Just around the corner from the hustle and bustle of Santa Monica and Palisades, up a winding mountain road we call The Boulevard, you’ll find a community like no other, a true cultural and historic gem, Topanga Canyon.
I guarantee you, this place stands apart from any other. Yes, it is situated in the most picturesque mountain paradise. Yes, it is surrounded by thousands of acres of State Park and Santa Monica Mountain Conservancy Land… Yes, its only 5 minutes from one of the best surf breaks in LA and has the most amazing sunsets and moonrises. But that’s not all that makes Topanga a special place. It’s the people!
Topanga has long been know for its colorful and eclectic locals. Some have been born here, some happened upon this place by accident (like my husband), some sought it out for its beauty and tranquility and some have been raised in Topanga and came back to raise their kids here. This Canyon has a reputation for drawing you in and never letting go.
Our routine here is pretty simple, morning coffee at Mimosa or Water Lily, hike, run or ride any number of hidden trails, lunch at The Bistro or under an ancient oak. After that, take a class at Yoga Desa, align yourself, breathe… Mind and Spirit, together.
The evening is up to you. You could enjoy a peaceful dinner overlooking the canyon on your own deck or come down into “town” for some Mexican food at Abuelita’s, Froggy’s is always fun on the weekends and there is often live music at one of the venues in the village center. The Village center is also home to some of Topanga’s unique shops and Topanga library, our crowning jewel! We are truly fortunate to have the library as a community hub for kids, teens and grown-ups alike.
Topanga is a very diverse community, although we have a wonderful group of local elders (they are called Topanga Sages), the families with young kids seem to be really drawn to this place. Our local public school (Topanga Elementary Charter School) is consistently ranked at the top of the district due to community support and involvement. We also have a great alternative to public education, Manzanita school, with a curriculum centered around nature and the campus at Big Rock, it’s a truly special environment in which to learn and grow.
In conclusion, I would say Topanga is LA’s best kept secret. You simply won’t find a place as unique and beautiful yet so close to everything LA has to offer. If you find yourself driving up a windy road one afternoon, stop for a minute or an hour, have a cup of coffee at Mimosa, talk to a local or check out some local art and you might never leave!