy of the Hammer Museum
Profeta is Westwood’s quaint, welcoming coffee shop for those who consider themselves to be coffee aficionados. Profeta strives to perfect their beverages by offering a simple menu of classics, as well as an assortment of fresh pastries. The interior of the coffee shop is furnished with modern furniture and artwork, creating a pleasant juxtaposition with the red brick walls. Coffee can also be enjoyed in a small courtyard outside. Whether you’re stopping for a quick caffeine fix or looking for a great study environment, Profeta is the answer.
Espresso Profeta, 1129 Glendon Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 208 3375
Housed in one of the first structures in the Westwood Village, The Geffen is a not-for-profit theater named after entertainment mogul David Geffen. The Geffen is dedicated to cultivating an appreciation for the arts and giving back to the community, and has cultivated programs with high school students and community education campaigns. With two stages, there are three to five plays offered each season.
Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 208 2028
If you happen to be in Westwood on a Thursday, be sure to stop by the Farmers’ Market on Broxton. Whether you are interested in picking up some local produce or simply browsing the handmade products, a stroll through the market will always be worthwhile. Several food stands are also available, including highly praised Elote (Mexican street corn) and Afghan Bolani. Be sure to visit this lively market and get a taste of the local flair of Westwood Village.
Westwood Village Farmers’ Market, 1083 Broxton Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 208 6115
Located in the southeast corner of UCLA’s campus, the Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Gardens are, quite literally, an oasis in Westwood. It is built around a creek bed and has been supplemented with thousands of plant species. If you are interested in getting away from the bustling city or have an affinity for biodiversity, you will enjoy the variety of exotic plants throughout the gardens. Docent led tours are available, as well as garden maps to facilitate individual walking tours.
Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Gardens, 777 Tiverton Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 825 1260
Diddy Riese stands as yet another iconic symbol of Westwood, with its popularity evident from the eternally present line streaming from the door. College students and visitors alike line up to enjoy one of the famous cookies or an ice cream sandwich. As a bonus, this shop is perfect for a college student’s budget, with each cookie costing only 50 cents. Whether you are in need of a sugar fix or a dozen cookies to share with friends, Diddy Riese should not be missed.
Diddy Riese, 926 Broxton Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 208 0448
UCLA Planetarium | © Courtesy of UCLA Planetarium
If you’re not satisfied with the spattering of stars that you can see on any given night in LA, look no further than the Planetarium at UCLA. Located in the university’s South Campus region, the Planetarium offers free lectures on Wednesday evenings, as well as planetarium shows and telescope viewing. Located on the roof of the Mathematical Sciences building, the Planetarium offers great views of UCLA’s campus and the lights of Westwood Village. The Planetarium welcomes astronomers of all ages.
UCLA Planetarium, 405 Hilgard Avenue, Room Number 8224, Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 825 4434