Culver City Visitor’s Guide

Contents; TLDR

    About Culver City

    Located in Los Angeles County, California, United States, Culver City is a diverse city with a population of 40,779 as of the 2020 census. In 2020, it was recognized for having the third-most diverse school district in California. The city's history is deeply rooted in film and television production, with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios calling it home from 1924 to 1986. Additionally, from 1932 to 1986, Hughes Aircraft Company had its headquarters in Culver City. Today, it is the headquarters for National Public Radio West and Sony Pictures Entertainment. The city was founded by Harry Culver and is surrounded by the city of Los Angeles, with a border shared with the unincorporated area of Ladera Heights. Culver City has annexed more than 40 adjoining pieces of land over the years, making up about five square miles (13 km2) in total.

    History of Culver City

    Culver City, California, has a rich history dating back to at least 8000 BC, when archaeological evidence suggests Native Americans inhabited the region. California's native population was subject to massacres, displacement, and extermination, with Culver City being founded on former ranch lands of the native Tongva-Gabrieliño people. Harry Culver first attempted to establish the city in 1913, which was officially incorporated in 1917 and named after its founder. Culver City's first ads boasted of transportation links, but the city was established as a whites-only sundown town, with non-Christian religious faiths excluded.

    The first film studio, built by Thomas Ince in 1918 for The Triangle Motion Picture Company, was followed by Hal Roach Studios in 1919, and Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) in 1924. During Prohibition, speakeasies and nightclubs dotted Washington Boulevard. Culver Center, one of Southern California's first shopping malls, was built in 1950. Hughes Aircraft Company opened its plant in Culver City in 1941, where it developed the H-4 Hercules transport and was an active subcontractor during World War II. Howard Hughes donated his stock in the company to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 1953, making it the second-best-endowed medical research foundation in the world.

    The MGM backlot acreage and nearby RKO Forty Acres, once owned by RKO Pictures and later Desilu Productions, were sold in the late 1960s, and in the 1970s, the sets were razed for redevelopment. In the 1990s, Culver City revitalized its downtown and Sepulveda Boulevard corridor, and Sony Pictures Studios moved into the former MGM lot. The eastern part of the city became the Culver City Art District, with an influx of art galleries and restaurants.


    Blair Hills

    Blair Hills is a picturesque neighborhood in Culver City, Los Angeles, known for its lush greenery and stunning views. One of the most notable landmarks in the area is Culver City Park. This sprawling green space spans 41 acres and offers various recreational activities such as soccer, baseball, and tennis. Another popular attraction is Citizen Seeds Site 5, a community garden where locals grow fresh produce.

    The Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook is a must-visit destination for those who love hiking and nature. The hiking trail is challenging, but the breathtaking panoramic views of Los Angeles from the summit are worth the effort. The Stoneview Nature Center is another natural attraction, offering visitors a chance to learn about local flora and fauna through interactive exhibits.

    Blair Hills Park is a neighborhood park that offers various amenities, including a children's playground, a basketball court, and picnic tables. It is a great place to unwind with family and friends or to take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life. Overall, Blair Hills is a fantastic neighborhood with a perfect blend of urban amenities and natural beauty, making it a popular spot for locals and visitors.

    Culver - West

    Culver-West is a neighborhood in Culver City, Los Angeles, with various amenities and attractions. Washington Boulevard runs from West to East through the neighborhood bordered by Zanja Street, West Washington Blvd, and Washington Blvd on the North, McLaughlin Ave on the East, and Mindanao Way and Washington Blvd.

    Costco is one of the major shopping attractions in the area, offering residents and visitors an extensive selection of bulk groceries, household items, and electronics. Rainbow Acres Natural Foods is another popular spot for health-conscious individuals, with its wide selection of organic and natural foods.

    Culver West Alexander Park is a neighborhood park that provides a green oasis for locals to enjoy. The park features a playground, picnic areas, handball courts, a basketball court, a tennis court, and plenty of open space. For those who enjoy a night out, the Alibi Room is a trendy dive bar with a pool table and a karaoke night.

    Culver City Art District

    The Culver City Art District is a vibrant and creative neighborhood in Culver City, Los Angeles. It borders Venice Boulevard to the north, Washington Boulevard to the south, Fairfax to the east, and National Blvd to the west.

    The neighborhood is known for its thriving arts scene, with various galleries, furniture stores, bookstores, studios, and community theaters showcasing the works of local artists and performers. The Helms Bakery District is a popular destination within the Arts District, offering a range of art galleries such as Blum & Poe, design showrooms, and restaurants.

    In addition to its arts and culture offerings, the Culver City Art District is also home to several trendy restaurants, cafes, and bars, including Mandrake, making it a popular spot for foodies and nightlife enthusiasts.

    Lucerne - Higuera

    Vespertine 3599 Hayden Ave, Culver City, CA 90232Lucerne-Higuera is a charming neighborhood located in the city of Culver City, Los Angeles. It is situated just east of Downtown Culver City Art District. It borders Washington Blvd and Exposition to the north, Jefferson Blvd and Ballona Creek on the east, and Duquesne Avenue on the Southwest.

    The neighborhood boasts a mix of residential and commercial properties, many of which are zoned for light manufacturing but have been rehabbed as creative office space. Amazon Studios, Smashbox Studios, the Culver City Unified District Office, Turning Point School, and the Linwood E. Howe Elementary School are all in the Lucerne-Higuera neighborhood of Culver City.

    Lucerne-Higuera is also home to the popular restaurant Etta, Destroyer, Jordan Kahn's minimalist, daytime-only restaurant serving inventive Scandinavian-style breakfast & lunch fare, and Vespertine, which is his ultramodern, ultra-expensive fine dining restaurant. 

    Sunkist Park

    Sunkist Park is a commercial and residential neighborhood in Culver City, California, bordered by Sepulveda Boulevard to the east, Jefferson Boulevard to the south, Mesmer Avenue to the west, and Ballona Creek to the north.

    The neighborhood is known for the 405 and 90 freeways interchange, El Marino Elementary School, El Marino Park, and the Studio Village Twon Houses. It features a mix of single and multi-family homes, apartments, and commercial and office buildings.

    Sunkist Park is within walking distance of the Westfield Culver City Mall, which offers a range of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. In terms of education, Sunkist Park is home to several highly-rated nursery schools, including Temple Akiba Early Childhood Center.