This Underrated L.A. Neighborhood Is Having a Moment — Here's Why You Should Plan a Trip

Culver City is undergoing a full-fledged renaissance.

Aerial View of Culver City with Downtown LA in Distance on Dramatic Evening

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When you think of Los Angeles, you likely picture the many world-famous sites that put the area on the map — the Hollywood Sign, Walk of Fame, Rodeo Drive, and Santa Monica Pier, to name a few. And while these hot spots are iconic for a reason, a city spanning around 500 square miles of more than 100 distinct neighborhoods certainly deserves a deeper dive.

From casual beach towns to hip urban locales, L.A. is full of charming enclaves waiting to be discovered — and Culver City is one of them.

An Up-and-Coming Entertainment Hub 

Culver City is having a moment, and the flourishing community is shaping up to become Los Angeles’ new “it” destination for tourists and locals alike. 

Home to longtime landmark Sony Pictures Studios, this neighborhood has always been steeped in filmmaking history. But in recent years, a number of digital media giants — including Apple TV+, Amazon Studios, and HBO Max — have set up camp in the area, transforming Culver City into a hub for this new offspring of the entertainment world. 

The influx of businesses and young professionals has had an incredible ripple effect on the community. Thanks to a slew of new restaurant and boutique openings, and the revival of longtime local favorites, Culver City is undergoing a full-fledged renaissance. 

“Culver City has the best of what Los Angeles offers, while having its own unique [attributes],” says Ryan Parker, general manager at The Shay hotel in Culver City. “Despite being at the center of the City of Angels, we are a hidden gem — our sidewalks are lined with palm trees and interesting boutiques, mom-and-pop shops, and cafes.”

It’s also less than 10 miles from both beach cities and downtown (DTLA), making it an ideal home base for travelers looking to explore Los Angeles from top to bottom without spending too much time stuck in traffic. However, those staying in Culver City will quickly discover that there’s plenty to do in their own backyard, too.

A Buzzing Boutique Hotel 

The Shay, a Destination by Hyatt hotel, opened in October 2021, and has been a driving force in the revitalization of the area. The boutique property features an incredible dining scene, a bustling lobby with dedicated coworking spaces, and the only rooftop pool in Culver City.

Exterior of the The Shay hotel in Culver City

Courtesy of The Shay, a Destination by Hyatt hotel

The design concept by Studio Collective acknowledges the area’s industrious past, while also embodying all the success and development the community is experiencing today. Each of the 148 rooms are designed for comfort — sleek and modern, yet still livable and unpretentious. The Shay perfectly encapsulates Culver City’s creative energy, from the pop-up shops by small businesses in the lobby to curated collections of local art lining the walls.

“As a watering hole for both guests and the community, the hotel is surrounded by top streaming studios, and we’re the newest playground for their entertainment executives seeking the best of work and play,” says Parker. “The Shay is buzzing at all times of the day.”

Interior of a lounge with fire pit at The Shay

Srdan Srdenovic/Courtesy of The Shay, a Destination by Hyatt hotel

Charming Cafes and a Hip Restaurant

Culver City is a destination where travelers can dine in style. First, head to Equator Coffees — an LGBTQ+-founded sustainable roasting company with well-known boutique blends — for your morning brew. Based in Northern California, it chose Culver City as its first and only SoCal outpost. Additionally, the cafe serves a variety of food items, including hearty breakfast and lunch plates, as well as fresh bread and pastries.

Interior of Equator Coffees at the Ivy Station in Culver City

Wonho Photo/Nate Fong Photography/Courtesy of Equator Coffees

The obvious choice for lunch in Culver City is the Canopy Club, an all-day poolside restaurant located on The Shay’s rooftop. Inspired by the vibes of Palm Springs and Miami, the atmosphere here is bright and exciting. Pink walls and pool umbrellas are complemented by lots of plush greenery throughout the space. Guests are encouraged to kick back, relax, and enjoy the sweeping views of Culver City and DTLA — cocktail in hand, of course.

The pool deck at The Shay hotel in Culver City

Sierra Prescott/Courtesy of The Shay, a Destination by Hyatt hotel

And if you consider yourself a foodie, you shouldn’t miss the chance to dine at Etta, a full-service restaurant located next to The Shay’s lobby. Award-winning chef Dan Perretta curated a simple menu highlighting Italian classics: fresh salads, wood-fired pizzas, and house-made pastas. It also features a bar and lounge area serving signature craft cocktails, local craft beers, and an extensive wine list with blends from all over the world.

Bustling New Shopping Centers 

Several mix-use developments have been popping up around Culver City in recent years. Across from The Shay, you’ll find Platform, a boutique shopping center with delicious eateries, high-end retailers, and even a small dog park. 

The Platform LA in Culver City

Annie Archer 

More recently, Culver City welcomed a new and exciting development called Ivy Station. Anchored by The Shay, the development has something for everyone — from office space, apartments, and restaurants to spas, wellness centers, and boutique fitness studios. Whether you’re grabbing a craft beer with friends at Los Angeles Ale Works or taking a workout class at Mayweather Boxing + Fitness, Ivy Station is an ideal urban retreat for both locals and tourists. 

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