There’s plenty to do in neighboring Westwood Village when you visit UCLA! Westwood is L.A.’s college town, first developed in 1929 by the Janss Investment Company, and now a popular destination for locals citywide for shopping, dining and entertainment. The historic landmark cinema Fox Village Theater, built in 1931, is still home to movie premieres, and the growing Westwood Village Farmers Market also draws crowds to the Village each week. With lots to see and do, here are just a few more crowd-pleasing destinations in Westwood Village that are worth a visit:
The Hammer Museum, founded in 1990, is home to over 50,000 works of art, primarly from progressive and contemporary artists spanning five distinctive collections. Another plus? It offers free admission. Although built at first to house the permanent collection of Armand Hammer, the museum has expanded to include lectures, speaking engagements, performances and rotating exhibits throughout the year. Most recently, the “Made in L.A.” exhibition featured working L.A. artists (including many from UCLA), showcasing the diversity and energy of the city and surrounding area as a popular and emerging art capital. Visit the Hammer Museum website for more information and directions.
Almost from the moment its doors first opened in 1983, Diddy Riese has become a cookie “hot spot,” known not just in Westwood Village, but throughout the entire L.A. area. It offers cookies, ice cream and of course, the famous ice cream cookie sandwich that draws lines throughout the day outside of its location on Broxton Avenue. You’ll be happy to know that the dough is always made from scratch and that Diddy Riese offers amazing prices. Be sure to bring cash, though, as it doesn’t accept plastic. Visit the Diddy Riese website for more information and directions.
Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park & Mortuary
You might not know it, but one of the most famous cemeteries in the United States is off of Glendon Avenue in busy Westwood Village. Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park and Mortuary is the resting place of some of the greatest names in entertainment, including Marilyn Monroe, Eve Arden, Jack Lemmon, Farrah Fawcett, Rodney Dangerfield and Natalie Wood. Visit the Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park & Mortuary page on Wikipedia for more information and directions.
The Geffen Playhouse
The Geffen Playhouse was built in 1929, and is one of the original twelve structures built in Westwood Village. Since 1995, UCLA has used the playhouse to host intimate, live theater performances, offering five plays per season in the Gil Cates Theater and three plays per season in the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater. Famous actors and actresses such as Martin Short, Alicia Silverstone, Beau Bridges, Debbie Allen and Annette Bening have perfomed at the Geffen Playhouse. Visit the Geffen Playhouse website for information about performances and directions.
Fox Village Theater
The Fox Village Theater is an historic landmark movie theater in Westwood Village and one of the leading film premiere theaters in the entire nation. The premieres are often held on Thursdays at the theater and have included movies like “A Star is Born,” “Transformers,” or “The Terminator.” The Churrigueresque stucco decorations, griffins on the building’s corners, and the Art Deco design reflect the careful level of detail put into movie theaters built during Hollywood’s Golden Age. But don’t be fooled, the Fox Village Theater is also very modern. It had the high-tech Dolby Atmos sound system installed recently and is one of the few remaining THX-certified movie theaters in L.A. Visit the Fox Village Theater website for more information including showtimes and directions.
Westwood Village Farmers Market
Every Thursday from noon to 6 pm, rain or shine, farmers converge on Westwood Village to bring the freshest produce for purchase. Students, employees from nearby offices, and even locals from other communities have been coming to the Westwood Village Farmers market for decades. Shoppers will find everything from organic produce to specialty meats and breads and even vegan meals to go! If you’re in the Westwood Village are, you don’t want to miss this extraordinary local event happening every Thursday afternoon. Visit the Westwood Village Farmers Market page on “The Westwood Village” for more information and directions.
MAIN PHOTO: Westwood Village, Courtesy of UCLA Housing & Hospitality Services