For many students at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, living in the big city is a perk. Other students, especially those with children, might prefer a small-town feel, a close-knit community or simply a quieter place to study. Fortunately, the suburbs of Los Angeles are perfect for families who need additional space, or even those who just like the "town center" vibe.
Here are five suburbs of Los Angeles that are within commuting distance of UCLA:
A small, family-friendly town, Manhattan Beach offers clean beaches, beautiful parks and a full calendar of local events. Residents also enjoy riding their bikes along "The Strand," a scenic bicycle trail that runs along the Santa Monica beach path and through several suburban towns. The city also has an excellent public school system.
Another beachfront suburb, Torrance lives up to its motto of being a "balanced city" — it is part industrial, part commercial and part residential. A safe area with highly ranked public schools, Torrance offers indoor and outdoor activities for the whole family. For example, residents can frequent local museums, art galleries and theaters, or they can visit Madrona Marsh, one of the few natural wetlands in the U.S. that's located inside an urban area.
A great home for nature lovers, Calabasas is the gateway to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in northern Los Angeles County. Residents can enjoy hiking and swimming while taking in the beautiful mountain views in Malibu Creek State Park. A popular area for families, Calabasas is part of the Las Virgenes Unified School System, which has an award-winning Advanced Placement program and high average standardized test scores.
UCLA Bruins fans will enjoy living in this suburb. Home to the Rose Bowl, it is where UCLA home football games are played. Pasadena's Old Town area spans 21 blocks of shopping, dining, museums and entertainment venues. While the city isn't on the beach, it is situated next to the Angeles National Forest and offers a beautiful mountain view. It also has an excellent public school district and low crime rates.
Rich in industrial and entertainment history, Burbank was the original home of Lockheed Martin, Warner Bros., and a variety of film and television studios. It has also become a popular home for young people and their families. Residents can enjoy the Stough Canyon Nature Center, Robert R. Ovrom Park, the Buena Vista Branch Library and the Chandler Bikeway.
The suburbs of Los Angeles might be more affordable and family-friendly than living in the city, but there is a trade-off. While these cities are all within driving distance of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, the trip could take an hour during peak traffic. To learn about family-friendly areas inside the city, read our list of LA neighborhood reputations.
By Taylor Mallory Holland